The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 which sought to amend Article 2(1) of the Federal Constitution to restore Sabah and Sarawak to their original status in Malaysia has failed to gain the two-thirds majority vote as required in Dewan Rakyat yesterday (April 9).
The block came from Opposition lawmakers, along with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) lawmakers, preventing the Bill from being passed.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg has explained that GPS does not support the Bill because it does not bring substantive benefits to the state and its people.
In addition, Abang Johari has also added that Sarawak supports amendment to Article 1(2) provided it comes with an amendment to Article 160(2) on the definition of the ‘Federation’.
This is because a reference to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) would be made in the Federal Constitution by amending Article 160(2) since the Constitution in its current form makes no reference to MA63.
The same thing has been argued by BN leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob by saying that the Federal Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 should at least include a mention of MA63 to substantiate the aspired change.
On the other hand, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal believes that the restoration of the Sabahans’ and Sarawakians’ rights would follow suit after the amendment.
According to City Population, Sabah and Sarawak, which occupy a part of the island of Borneo, have a population of 3.5 million and 2.6 million respectively.