Recent issues appear to sow seeds of disunity, suspicion between Sabah and Sarawak, claims Dudong SUPP chief


SIBU: Two issues concerning the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak appear to sow seeds of disunity and suspicion amongst the people in both states that have shared common political ground since 1963, claims Dudong SUPP branch chairman Wong Ching Yong.

He said the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution and relocation of the Registrar of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu, had resulted in serious differences and contradictory views and stance between the two states.

The proposed constitutional amendment has since been rejected after the Bill failed to obtain the two-thirds majority needed to pass it, while the decision to relocate the High Court registry was withdrawn.

"This has resulted in Sarawak now fighting a solitary war, because the eleven states of Malaya and Sabah seem to share the same front in this said constitutional amendment and its interpretations," said Wong.

On April 9, the Pakatan Harapan government failed to obtain the two-thirds majority it needed to amend Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution after Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Barisan Nasional and PAS MPs abstained from voting. MPs from Sabah, however, supported it.

Then on April 19, the Federal Court Secretariat announced the relocation of the Registry of the High Courts of Sabah and Sarawak. However, four days later, it made a U-turn on the decision due to strong protest from Sarawak.

The Advocates Association Sarawak (AAS) had vehemently opposed it and considered the relocation decision unconstitutional, as there was no consultation amongst the Prime Minister, the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak and the Chief Judges before the decision was made.

However, the Sabah Law Society (SLS) said the relocation of the High Court Registrar's office would not cause any inconvenience to any one.

Wong said the biggest loser would be the people of Sabah and Sarawak who share strong ties, close political connection, especially on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement that aims to restore both states as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia.

"This is really sad and we hope the federal government will appreciate the dilemma," he added.