PBS will support Shafie’s motion in assembly to restore Sabah’s status in federation

PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has applauded Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s intention to present an urgent motion to restore the original wording of Article 1(2) in the Federal Constitution tomorrow.

PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun said he believed PBS and most, if not all, of Sabah assemblymen will support the motion.

“PBS will certainly put forward its views and suggestions as well,” he said when contacted today.

The former Sabah deputy speaker also agreed with the chief minister’s view that debating the motion on MA63 in the assembly was preferable and more practical than conducting a referendum.

“That is because, across party lines, all are agreed on the issue of our state’s equal status with Sarawak and Malaya.

“What we must do now is reach a consensus on how our demands are worded and presented to Putrajaya, and pursue the matter to its logical end.”

Mositun added that despite the recent defeat of the motion on the constitutional amendment in Parliament, PBS was still confident and optimistic.

“I say that because although 59 MPs abstained from voting, there were no ‘nay’ votes at all. That is heartening.

“It seems all are agreed about the equal status of Sabah and Sarawak with Malaya when Malaysia was formed.

“The Pakatan Harapan government still has time to prepare a new proposal, one not done in haste, and meet the aspirations of Sabah and Sarawak in this matter.

“The ball is in Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s court.”

On Monday, Shafie had agreed to move an urgent motion to show support for the amendment of Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution if it is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat again.

This followed the failure of the Federal Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 in Parliament recently when the government failed to get two-thirds majority to support the Bill.

Shafie said the motion would demonstrate that the Sabah legislative assembly supports the amendment bill.

“The issue should not be politicised. Our struggle to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia should not be hampered simply because of a few words,” he said.

The emergency motion was proposed by Karanaan assemblyman Masidi Manjun as he believed it is important to clear the doubts among the people and leaders on the issue.