Sarawak to table ‘better’ amendment to constitution

Sarawak state assembly speaker Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar (centre) at the press conference here, today.

KUCHING: The Sarawak state assembly is to debate a “more comprehensive” proposal to amend the Federal Constitution, the Speaker, Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, said today after chairing a pre-council meeting.

The proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution seeks to restore Sabah and Sarawak on an equal status with the States of Malaya in forming the federation.

He said the motion would be debated on Tuesday. It will be tabled by Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, the assistant minister for Law, Federal-State Relations and Project Monitoring, as well as Pujut assemblyman Ting Tiong Choon of the DAP.

“The proposed amendment is more comprehensive” in contrast to the “narrow” and “meaningless” proposal by the federal government which was defeated in the Dewan Rakyat last month.

The assembly will also debate a motion on the proposed relocation of the Registry of High Court from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu. The motion will be proposed by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How of PKR.

Also to be tabled at the meeting is a report by the committee of privileges on Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei (DAP), after he allegedly challenged Asfia’s impartiality during the state legislative assembly proceedings on Nov 12 last year.

“The report will be tabled and put to a vote. Wong will be given a chance to speak and defend himself,” Asfia said. The deputy speaker, Gerawat Gala, is expected to preside. “I will not preside over the proceeding because the allegations were made against me,” Asfia said.

He said two supplementary supply bills, for additional allocations in 2018 and 2019, will be moved by Second Finance Minister Wong Soon Koh.

Asfia said a total of 379 questions have been received from 49 assemblymen, the majority being directed to the Chief Minister’s Department.

The state assembly will be opened tomorrow by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Abdul Taib Mahmud.