Condemn BN, STAR, PBS and GPS for attempting to delay amendment to federal constitution

I condemn the attempt by opposition members of parliament from Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat (STAR), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Gagasan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to delay the government’s tabling of the bill to revert Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to its original version pre-1976 today.

Not only did they attempt to raise frivolous technicalities like the one-day notice period to table the bill, they also attempted to delay the bill by filing an oral motion to have a select committee to study the bill after the first reading in parliament.

The Speaker of Parliament Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had directly rejected the objection as the bill had already been given to all MPs a day before. The Speaker had also made a ruling to the MPs to file their motion by way of writing pursuant to the Standing Orders.

The opposition should not belittle the amendment by saying that it’s too brief. The bill tabled in parliament is in line with original MA63 as it reverts Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to its original version and also by taking out the “Malaya” and “Borneo” wording.

There is no need for a special select committee to discuss the matter of reverting Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to its original version which is the sole intention of this bill. Clearly the opposition MPs are merely playing politics, which is utterly disappointing!

Yes I agree that there ought to be more clarification with regards to the specifics, but there is already an ongoing MA63 committee drafting a report for the cabinet which is estimated to be ready by June. The specifics will be contained in that report. Therefore, there is no reason to delay this amendment.

The amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in 1976 downgraded the status of Sabah and Sarawak from “founding states” or regions within Malaysia to one of the 13 states. The restoration of Sabah and Sarawak’s status as equal founding partner for Federation of Malaysia would be good for national integration as it would make things clearer and that negotiation for more rights would be easier.

I would like to remind these opposition Sabah and Sarawak MPs that they are answerable to their electorates, and the rakyat is now, after the 14th General Election, more daring. They are no longer hesitant to punish elected representative who do not uphold their rights by voting them out during the next general election.

Chan Foong Hin
Media statement by Chan Foong Hin in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 4th April 2019