By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, March 11: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth chief Michael Tiang today called for Article 46 of the Federal Constitution to be amended to prevent political parties from encroaching into each other’s territory.
He said when Malaysia was formed in 1963, Malaya was occupied by Malayan parties, Singapore by Singaporean parties and likewise those in Sarawak and Sabah, too.
“Now, in 2019, Malayan parties have made several invasions into Borneo — Sabah and Sarawak — and that has disturbed what I always said the political integrity of these three territories of Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah,” he told a press conference here to give his views on the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
Tiang, therefore, urged the federal government to amend Article 46 to prevent Malayan parties from coming to Sabah and Sarawak.
“Keep Sabah to Sabahans, Sarawak to Sarawakians, and Malaya to Malayans. Restore this political integrity among the three partners,” he said.
Such a step was required to complement efforts to restore the rights of Sabah and Sarawak to have equal partnership status as Peninsular Malaysia.
Tiang said merely amending Article 1(2) was insufficient, and that applies to recent calls for Sabah and Sarawak to have more parliamentary seats.
He explained that out of the current 222 parliamentary seats, Sarawak had 31 seats (or 14 per cent), while Sabah had 25 seats (or 11 per cent), totalling 25 per cent.
In 1963, Sarawak had 24 seats (or 15 per cent), Sabah had 16 seats (or 10 per cent) and Singapore had 15 seats (or 9 per cent), giving a total of 34 per cent or one-third of the total number of parliamentary seats.
“That was 1963. Today, some suggested that the one-third formula should be restored. I don’t agree because in 1963 Malayan parties stayed in Malaya, Singaporean ones stayed in Singapore, Sarawakian ones in Sarawak and Sabah ones in Sabah. This is not so now,” he argued.
Tiang reiterated that a one-third distribution would only make sense if Article 46 is amended the way he had mentioned. — DayakDaily