Kit Siang Harapan Mou Among Reasons Why Sarawak S Status Will Be Restored
SARAWAK POLLS | Putrajaya's memorandum of understanding with Pakatan Harapan is among the reasons why another constitutional amendment bill on Sabah and Sarawak was tabled again, said veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang.
In a statement today, Lim said DAP had consistently argued against the 1976 constitutional amendment which referred to Sarawak and Sabah as "states" rather than territories comparable with Peninsular Malaysia.
"When the 1976 Constitutional Amendment Bill was voted in Parliament on July 13, 1976, it was carried by 130 votes supporting and nine votes opposing – all the nine votes came from DAP which included myself.
"Those who supported the bill included all the Sarawak BN leaders, like two MPs who became Sarawak chief minister and later Sarawak governor, Abdul Rahman Yaacob and Taib Mahmud, Sarawak United Peoples' Party leaders Ong Kee Hui and Stephen Yong and (defunct) Sarawak National Party leaders Edmund Langgu, Patrick Uren and Luhat Wan," said Lim.
After Harapan formed the federal government in 2018, Lim said the new administration had worked to undo the 1976 amendments but failed after MPs from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (Sarawak BN's successors) refused to back the bill, thereby not denying the requisite two-thirds approval to pass a constitutional amendment bill.
"Now, the GPS has another chance to undo the 1976 Constitution Amendment Bill tomorrow because the confidence-supply-reform (CSR) MOU signed between Prime Minister Ismail Sabri and the four Pakatan Harapan leaders on Sept. 13, 2021.
"The deal had insisted that the restoration of Sarawak and Sabah as two of the three regions and not two of the 13 states in Malaysia be addressed with priority and should be one of the key issues of the CSR MOU," said Lim.
The chief architect of the new constitutional amendment bill is GPS MP and Law Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who not only seeks to restore Article 1(2) to its original wording but also redefine the meaning of the Federation of Malaysia, define "Malaysia Day" and empower the Sarawak government to define what it means to be "native" in the state.
Meanwhile, Lim reiterated that it was unfair for voters to judge Harapan's 22 months in power when the coalition was supposed to have five years or 60 months to fulfil its pledges and mandate.
Lim said that during those 22 months, Harapan was still trying to find its footing in a government accustomed to Umno's half-century rule but the new administration was toppled even before the mid-term mark.
"There is another reason for the slow progress in the implementation of the Harapan election manifesto – DAP is only one of the four component parties of the Harapan coalition and we have to convince the other three political parties on the urgency of fulfilling the election manifesto," he said.
Lim said that even if voters are disappointed with Harapan, he urged them to keep their hopes up for a better Malaysia by ensuring DAP representation in the Sarawak legislative assembly.
"All is not lost so long as we do not surrender to hopelessness, dejection and despondency.
"This is what the Sarawak general election is all about on Dec 18," said Lim. - Mkini
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