Restoring status of Sarawak, Sabah issue: Ball in GPS’s court, says DAP leader

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 29: Pakatan Harapan (PH) requires the support of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) for the two-thirds majority in the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament in order to amend the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners of the federation.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) Socialist Youth Sarawak publicity secretary Abdul Aziz Isa, thus, urged GPS leaders to stop playing ‘ping pong’ in blaming PH for its failure in this matter.

“To amend the Federal Constitution requires a two-thirds majority and not a simple majority, such as for tabling a bill. But PH, despite winning the general election, is short of a two-thirds majority in both Houses to do so, unlike when Barisan Nasional (BN) was in power with absolute majority,” he told a press conference at the DAP headquarters today.

Aziz was responding to criticisms by GPS against the PH government, which he found laughable as GPS leaders who are lawyers themselves, like Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Corporate Affairs) Abdullah Saidol, State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang, should know better.

Aziz addressing a press conference. Also seen is Sarjan Daik (left), who is the political secretary to Chong Chieng Jen.

“I am wondering why all the while when BN was in power, they (GPS) did not complain about the equal-partners status or oil and gas rights. And now they blame PH for not being able to amend the constitution,” he said.

Aziz believed that PH would be willing to table a motion to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners as defined under Article 4 of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“However, even if we table the motion to amend the Constitution, we will not be able to restore Sabah and Sarawak status without the consent and support from GPS as well as from Umno, Gabungan Besatu Sabah and PAS,” he pointed out.

“It is all in the hands of GPS, but I have not heard any news from them to give their full support to PH to amend Article 1(2) in both chambers of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara,” he said.

“We need the support from them to support the motion so that we will eventually see the statuses of Sabah and Sarawak restored to their original positions,” he added. — DayakDaily