KUCHING, April 12 ― A PKR leader today claimed that the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition in Sarawak did not want to be seen as supporting Pakatan Harapan (PH) over the proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution to make Sabah and Sarawak equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia.
This was due to the fear that GPS “would be put through the dryers” in the next state election in 2021, said PKR Mas Gading branch chairman Boniface Willy Tumek.
“I would just like to say the greater interest of Sarawakians was sacrificed on the altar of partisan politics. I think history will record it as the efforts to restore the status and rights of Sarawak were effectively blocked by GPS MPs,” he said when asked to comment on the failed effort to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
Willy, a lawyer by profession, said GPS made the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) equal-status thing and the consequential devolution of power its clarion call against the PH federal government.
Thrown into the package are the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)/Territorial Waters, oil and gas royalty and Sarawak's share of tax revenue, he said.
Willy said that at the end of the day, the ultimate objective of all the above was the prosperity of Sarawak and Sarawakians, fruits of the increase in revenue accruing to Sarawak.
Meanwhile, PKR Mas Gading branch deputy chairman Francis Teron Kadap regarded the failure to amend the constitution as “very unfortunate”.
“The GPS deems it fit to reject just because they claim the amendment is half-hearted, and even claim it contained tricks.
“To me, the bill may not contain the best of news but it surely presented the first step towards more amendments to other parts of the constitution, statutes and policies to give effect to this amendment, not to mention that any other laws that are in contradiction to be repealed or declared null and void,” he said.
Teron said he respected the right to agree or disagree but this was not the time and place to play around with the state and millions of young Sarawakians in the next 20 to 30 years’ time. ― Bernama