SPA urges Putrajaya to amend Articles 46 and 160

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

KUCHING, March 11: Sarawak Patriot Association (SPA) president Datuk John Lau Pang Heng suggests that the federal government also amend Article 46 and Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

This is because amending Article 1(2) alone for equal partnership would not guarantee true equal partnership if the composition of parliamentary seats (Article 46) and equal distribution of resources (Article 160) of the Federal Constitution are not amended.

“Just by amending Article 1(2), is it enough to restore the equal partnership without amending Article 46 and Article 160 plus an equal allocation of budgets?

“For example, currently West Malaysia has 166 parliament seats whereas Sarawak and Sabah have a total of 56 seats. Currently, West Malaysia has more than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. Thus Article 46 on the composition of the House of Representatives needs to be amended so that it reflects equal partnership.

“To be reasonable, parliamentary seats in West Malaysia should not exceed two-thirds of the total parliamentary seats in the House of Representatives and (they should) increase the number of parliamentary seats in Sarawak and Sabah. Sarawak currently has 31 parliamentary seats, whereas Sabah has 25 seats only,” said Lau.

He also pointed out that Article 160, which stated that ‘The Federation means the Federation established under the Federation of Malaya agreement 1957’, would also need to be amended to reflect ‘The Federation’ that means the Federation established under the Federation of Malaysia 1963.

“It is for the federal government to show their concern for Sarawak and Sabah to allocate sufficient funding for development for the two partners in Malaysia, and the most important of all, financial allocations.

“Without financial commitment, there is no equal partnership. Thus, we call upon the federal government to enact a law to allow equal distribution of resources, like oil and gas,” he said.

Lau added that Sarawak and Sabah were lagging behind in terms of development.

“We do not have Mass Rapid Transit (MRT trains) to enable citizens to move around conveniently by public transport.

“We do not have air connections directly to international destinations so that foreign tourists can fly directly to Sarawak without having to transit in Kuala Lumpur,” he said. — DayakDaily