KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen described the outcome of the vote on the Constitution Bill (Amendment 2019) as “shocking”.
The Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs lamented that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders “were putting their political interests above the interests of Sarawak”.
“Not voting in any constitutional amendment Bill equals to objecting to the Bill because you need votes for the Bill to be passed.
“The 59 (MPs) who abstained from voting objected to the Bill,” he said when met by The Borneo Post in Parliament tonight.
Chong said the amendment Bill carried the exact words of the original Constitution in 1963 that was supposed to restore the rightful status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in Malaysia.
The visibly disappointed Democratic Action Party lawmaker said that if the Bill got through, Sabah and Sarawak would have had their rightful status reinstated as what it was in 1963.
“But sadly today, they (GPS) rejected the Bill. Otherwise, on this very night Sarawak would have its status restored to its original position as one of the three (entities) in the Federation.
“Now we remain as one of the 13 (states). I’m really sad that having said so much about fighting for Sarawak’s rights under MA63, and this Bill provided what we had in 1963, GPS still rejected the Bill,” he said.
Chong said that the outcome and how GPS responded to the Bill “was unacceptable”.
“I hope the people of Sarawak can see the true colours of GPS,” he added.
Other PH lawmakers also took to their social media accounts to express their opinion on the outcome of the vote.
“The golden opportunity to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak had been dashed to the ground by the very Wakil Rakyat from GPS Swak and the Opposition from Sabah who don’t have the guts even to vote on the Proposed Amendment to Art. 1(2) of the FC tonight,” said Works Minister Baru Bian.
“What a miss (sic) opportunity, sad that we cannot put aside our political affiliation for the best interest of our nation,” said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
PH lawmakers voice their opinions on the outcome of the vote on social media.