KUCHING: PKR said it will table a motion in the coming Sarawak State Assembly sitting on Sarawak’s position under the Federal Constitution.
It said it will propose that the state government make a stand in reversing the 1976 amendment to Article 1(2) of the Constitution, which downgraded the status of Sarawak from a region to a state.
“We would like to table a motion, probably to initiate a move and notice to the state government that we Sarawakians should be making a stand on this.
“We hope the state assembly will agree to tell all YBs, from across the political divide, to agree with us,” Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian told the media here today.
The assembly sits from Nov 21.
Baru said it did not matter to the Opposition component which side initiates the motion.
“At least there will be a unanimous stand on the matter. We are aware that eventually the proper place where this should be done is Parliament.
“But I think it is right for Sarawak to make a stand first. Hopefully, the YBs from Sarawak and maybe the state government itself will support or sponsor an amendment bill in the Parliament in the coming sitting.”
Baru pointed out that the state BN had unanimously supported a motion in 2012 by Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen calling for the increment of oil royalty from 5 per cent to 20 per cent.
Baru said even if the BN decided to table a motion on the present issue, the Opposition will support it.
Adenan recently said Sarawak MPs may propose in the Parliament to reinstate an article of the Constitution to enable the state to regain its powers that had been eroded over the years.
Adenan said before the amendment in 1976, Sarawak and Sabah fell under a different category from Peninsular Malaysian states.
“Before that (the amendment in 1976), it stated that the states of Malaysia shall be (a) the states of West Malaysia, (b) Sarawak and Sabah and (c) Singapore. Now there is only one category,” the chief minister was quoted as saying.
The amendment to Article 1(2) was among 48 amendments to the Federal Constitution under a Bill tabled by then Prime Minister Hussein Onn on July 12, 1976 and was passed on July 13, 1976.
The motion to downgrade the status of Sarawak and Sabah from regions within Malaysia to states was debated on July 12 and July 13, 1976 and was supported by 130 MPs. Only four MPs objected.
None of the MPs from Sarawak opposed the Bill covering the amendments. The four MPs who opposed were Lim Kit Siang, Dr Tan Chee Khoon, Farn Seong Than and Lee Lam Thye, all from DAP.