General & Misc

Dewan Rakyat : Proposal to restore Sabah, Sarawak's Status to be Main Focus

Date: 09 March 2019; Type: Industry Updates; Source: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 9 (Bernama) - The proposal to restore the original status of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is expected to be the focus of the first meeting of the second session of the 14th Parliament which opens Monday.

his follows the announcement by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong, who on Friday said that the government in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, had agreed to amend Article 1 (2) of the Constitution for this purpose.

Liew, who is also Technical Work Committee for MA63 chairman said the constitutional amendment would be presented to Parliament in this session, to make Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia as partners with equal rights.

Although it is still too early to anticipate the changes that will occur, the decision to amend the Federal Constitution is the first step, and it should be seen as a serious commitment of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in realising the implementation of MA63.

The MA63, which led to the establishment of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963, recognized Sabah and Sarawak as partners with equal rights to Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia).

However, the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1976 resulted in the status of Sabah and Sarawak being downgraded as the 12th and 13th states in Malaysia.

Liew said the amendment required the votes of two-thirds or at least 148 from 222 parliamentarians, to be approved.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah is scheduled to simultaneously officiate the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara sittings for the term at 10am this Monday.

Meanwhile, the Dewan Rakyat sitting which will last 20 days until April 11 will see the position of PH strengthened. With seven former UMNO MPs leaving the party to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in February, the the PH component party now has 22 seats.

The MPS are Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsuddin (Masjid Tanah), Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut), Datuk Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu), Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad (Mersing), Datuk Shabudin Yahaya (Tasik Gelugor), Datuk Mohamad Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Sabak Bernam) and Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah).

With this development the PH government will now have 135 seats in Parliament as compared to 121 seats after winning the 14th General Election in May 2018.

The number of seats for the other PH component parties remains the same with PKR having 50 seats followed by DAP (42) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) (11).

!0 seats belong to Pakatan-friendly parties namely Parti Warisan Sabah (nine) and UPKO (one),

The Barisan Nasional (BN) has 40 seats followed by Gabungan Parti Sarawak 19 seats, PAS (18) Independent (seven), Parti Bersatu Sabah (one), STAR (one) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (one).

During this sitting six acts and laws which are related to security including the Sedition Act 1948 and the Crime Prevention Act 1959, are expected to be tabled for review, either to be amended or repealed

In addition, it was reported that Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman will propose an amendment to the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age limit from 21 years to 18 years in the Dewan Rakyat this session.

Apart from that, Bera MP Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been appointed new Opposition leader in Parliament replacing Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is on leave as UMNO president.

Among the hot issues expected to be discussed this time are the financial turmoil in Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Defence Ministry land swap deals scandal and UMNO’s ‘new marriage’ with PAS.

Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Nor is expected to take his oath as a member of the Dewan Rakyat on March 12.

Ramli is the first Orang Asli to become an MP after winning the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 26.

MY Bernama

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