KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan government has failed to obtain the two-thirds Parliament majority it needs to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.
The amendment would have been the first step in making Sabah and Sarawak equal partners with peninsular Malaysia in the Federation of Malaysia.
A two-thirds vote majority, which amounts to 148 out of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, is needed to amend the Constitution.
Pakatan managed to secure 138 votes on Tuesday (April 9), with no lawmakers disagreeing.
However, 59 MPs abstained from voting.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when met by reporters in the Parliament lobby, said he did not expect the government's bid to amend the Constitution to fail.
"Not quite we expected. Because (we expected) everybody to vote and to show that two-thirds support us,
However, he said that every lawmaker has the right to vote "whatever they have set their sights on".