By S. Harrish
AMENDMENTS on restoring the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia are yet to be decided by the Cabinet.
In a written parliamentary written reply to Batu Sapi MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong from Warisan, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government planned to complete the implementation review of the MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) according to three implementation phases.
According to an NST report, they are the short-term plan (in less than one year), mid-term plan (between one and two years) and the long-term plan (three years or more).
Liew had asked if the current government will re-table Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia.
“However, as of now, the cabinet has not made any decision regarding the proposed amendments,” he said.
On Apr 4 last year, a Bill which proposed to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak according to the original content of MA63 that was signed in 1963, was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.
Despite six hours of debate in the Parliament during the second reading of the Bill on Apr 9, only 138 Members of Parliament supported the Bill, 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority of the House, 148 votes, for amendments to the Constitution.
The remaining 59 (non-absent) votes were abstentions, all of which are from opposition parties (now part of the new government).
In December last year, Liew who is former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the then Pakatan Harapan government planned on re-tabling the Bill in March this year.