KUCHING: While citizens have their own opinion on the amendment to the Federal Constitution, most importantly, it ensures the protection of Sarawak’s right and its people.
“There are individuals commenting on this matter, but for me, I believe this will guarantee the protection of our rights in the constitution,” said Marudi assemblyman Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil on Sunday.
He was commenting on a statement by Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan as reported in a daily portal.
Voon said that the amendments to the Federal Constitution are meaningless unless two-thirds of the 222 parliament seats are given to Sarawak and Sabah and the Chief Minister title is changed to Prime Minister.
He added that the amendment could not restore the Borneo states status as equal partners in the federation under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
However, Penguang believes that the amendment was only the beginning of the struggle to restore Sarawak’s lost rights in the constitution.
“In my view this is only the beginning to restore our rights and to protect further deterioration of our rights and privileges as enshrined in MA63 and the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC).
“I also believe that the said amendments will pave the way for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government to fully realise our aspiration as one of the regions or signatories in the multilateral agreement,” he commented.
Meanwhile, the Constitution of the State of Sarawak (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Interpretation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 will be tabled during the three-day State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting from Feb 14 to 16.
Penguang, who is also Public Health, Housing and Local Government Assistant Minister I (Public Health and Housing), said the bills strongly reflect GPS’s commitment and desire to restore the state’s rights.
“It is our desire to do so and as proof of our sincerity, and indeed true to our manifesto.
“The amendment to the Federal Constitution is also proof that the federal government guarantees the protection of our rights and its people.
“I also believe that more amendments to the state’s constitution which is consequential to the amendments of the Federal Constitution will follow suit from time to time, as expected by and for the benefits of Sarawak and its people.”