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PBS cannot support proposed amendment in its present form

KOTA MARUDU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) is adamant to deny the proposed amendment on Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, as at its current form, it is contrary to that enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Describing the current proposed amendment as “a disappointment”, PBS President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said there is nothing new in the so-called modification to the status of Sabah and Sarawak under the Federal Constitution.

Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili speaking at the launching of the party’s Popok Polling District Centre’s annual general meeting in Kota Marudu today. SNT Pix/Credit PBS

“It is a hollow amendment at the moment … it’s really nothing in it. The supposedly amendment is just merely a restatement of the perennial  misrepresentation that Sabah is just one of the 13 states in the Federation.

“There is nothing in the so-called amendment to show that Sabah and Sarawak are equal partners with Malaya in the Federation, as spelt out in MA63,” he said.

Ongkili said that the proposed amendment was supposed to restore the position of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia as enshrined in MA63.

“So basically, in its present form, the proposed amendment is a total disappointment,” he pointed out when addressing the crowd at the launching of the party’s Popok Polling District Centre’s annual general meeting, here, today.

Ongkili stressed that in fact, in the proposed amendment, Sabah is now listed as states with Sarawak in Article 1(2)(b), which puts the two eastern Malaysian states as class B members of the Federation.

The Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution was amended in 1976, which reads: “The states of the Federation shall be Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Terengganu.”

Prior to 1976, Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution read: “The States of the Federation shall be – (a) the States of Malaya, namely Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Trengganu; and (b) the Borneo States, namely Sabah and Sarawak; and (c) the State of Singapore.”

“In its current form, PBS cannot support the proposed amendment. That is why we have proposed in the Parliament that the amendment be subjected to a Select Committee to study and modify a proposed amendment so it reflects MA63.

“The modified amendments must then be referred to the State Assemblies of Sabah and Sarawak for debate and adoption before Parliament votes on the amendments,” he said.-SabahNewsToday