Tan Sri Adenan Satem can restore Sarawak’s status as an equal partner in Malaysia by introducing a resolution to declare Article 1 of the Federal Constitution null and unenforceable, Sarawak Reform Party (Reform) president Lina Soo suggested today.
The Opposition politician suggested that such a measure would be a greater credit to the Sarawak chief minister than if he were to leave the restoration process to Putrajaya.
“A resolution passed by a majority in the assembly would sufficiently correct this anomaly, if Adenan is serious in fulfilling the promises made to pursue compliance of the Malaysia Agreement,” she said.
Soo, a human rights advocate, also urged Adenan to take all the “other offending amendments” to the Federal Constitution and other laws that have affected Sarawak’s rights to the vote in the state assembly.“The chief minister must not stop at the amendment to Article 1 (or Act 354) of the Federal Constitution,” Soo said when responding to Adenan’s statement yesterday that the state government wanted the federal government to restore Sarawak’s status prior to the 1976 amendment to the Federal Constitution.
Adenan, closing a seminar on History of Sarawak — A Journey to Merdeka: Sarawak in Malaysia”, had said the amendment was null and void as it had breached the Malaysia Agreement, an international treaty signed by Sarawak, Malaya, Sabah, United Kingdom and Singapore in 1963.
He had said the amendment passed in 1976 had reduced Sarawak’s status from an equal partner to Malaya to a state within the federation, giving rise to legal implications.
Soo said Adenan must adopt a “without fear or favour” approach to right the wrongs done to Sarawak, adding that he need not apologise to anyone.
She said Reform and its members would give their full support to Adenan in championing the rights of Sarawakians on the promises made in the last state elections.
“The promises must not only be seen to be done, but he must make such promises happen, and be seen to follow up and enforce any decision taken,” she said.
She said calling for the repeal of Act 354 to restore Sarawak’s original status was in Reform’s last election manifesto for the May 7 polls.
“I consider it a success now that the Sarawak government is taking it up, even if all our candidates lost our election deposits,” she said.