Chong: Amended constitution also denies true S’wakian from contesting

 

Chong – Picture from The Star

By Chew Lip Song

THE recently-amended Sarawak constitution not only allows non-Sarawakians to be voted into the state legislature, it also denies “true” Sarawakians from being lawmakers there, the state DAP says.

Party chairman Chong Chieng Jen cited an example of a Sarawakian couple who gives birth to a son while working in West Malaysian.

“After the birth of their son, the couple together with their son moves back to Sarawak. The son grows up in Sarawak.

“If the son married someone who is also not born in Sarawak, under the new Amendment, the son’s children will not be eligible to be elected as a member of the Sarawak State Assembly even if they are Sarawakians and reside in Sarawak their whole life,” Chong said in a statement.

The Kota Sentosa assemblyman said that the amended constitution did not contain the word “Sarawakian” and instead listed the birth place of one of the parents as a criteria to be an ADUN.

Chong added that there are thousands of Sarawakians not born in the state as their parents work outside. The children of this group would be disqualified from contesting as an ADUN.

“Because of the rush job in the amendment of the State Constitution, not only a non-Sarawakian may be allowed to be elected as an ADUN, but at the same time, a Sarawakian may be disallowed to be elected as an ADUN.

“The GPS Government should learn to be more consultative when it comes to the amendment of the Constitution and not bulldozing through the amendment with the might of its more than two-third majority in the State,” Chong added.

The state opposition had earlier demanded that the amendments include the word “Sarawakians” but this was rejected by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak-dominated assembly which passed the law last week.

Chong had earlier said that the stepchildren of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud could be allowed to contest despite them being born overseas.

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