KUCHING, April 2 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin does not need to win big in the next general election to table an amendment to the Federal Constitution on the definition of the Federation of Malaysia, an Opposition Member of Parliament said today.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said he is confident that Pakatan Harapan (PH) will support the amendment to Article 160(2) for the required two-thirds majority in Parliament.
“He could have done it now, by lifting the Emergency, allowing Parliament to sit again and table the required amendment before the upcoming general election,” he said.
“If the prime minister is serious about restoring our rights, he does not have to wait until the next general election and table the amendments and definitely does not need to set the condition that only if he wins big that he is able to do so,” Dr Yii said in a statement in response to Muhyiddin’s speech yesterday.
In his speech at a town hall session here yesterday, Muhyiddin had said his administration acknowledged a proposal by the Sarawak government to amend Article 160(2) of the Federal Constitution on the definition of the Federation of Malaysia.
However, the prime minister said changing the definition requires an amendment to the Constitution that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government might not be able to do without majority control of the Dewan Rakyat.
“But after the general election, if we win big, by more than two-thirds majority in Parliament, then it will give easy passage for us to do as soon as possible,” Muhyiddin said.
Dr Yii said he is disappointed that the leaders of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) seem to be celebrating the prime minister’s statement when, in reality, the then Barisan Nasional federal government had failed to restore what is rightful to Sarawak for years.
He recalled that on March 11 last year, the prime minister had said the same thing: that MA63 and constitutional amendments would be discussed immediately.
He said Minister of Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili had even mentioned that the PN government would settle the constitutional amendments within six months of taking power in March last year, but has failed to do so to date.
Dr Yii said the PH government, before it lost power at the federal level, had tabled an amendment to revert the status of Article 1(2) to its original position as reflected in MA63.
He said restoring Article 1(2) to its original position was the first step taken by the PH government before other amendments could be discussed further under the then Special MA63 Cabinet Committee.
However, he said the amendment to Article 1(2) failed at the first hurdle because it did not receive the support of Umno, PAS and GPS for the required two-thirds majority needed to amend the Constitution.
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