Confidence vote waste of time, back MA63 amendment instead, PAS told

Sabah DAP secretary Chan Foong Hin says all the PAS MPs abstained from voting for the MA63 amendment bill in April last year.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP today told PAS to support the constitutional amendment bill to restore Sabah and Sarawak’s position as equal partners in Malaysia as a sign of support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership.

Its secretary Chan Foong Hin said PAS’ proposal for a vote of confidence in Mahathir’s leadership in the Dewan Rakyat is “laughable” as it does not reflect the party’s support for Mahathir’s initiatives such as the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) amendment bill.

Chan, the Kota Kinabalu MP, said the best way for PAS MPs to show their support for Mahathir is to support the motions and bills tabled by him.

“April 9 last year was supposed to be a historic day for Sabahans and Sarawakians after Mahathir acknowledged that the amendment to the Constitution tabled in 1976, which reduced the status of Sabah and Sarawak to the other states in Peninsular Malaysia, had not been the intention of our founding fathers,” he said in a statement.

Chan Foong Hin.

He said the bill tabled by Mahathir to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak to its original wording in the Constitution was defeated by 10 votes.

“There were at least 17 PAS MPs present at the second reading of the bill but all of them decided not to support Tun and had abstained from voting,” he said.

He described the action of the PAS MPs as a slap in the face not just of Sabahans and Sarawakians but also of the prime minister himself.

“Clearly, PAS wanted to tell Mahathir that without them, the prime minister was not in control,” he said.

Chan said PAS will have another chance to show its support for Mahathir when the bill is retabled in the Dewan Rakyat in March.

“Not only is this the best way to show their support for Mahathir, it will also help restore Sabah and Sarawak to their rightful position under MA63.

“If PAS can graciously do so, then clearly the confidence motion is unnecessary and a waste of precious parliamentary legislative time.”