BEAUFORT: Umno and PAS MPs abstained from voting on the Bill to make Sabah and Sarawak equal partners with Peninsula Malaysia as constitutional amendments alone are not substantive enough, says Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
“We did not vote against the amendment. We just wanted to make sure the constitutional amendment had substance behind it, ” the Umno Rembau MP said during a walkabout here yesterday with the party’s Kimanis division chief Datuk Mohamad Alamin, who is the candidate for the upcoming by-election.
Khairy urged the people not to misunderstand the matter and said they had conveyed the same to Datuk Liew Vui Keong, who tabled the Bill in Parliament last year.
He said this in response to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s claims that Umno and PAS had voted against the amendment.
Khairy said if the Constitution was merely amended without any substance, it would be meaningless.
“We wanted to support it but we told Liew that it must come with substance, consistent with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and consistent with the legitimate expectations of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, ” he added.
He said Liew, however, did not want to talk about that and only wanted to pass the amendment.
The Bill to make Sabah and Sarawak equal partners in Malaysia was tabled for the second time in April last year but was rejected due to a lack of votes in Parliament.
Barisan Nasional and PAS MPs had abstained from voting.