KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak and Sabahan lawmakers will be held accountable if they scuttle effort to amend the Federal Constitution to honour the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), says Datuk Seri Liew Vui Keong (pic).
"They Opposition lawmakers from Sarawak and Sabah will have to be answerable to the rakyat (as to) why they don't support the amendments," the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department told reporters at Parliament lobby on Thursday (April 4).
He rubbished claims by several lawmakers that they were not fully aware of the proposed amendments to Article 1(2) of the Constitution to restore equal rights to Sarawak and Sabah.
He noted that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and his Sarawakian counterpart, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg, were members of the steering committee set up last year to look into the matter.
"I organised a meeting at 1pm today in Parliament to explain the Bill to them, but none of them turned up," he added.
Liew said passing the amendments was crucial as it was the first significant step in restoring equal rights to Sarawak and Sabah.
He added the process of returning equal rights to Sarawak and Sabah in all spheres would be gradually implemented once the amendments were done.
He said Opposition lawmakers could table a motion for a Parliament Select Committee to be set up to discuss the matter in detail.
Meanwhile, several Pakatan Harapan backbenchers chided their Opposition counterparts for opposing the Bill. Lanang MP Alice Lau said the lawmakers were aware of the amendments.
“I think they had enough time to go through the amendments and debate it next week. I don’t see a reason why they are giving excuses,” she added.
Saratok MP Ali Biju said it was senseless for the Opposition to be against the amendments when they had been supportive of it in the past.
“We want to do it now. The people have been waiting for it, and they can’t wait for it. We want to fulfil our manifesto. That is what we are doing today,” he said.