KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) backbenchers are confident that Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution would be successfully amended.

Minister in the Prime Ministers Department, Liew Vui Keong, introduced the bill last Thursday morning for its first reading.

The sudden tabling of the bill that day without prior consultations and allowance for time to inspect it caused a furore amongst parliamentarians from Sarawak and Sabah pointing to a possibility that the bill could fail to attract the two-thirds majority it needs to be passed.

Dr Yii speaks to the media.

Bandar Kuching MP and PH backbencher Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen today headed a press conference in Parliament and spoke on behalf of the backbenchers alluding to a successful tabling of the bill.

“We are optimistic that the bill will be passed as we had many meetings and briefings for PH MPs as well as Sarawak and Sabah MPs. To us this is a first step in a journey of a thousand miles.

“This bill is historic as it will restore the current wordings of the article to its original form prior to 1976 when the BN (Barisan Nasional) amended the article,” said Dr Yii.

To a question on the possibility that the bill may not have the required support he said, “We cannot comment on what the government will do should the bill fail but we can say here that we are optimistic about the bill being passed and that we will be creating history here today.”

When questioned on differing opinions that the bill should be deferred till after the Cabinet Committee had concluded its discussions, Kelvin replied, “This bill is a first step in a long road so we will take it a step at a time and it doesn’t need to wait for the Cabinet Committee because it has the blessings of the Prime Minister and the government of the day.”