No retabling of Constitution amendment unless Opposition commits, says minister

Liew’s response comes after Pakatan Harapan’s Bill failed to garner the two-thirds support of the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Liew’s response comes after Pakatan Harapan’s Bill failed to garner the two-thirds support of the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

PUTRAJAYA, April 12 — The government will only consider re-tabling the Constitution (Amendment Bill) once it gains a two-thirds majority or obtains written commitments from Opposition MPs, Datuk Seri Liew Vui Keong said today.

The de facto law minister said there is no good reason to table the Bill otherwise, as it would see the amendments not passing through the Dewan Rakyat again.

“Alternatively, I would want the 59 MPs [who abstained], especially the 19 from Sarawak, to give a written pledge that they will support it if there is any opportunity for the next amendment,” he said in reference to the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition.

“They have to give their full commitment.”

Liew’s response comes after Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Bill failed to garner the two-thirds support of the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.

He reiterated that he does not see the possibility of a fresh amendment Bill being tabled unless he obtains commitment from the Opposition bloc.

Liew said he was disappointed with GPS after it requested that the words “pursuant to the Malaysian Agreement 1963” be included within the amended Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, and not just in the Act’s Explanatory Statement.

He defended PH’s proposed Bill, saying a similar phrase present in Explanatory Statement provided the same legal binding as it would if included in Article’s main provisions.

Liew claimed, as a result of GPS being stubborn and insisting on the inclusion of those six words, it effectively denied the people of Sarawak and Sabah equal rights.

“They were not being reasonable.

“They just come up with a lame excuse that the explanatory note is not part of the Constitution, and even to the most childish argument to say that nobody wants to read the explanatory note.

“I rest my case, I don’t know what else to say,” he said.

Liew then blamed GPS’ stance on its desire to fulfil its political agenda, to which he claimed to be clueless.

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