Masing: PRS MPs will support Bill to restore Sarawak’s status

Masing said he will instruct PRS' MPs to give their backing if the Dewan Rakyat tables a Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the constitution that will restore Sarawak’s status as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Masing said he will instruct PRS' MPs to give their backing if the Dewan Rakyat tables a Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the constitution that will restore Sarawak’s status as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Oct 9 — Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing today said the party’s three Members of Parliament will support an amendment to the Federal Constitution that will restore Sarawak’s status to its original position as an equal partner to Malaya.

He said he will instruct them to give their backing if the Dewan Rakyat tables a Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the constitution that will restore Sarawak’s status as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“I am sure all members of parliament from the other component parties of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and the Sarawak Pakatan Harapan will vote for the Bill once its details are known,” he said when contacted.

The status of Sarawak and Sabah was downgraded from being equal partners to Malaya to be among the 13 states in Malaysia after Article 1(2) was amended in 1976.

De facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong had said yesterday that he would table a Bill in the coming session of Parliament to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah to their original position during the formation of Malaysia.

Meanwhile, State Reform Party (STAR) president Lina Soo said she supports in principle the move to restore Sarawak’s status by the federal government.

“I would like to see Article 1(2) reversed to its original as per 1963,” she said, adding that she is anxiously waiting for the final draft of the Bill to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.

Soo, who is also civil society movement Sarawak Association for People’s Aspirations (SAPA) president, said the federal government should not just stop at amending the constitution.

“I would like to see the Petroleum Development Act 1974 and Territorial Sea Act 2012 be amended so they are not applicable to  Sarawak and Sabah,” she said.