Bill to restore status of Sabah, Sarawak as equal partners to be tabled next month, Pakatan leader says

Sulok Tawie
Sarawak PH chairman Chong Chieng Jen said all the PH Members of Parliament have been directed to present in the Dewan Rakyat on April 8 and 9 to debate and support the Bill. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, March 23 — A Bill to amend the Federal Constitution that seeks to restore the status of Sarawak and Sabah as equal partners to Malaysia is expected to be tabled and debated next month, Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said today.

He said all the PH Members of Parliament have been directed to present in the Dewan Rakyat on April 8 and 9 to debate and support the Bill.

“There is an internal circular directing all PH members to attend the sittings during these two days,” he told reporters after launching an awareness campaign on the consumption and sale of illicit beer for the traders here.

He said draft of the Bill, which proposes to restore Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to the pre-1976 position, is still with the Federal Attorney General’s Chamber.

He said after it has been finalised by the AGC, it will be handed over to the Cabinet for endorsement.

Chong, who is also the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer, said he expects the Bill to be tabled for the first reading towards the end of the debate and ministerial replies on the Royal Address early next month.

He said other Bills that are also going to be tabled for the first reading at the same, after which they will appear on the Order Paper.

Restoring the status of the two Borneo states is one of the pledges in the PH manifesto for the 14th general election on May 9 last year.

The PH federal government then formed the Special Cabinet Committee for the review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahatir Mohamad.

The federal government also formed technical committee to study Sarawak and Sabah’s claims for the return of rights enshrined in the constitution and which have been eroded or surrendered to Putrajaya over the years.

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