Monday, June 17

‘Return of equal partner status can be achieved before next state election’


Larry Sng


KUCHING: Returning the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia can be achieved before the next Sarawak state election.

Julau Member of Parliament Larry Sng told The Borneo Post this is possible because Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad is currently working on the matter.

“Let’s see what PM will do next. It shouldn’t be long,” he said, when asked whether the motion to seek the rights of Sabah and Sarawak will only be tabled after Pakatan Harapan (PH) formed a government in Sarawak.

To restore equal partner status to Sabah and Sarawak, Article 1 (2) of the Constitution would need to be changed and restored to the wording prior to the 1976 amendment, to indicate the East Malaysian states as  separate territories from the Federation of Malaya.

To do this, amendment must be passed by the Parliament followed by Senate with two-third majority.

When asked whether the rights of Sabah and Sarawak will be returned within 2018, the former Sarawak Assistant Minister replied, “Let’s see.”

When asked whether he is having any plan to table the motion in the next Parliamentary sitting scheduled in October, Larry said no.

“No need to table a motion because PM is currently working on this matter,” he said.

Larry however was unsure whether he will be involved in the committee to address the MA 63 issues.

The  issue arose because Dr Mahathir was not convinced that the Opposition would support the move to restore equal partner status to Sabah and Sarawak. He reasoned that the opposition’s support was needed to make up the necessary two-third majority before the Federal Constitution can be amended.

“At the moment, we don’t have a two-third majority. If we want to change the Constitution, we need to figure out how to get the two-third majority.

“But in the meantime, we have to study what needs to be repealed and substitute them with new revisions in the constitution. There will be some laws which we will look into,” he had said.