Restoration of Sarawak rights: GPS wants full package of amendments, not piecemeal

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

by Karen Bong and Nancy Nais

KUCHING, April 9: Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is hoping to see a full package of amendments to the Federal Constitution which will return Sarawak’s rights instead of a piecemeal amendment such as the Amendment to Federal Constitution Article 1(2) Bill which gives Sarawak nothing.

And such, he moved a motion to refer the Bill to a Parliament Special Select Committee.

He said GPS MPs hoped to see something substantial and not a small amendment that would bring about nothing concrete to Sarawak.

“Apart from Article 1(2), we also want other parts in the Federal Constitution to be changed. For example, the Territorial Sea Act 2012, and implementation of the review of the Article 112D, among others.

“We want to look into all the laws that have been passed not in compliance to the Federal Constitution and which encroached into our Sarawak’s rights to be amended,” Wan Junaidi told DayakDaily today.

Citing Territorial Sea Act 2012, he said there were many laws that were passed in Parliament without the consent of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly which is a violation of the Federal Constitution, but was conveniently extended to Sarawak.

“Sarawak as part of Malaysia, there are areas under Federal jurisdiction, State jurisdiction and the Concurrent List respectively and resources is under the State. Yet when Emergency Ordinance 1969 was enacted, the Federal government tried to extend many laws into Sarawak and Sabah without going through the constitutional process, supposedly to repeal and overide the State Law governing the same subject matters.

“And now with the Emergency long gone, the laws enacted during Emergency continue to be effective and enforced,” he added.

On another matter, he also pointed out that Article 160 on the interpretation of the word ‘Federation’ cannot have two meanings.

Thus, he said, that Article 160 must also be amended to clarify the meaning of the word wherever it is used in the Constitution.

“Only with the amendment of Article 160 will the true spirit of federalism be reflected. The Federation of Malaysia should be based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and not the Agreement of 1957,” he highlighted.

He reiterated that GPS wanted a full package consisting of all the amendments on the Federal Constitution pertaining to laws that over the years have eroded Sarawak’s rights.

“We want the Steering Committee to complete the work first and then the Select Committee will take over,” he said.

“The Select Committee can move from place to place to find out the true aspiration of the people on the issue…. This will be true democracy taking place,” he concluded. — DayakDaily