PKR MP claims amendment Bill tweaked to specify ‘Borneo States’

The Bill amending Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution is due to be debated and put to vote in Parliament later today. — Bernama pic
The Bill amending Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution is due to be debated and put to vote in Parliament later today. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, April 9 — Datuk Liew Vui Keong has agreed to insert the terms “States of Malaya” and “Borneo States” in the Bill amending Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution, PKR’s Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin asserted today.

He said he and other Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs met with the legal affairs minister regarding the matter.

“On the first reading of the amendment Bill, I mentioned my displeasure with the selection of wording and a few of us, the PH MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, put up our suggestions to the minister and Putrajaya that we were not agreeable with the amendment,” Mongin said in a Facebook statement.

He credited their collective effort for the minister’s decision to insert the two phrases.

“This is not about the act of trying to be a heronor to be popular, but this is about our rights and what is rightfully ours for Sarawak,” he said, adding that the insertion should be welcomed with open hearts.

With the insertion, Mongin said the Bill would list as the States of Malaya: Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, and Terengganu.

Sabah and Sarawak would be called the Borneo States, while the whole would form the States of the Federation.

“With this, I urged all the MPs including from GPS, Barisan Nasional and PAS to support this amendment Bill,” he said, adding that history will judge their sincerity to Sabah and Sarawak.

GPS previously complained about the lack of consultation prior to the tabling of the Bill and said it did not fully address the grouses of the two Borneo states aside from a nominal change to their status.

Answering a question from his Facebook follower on why Article 160 (2) that defines the “Federation” was not part of the Bill, Mongin agreed that it should be amended to reflect the synchronisation to Article 1(2), but it should be done one step at a time.

He said the definition should mean the “Federation” established under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 so as to fully restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equals to Malaya.

Article 160(2) defines the “Federation" to mean the Federation established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957, which was prior to the formation of Malaysia.

The Bill is due to be debated and put to vote in Parliament later today.

Its passage will require bipartisan support as PH only commands a simple majority in Parliament while changes to the Federal Constitution require the backing of two-thirds of the House.