KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah opposition is ready to give all its backing to any amendments to the Federal Constitution to return the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the federation.
Sabah Umno and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Sabah STAR) said this was in the interest of Sabah, so their MPs would definitely support it.
“I am sure not only Sabah opposition MPs but also the 19 MPs in Sarawak will support the amendments,” Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor said.
He said Sabah Umno always welcomed any move to restore state rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), but hoped it would be implemented without any delay.
“It is a very important amendment for Sabah and Sarawak,” Hajiji, who is Sulaman assemblyman, added.
Sabah Umno secretary Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said: “I am confident that all Sabah and Sarawak MPs from both sides of the political divide will vote for the amendment.”
It would be akin to political suicide if MPs from the two states do not back the amendment, he added.
“I am also confident that MPs from Umno and PAS from the peninsula will support the amendment, knowing the political repercussions if they don’t,” he said, adding that the 56 Sabah and Sarawak MPs would determine who takes over the federal government.
“Making an assumption that the opposition won’t support it would only create suspicion that the government of the day is not serious in getting it done.
“It looks like a convenient excuse not to proceed giving Sabah and Sarawak their rightful place in the federation,” Masidi said.
The amendments should be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat in the October meeting, he suggested.
Umno’s Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin also voiced his support for the amendments.
“The move is good as this will eventually see other issues raised by Sabahans addressed when Sabah becomes an equal partner instead of a state in Malaysia.
“This includes issues such as oil royalty and revenue entitlements,” he said.
Sabah STAR president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is Keningau MP, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad need not worry about getting the two-thirds support as the 56 MPs would support the amendments.
Did you find this article insightful?