PETALING JAYA: The proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution was rejected as the matter was merely a cosmetic change and not carefully studied, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
"It was clear that the proposal to amend (the Constitution) was done hastily without taking into account comprehensive and detailed opinions.
"After the first reading, MPs in the opposition bloc – especially those from Sarawak and Sabah – felt disappointed and rejected the proposed amendment," he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (April 10).
He added that two main issues concerning the Bill was the need for a parliamentary select committee and to engage Sabah and Sarawak state assemblies about the matter.
"We don't want what has been decided (on Tuesday) to lead to a U-turn in the next few months.
"The Pakatan Harapan government already has a terrible record of making U-turns," he said, citing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrination (ICERD) and Rome Statute issues.
The opposition bloc, he said, proposed a motion to form a parliamentary select committee to collect feedback from the people and submit a report to the Parliament before the Bill can be fully supported in the Dewan Rakyat.
However, the motion to form the committee was rejected by 136 votes to 60 votes.
The Ayer Hitam MP also alleged that the government's failure to secure a two-thirds majority vote was a political move by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Dr Mahathir wants to send out a message to Pakatan leaders that his actions in taking in MPs who want to join the ruling party is the right move to make and should be continued," he said.
He said Dr Mahathir and Pakatan leaders have succeeded in giving the impression to the people in Sabah and Sarawak that they have 'fulfilled' their manifesto promises.
He added that it was incorrect to say that the opposition did not uphold the aspirations and rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians.
"The opposition, who are made up of leaders from the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, are always committed to fighting for the aspirations of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
"We only want for this to be looked into carefully and diligently, not just for 'cosmetics'," he said.