I like the position taken by GPS on why the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in its present form is not acceptable to Sarawak, and to Sabah, for that matter.
Indeed, the wording is far from satisfactory. The wording must not be ambiguous and should capture the essence of the original version and the original spirit.
PH state chairman Chong Chieng Jen insisted “the present amendment is an improvement to the 1976 version of the Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution”, which is where he is badly wrong.
Sarawakians don’t want just “an improvement”. They don’t want “an improvement to the 1976 version”. What they want is a return to 1963. They want the original version and the original spirit.
And more, they want meaningful improvements to the original version, meaning it should have positive impact on all those eroded rights and powers of Sarawak and Sabah in clear and unambiguous terms.
Besides, Chong, by his own admission, does not make good reference when it to comes to getting at the truth of the matter.
“You get 10 lawyers; you get 10 opinions. All lawyers have their preferences and presentations, choice of words of drafting any documents or laws,” he was quoted as saying.
Unfortunately, Chong is not just one of those lawyers; he’s a lawyer politician who serves his Malayan masters to the T.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg made it clear that the state did not want piece meal amendment.
To me that was a wise decision because there is no guarantee that in a piece meal offering the next piece of the meal will be served.
Just remember, we are dealing with not only very clever people out there, but people who don’t think twice about going back on their words and wave off their lies as naturally as farting.
We have been told it is alright to not deliver on election promises. It’s also alright to have fake degrees and continue to rule the country.
When wrongs are alright, what does it matter if the amendment is so very wrong?
So, as I see it, GPS is starting on the right footing when it insists the amendment should not be rushed, all stakeholders must be consulted and those eroded and infringed rights addressed.
Chong talked of “the first step” and “the Special Steering Committee and Technical Committee on the review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will still continue with their meetings and discussions on the devolution of powers”.
To accept this is taking a great risk of being played out because those meetings and discussions can go on and on and nobody is the wiser.
PH should just lay all its amendment cards on the table and not hide its intentions behind some ambiguity.
Sarawak cannot afford to be played out like it was played out in 1976. Sarawakians want proof and the proof is in the pudding. Unfortunately, the amendment in its current form isn’t such a pudding.
PH won GE14 on its high-sounding manifesto. Malaysians put their hopes on that manifesto but when it failed to deliver, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted Pakatan made promises without expecting to win GE14.
Malaysians are 30 million but Dr Mahathir said that he and his coalition had to make promises to get their votes. He dared to make promises to 30 million Malaysians which he knew he would not be able to fulfil.
Sarawakians are just three million, why would Dr Mahathir be afraid to make unfulfilled promises about MA63 and devolution of power?
He made unfulfilled promises to 30 million; he will make unfulfilled promises to three million if he must.
Why must we believe him when he said “a Sabahan or Sarawakian can be prime minister of Malaysia one day”? After more than half a century, not a single Sarawakian or Sabahan has been made deputy prime minister, let alone PM.
On the amendment Dr Mahathir said, “It’s not cosmetic at all. We promised we will recognise the signatures to the Malaysia 1963 agreement by Sabah, Sarawak and Semenanjung Malaysia. We will recognise these three regions as members of the federation.”
Easy, just go back to plain, simple English. The Federation of Malaysia shall comprise three States: Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah.
No cosmetic, no lingual gymnastic, no ambiguity; just the three signatories to the Federation of Malaysia.
How many states make Malaya is not our concern. Sarawak deals with Malaya not with the states that make Malaya.