Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution could be amended if there’s a strong motion from Sarawak that will compel the Federal government to table a Bill on the matter in Parliament, Batu Lintang Assemblyman See Chee How said at a press conference yesterday.
He was referring to the status of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
See said that if there’s no such Bill pushed through by the government, then any MP can put in a Private Member’s Bill on the amendment, The Borneo Post reported today.
If the Sarawak Assembly reaches a unanimous motion on the matter, and Putrajaya does nothing, then the Sarawak government can no longer continue to support the Federal government, added See who is Sarawak PKR vice-chairman and a lawyer.
See said the motion, to be introduced in the Sarawak Assembly next month, was very significant.
“It will send a strong message to the Federal government,” he was quoted as saying by the Sarawak-based daily.
See also said that he was happy Chief Minister Adenan Satem had confirmed the Sarawak government would be introducing the motion in the state assembly.
He said it would be ideal if there was a bi-partisan committee to draft the motion but so far there has been no such development.
“That’s why the opposition will be filing a motion as well despite Adenan’s announcement on it.
“Then, the matter of what’s lacking in either motion can be raised during the debate on it.”
He said the opposition would support the government’s motion if it concerns the territory and rights of Sarawak under MA63, the Inter-Governmental Committee Report and the Cobbold Commission Report.
See went on to remind that the 13 July 1976 amendment to Article 1(2) in Parliament was a breach of MA63.
“Those who signed MA63 were not involved. Therefore, the amendment is null and void.”
See also called MA63 an international agreement and treaty signed by five governments and lodged with the UN Secretary-General. MA63 was signed by North Borneo, Sarawak, Singapore, Malaya and the United Kingdom.
However, the jury is still out on whether it was a Trust Deed as well given the fact that the process of decolonisation was not completed in Borneo in 1963.
Before 13 July 1976, Sabah and Sarawak were equal partners of Malaya in the Federation of Malaysia (not Malaya).
After the amendment, Sabah and Sarawak, according to the Federal Constitution, became the 12th and 13th states in the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia).
Article 160 of the Federal Constitution defines “Federation” as that set up by the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948 and reinforced by the Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957.
Source : FMT Reporters Online