Rejection of bill to amend constitution a first in Malaysia, says Rohani

Dato Sri Rohani Abdul Karim

KUCHING, April 10: The failure of the bill to garner two-thirds majority support to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution last night is the first time a legislative bill to amend the constitution has been rejected in the history of Malaysia.

Hence, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should take this matter into serious consideration, opined Batang Lupar MP Dato Sri Rohani Abdul Karim in a statement today.

“This showed that we, Sarawakians, are serious in wanting this matter to be done in a holistic manner and without rushing.

“We, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), had voiced out our concerns and views so that the amendment can be referred to the Special Select Committee, but it was denied and ignored.”

Rohani reiterated that GPS lawmakers held the view that the amendment needed to be studied thoroughly and the details fine-tuned instead of simply stating that Sabah and Sarawak are ‘equal partners’ in Malaysia.

“Attention must be given to each and every detail in relation to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). We cannot just support blindly because we fear the consequences, particularly eroding rights as ‘equal partner’, that have yet to be studied thoroughly.”

Rohani lamented that along the way, GPS lawmakers were accused of betraying the interests and priorities of the state, but this was clearly not true.

“We do not want our rights as ‘Anak Sarawak’ to be disputed in future. The proposed amendment to this bill did not clearly state the importance of Sarawak.”

Rohani stressed that the wording ‘Based on the Spirit of Malaysia Agreement 1963’ must clearly be included and stated as a guarantee that Sarawak will not lose the rights that Sarawakians have been fighting for.

“As such, we want to emphasise here, especially to all Sarawakians, that we, GPS MPs, were not against the amendment, but we did not vote or abstain to cause the two-thirds majority not to be reached.

“The people of Sarawak must understand that the bill tabled by the federal government was like a book with a beautiful cover but has no content.”

GPS, she assured, would take all measures to prevent unfairness to the state’s rights in pursuant of MA63. — DayakDaily