Adenan urged to lead Sabah, Sarawak’s claim for rights

See noted that the powers and rights of Sarawak and Sabah have been eroded in the last 53 years and that Adenan was now seeking to reclaim them. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
See noted that the powers and rights of Sarawak and Sabah have been eroded in the last 53 years and that Adenan was now seeking to reclaim them. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Tan Sri Adenan Satem should rally all federal lawmakers from Sabah and Sarawak to demand the restoration of rights for the two founding members of Malaysia, said a Sarawak politician.

Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How called on the Sarawak chief minister to form such an alliance, noting that a concerted effort by Sabah and Sarawak's lawmakers would help them achieve what was intended in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

“In that respect, it is pertinent for our chief minister to make use of his stature as the most popular political leader in East Malaysia to forge an alliance of Sarawakian and Sabahan legislators, uniting all MPs, Senators and state assemblypersons, irrespective of political party affiliations, to chart the roadmap and provide a clear direction for all legislators and common Sarawakians and Sabahans alike to rebuild the nation state as it was promised to us by our country’s founding fathers in 1963,” the Batu Lintang assemblyman was quoted saying to local daily The Borneo Post.

See noted that the powers and rights of Sarawak and Sabah have been eroded in the last 53 years and that Adenan was now seeking to reclaim them.

“He is rightfully passionate about the positions of the two states as equal partners in Malaysia’s nation building; hence, he spoke about the amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the stipulation of pre-1976 to reflect that ‘equal partners’ position,” the federal opposition politician said.

See was referring to Adenan's remarks last Sunday, in which the latter indicated that Sarawak MPs might seek to table a motion in Parliament to reverse a 1976 amendment of the Federal Constitution.

According to The Borneo Post, Adenan had said there were three separate categories for the states of Malaysia prior to the 1976 amendment, namely the "states of West Malaysia"; Sarawak and Sabah; and then founding partner Singapore.

See also expressed hope that all federal lawmakers from Sarawak and Sabah would push for the restoration of the constitutional provision in Parliament, adding that the reclaiming of the state rights will be "critical benchmarks" for aspiring candidates in the next general election.

“I hope the MPs will not shirk in performing their duties, whether for fear of losing their personal positions or interests, and not to be cowed by the might of the Umno-led federal government," he said.

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing, who is Adenan's fellow colleague from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, similarly urged all federal lawmakers from Sarawak and Sabah to back such a parliamentary motion if it was tabled.

There are 222 federal seats in Malaysia, with 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak and 25 from Sabah.

In a separate report by The Borneo Post, former MP Patrick Anek Uren said it would be “technically impossible” to reverse the 1976 amendment in Parliament due to the combined numbers of Sarawak and Sabah MPs being only 65.

He suggested, however, a possible solution with the Sarawak state legislative assembly voting unanimously in favor of a motion to push the federal government to reverse the amendment, noting that the state legislative body was part of the signatory of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

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