PETALING JAYA: If PAS is sincere in its support for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remain as Prime Minister, then its MPs should support the constitution amendment Bill to restore Sabah and Sarawak's position as equal partners in Malaysia, says Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin (pic).
"A motion of confidence on Tun Mahathir as Prime Minister by PAS is laughable if PAS MPs, in reality, do not actually support Tun Mahathir's initiatives," said Chan.
Chan was responding to a remark made by PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man on Saturday (Feb 8), where the Islamist party decided unanimously in its central leadership council's monthly meeting that it would table a vote of confidence in Dr Mahathir's leadership.
The Sabah DAP secretary also added that the best way to show support for Dr Mahathir is to support the motions and Bills tabled by the 94-year-old premier and the Pakatan Harapan government.
"April 9 last year was a historic day for us Sabahans and Sarawakian when Dr Mahathir, the sitting Prime Minister, acknowledged that the amendment to the constitution tabled in 1976 had reduced the position of Sabah and Sarawak to being equal to that of other states in Peninsular Malaysia when that wasn't the intention of our founding fathers.
"Therefore, there is a need to amend Article 1(2) of the Malaysian Constitution to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak back to its original wordings. A Bill was tabled just to do that," said Chan.
The amendment to Article 1(2) failed to get the required two-thirds majority to be passed in Parliament on April 9 last year after Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Barisan Nasional MPs abstained from voting.
On Dec 17, de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the amendment would be re-tabled in March this year.
Referring to the April 9 incident last year, Chan pointed out that there were at least 17 PAS MPs who were present in Parliament during the second reading of the Bill but lamented that all of them decided not to support Dr Mahathir and had abstained in their voting.
"PAS had themselves shirked from supporting the constitutional amendment motion filed by Tun Mahathir himself last year," said Chan.
However, Chan says he hopes that PAS MPs would support the same Bill when it is tabled in Parliament in the coming March sitting.
"Not only this is the best way to show their support towards Tun Mahathir as Prime Minister, it will also help Sabah and Sarawak to be restored to its rightful position under the MA63. If PAS can graciously do so, then clearly the confidence motion is unnecessary and a waste of precious parliamentary legislative time," added Chan.