KUCHING, April 6 — Batu Lintang state lawmaker See Chee How today said that the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution will put Sarawak and Sabah to be on an equal status to the collective of the 11 Peninsular states.
“The proposed amendment has satisfied its intent and purpose which is to give recognition that Sarawak and Sabah and not merely states at par with any of the Peninsular Malaysian states, but also restoring their status as equal partners in the formation of Malaysia.
“In unequivocal terms, it has now placed Sarawak and Sabah to be equal in status with 11 Peninsular Malaysian states,” he said when responding to on-going debates in social media on the proposed amendment which was tabled by de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong in Parliament two days ago.
See, who is also a lawyer and Sarawak PKR vice chairman, said the word “and” at the end of the proposed sub-clause (a) of the amendment Bill means that in legal and constitutional term is a conjunction, a word used to connect clauses or it can be conjunctive, a word or expression acting as a conjunction.
“Using this word ‘and’ in the context of the proposed Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, it has the intent and meaning that Sarawak and Sabah are not just merely states which are at par, or equal to any of the 11 Peninsular Malaysian states as the present Article 1(2) implies,” he said.
See said by virtue of its conjunctive connotation, it is now made clear that the Federation of Malaysia is made up of the 11 Peninsular Malaysian states, and Sabah and Sarawak.
“That has, therefore, restored the position of Sarawak and Sabah as the founding partners of the Federation of Malaysia,” he contented.
He said in addition, the explanatory note of the proposed amendment Bill has also clearly spell out its intent, which is to reflect the spirits of the Malaysia Agreement entered in 1963 and to fulfill the aspiration and hope of all Sarawakians and Sabahans of this present day.
“In its premise, all the Sarawakian and Sabahan MPs must give their full support to the proposed amendment Bill when it comes up for debate in the Parliament,” he said.
See said seasoned federal lawmakers, like Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, should know that the Parliament makes laws but any ambiguity in legislatures may be tested in Courts for their meanings and interpretation.
“The adherence to established principles of drafting and enactment of the legislatures will keep ambiguity to the minimal, if not eliminating them.
“In the ongoing argument and deliberation, there are differences in political opinions much aligned to party political cliques, but it is acknowledged that the existing Article 1(2) that enumerated all the 13 states of the federation together in one single clause has failed to reflect the position of Sabah and Sarawak being founding partners of the federation, that we have been wronged for the last 43 years,” he added
See said it is time for all Sarawakian MPs to discard their political affiliations and instead contribute their good service for the rights and interests of Sarawak and Sabah, to right the wrong of the last 43 years.
He thought that some MPs may wish to retain the wordings of the pre-1976 clauses, which is a position he will find favour if he were debating in the Parliament, to preserve the historical significance of the “States of Malaya” and the “Borneo States” at the formation of Malaysia.
“Some political leaders and commentators are of the opinion that the federal government should lay out all the amendments that are proposed for the constitutional and other legislative amendments in order to show that the new administration is serious about returning all the autonomous rights and powers to Sarawak and Sabah.
“But the Malaysia Agreement 1963 Steering Committee, the Technical Committee and the various Working Groups are still deliberating and working on the various subject matters, with steps to be taken to devolve the autonomous powers to Sarawak and Sabah,” he said.
He said the Report is scheduled to be finalised and revealed by the Steering Committee this June.