Sarawak, Sabah status: Article 1(2) amendment may be tabled for first reading on April 3

Dr Kelvin Yii

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, March 28: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the bill to amend Federal Constitution Article 1(2) may be tabled for first reading next Wednesday (April 3, 2019).

He said this based on the answer from de-facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong.

Dr Yii was responding to yesterday’s rumour that the bill to amend Federal Constitution Article 1(2) would be tabled today.

In a WhatsApp reply yesterday to DayakDaily’s attempt to seek verification on the rumours, Dr Yii replied, “No, likely next Wednesday. Based on answer from Law Minister.”

He said the ministry has been targeting to introduce the bill on April 3; second reading and debates to be carried out on April 8 while the third reading and voting to be set on April 9.

Meanwhile, Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar when contacted yesterday said he had no idea if the bill will be tabled today and was concerned that there was no transparency on the part of the ministry in handling the matter.

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

“I do not know. We are concerned that the ministry is putting (keeping) this thing under wraps,” said Wan Junaidi in a WhatsApp reply.

Both Wan Junaidi and Dr Yii were attending Parliament when contacted.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has promised to table the bill and Liew is expected to do.

The government bill, after passing, is expected to give back the status of Sarawak and Sabah as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), and thus the great anticipation.

The bill is also expected to receive a lot of attention because the ruling coalition does not command two-thirds majority in the parliament.

According to Wan Junaidi, no date has yet been set for the tabling of the bill. MP of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) have yet to be informed of the details of the proposed bill.

However, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen when met by the media recently, said the bill is likely to be tabled for first reading between April 8 and 9.

His prediction was based on an internal directive issued to all Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs to be present in Parliament from April 8 to 9. And to him, this indicated that the bill could be tabled and read on one of these dates. — DayakDaily