Pakatan tells GPS to set aside political differences and support Bill to honour MA63


KUALA LUMPUR: Lawmakers from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) have been urged by Pakatan Harapan MPs to set aside their political differences to support the Bill to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in a move to honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

The Bill, which was listed as item six in the order paper, is expected to be debated at 2.30pm on Tuesday (April 9) and passed on the same day, in Parliament.

Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii urged GPS MPs to support the proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution.

He said the intention of the Bill is to revert to the original spirit of MA63, where Sabah and Sarawak will be recognised as founding members of the Malaysian Federation.

"This is not the time for politics and political ploys. Let's put aside our partisan views and let's do this for the people of Malaysia.

"We owe this to our children and to all those that have been wronged over the years.

"So I would like to encourage them, together, we can put our names in history and make a difference and correct what was done 43 years ago."

Yii said that even if the Bill isn't passed in Parliament, the Special Steering Committee for the review of MA63, which is chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, would not stop gathering feedback over the matter.

"We are sincere and further discussions will be done. Let us make the first significant step in order to achieve what we want to do.

"Since the beginning, we have said we will restore and recognise (Sabah and Sarawak) as rightful members.

"We hope the Opposition will accept the Bill. I feel there is little to object, especially when we restored the original intentions and wording of MA63. So, I don't see a reason to reject such interpretation," he added.

On Monday (April 8), GPS chief whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that its MPs will attempt to block the Bill from being passed in Parliament.

Last week, there was an uproar among Sabah and Sarawak lawmakers when the Bill was tabled for first reading in Parliament by de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Keong despite calls for the Bill to be deferred and referred to a select committee.

The proposed amendment, when passed, is to ensure that Sabah and Sarawak will be equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia.