Thursday, October 20, 2016

Baru to table motion on amendment to Article 1(2)

Baru (centre) showing The Borneo Post article on the hansard revelation that all Sarawak and Sabah MPs supported the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in 1976. He is flanked by See and PKR women national vice-president Voon Shiak Ni.

KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian will be tabling a motion in the coming State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, proposing that the state make a stand to reverse the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in 1976 that downgraded Sarawak to a mere state.

The State Assembly will sit from Nov 21.

“We would like to table the motion in the coming sitting, just to initiate and give notice to the federal government that we, Sarawakians, should be making a stand on this and we hope the elected representatives from the other political divide would agree with us.

“At least, there would be a unanimous stand on the matter. We are aware that eventually, the proper place where this should be done is in Parliament, but I think it is right for the state of Sarawak to be together in this and make a stand first,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Once a resolution is reached, the state PKR chairman hoped MPs from Sarawak or the state itself would sponsor the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution in Parliament in the next sitting.

“No, it (the DUN resolution) will not change things immediately. We make a stand first then somebody from Sarawak will sponsor a motion or convince the federal government to reverse the whole thing. It is also to test whether these BN elected representatives are serious or talk only.”

Baru said he was agreeable to BN elected representatives adopting the motion as long as the focus was the same.

“I think we made history in two of the motions: one is the increment of royalty from five to 20 per cent by our colleague in DAP; the second was the Territorial Sea Act that Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How tabled. They (BN) can put another motion and as long as it is in line with what we want to do, we will support.”

Baru further said he was also willing to withdraw the motion if BN could come up with a similar motion in the coming sitting, adding: “We will do (table) it first and I hope if they don’t accept ours, get ready theirs with the same purpose.”

“The motion is definitely long overdue and I think it is the right time for us to come together and make a stand on the matter, as it has been widely debated, and what was wrong must be made right. We were happy that we even heard some people from BN side making a stand on it.”

Meanwhile, when asked why the Sarawak MPs supported the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1976, Baru said they probably did not realise the consequence of the amendment.

“I don’t know, we just browsed through the hansard. We will be going through it. That will be the recital of what the motion will be but it seems not very clear but it (the amendment) went on smoothly so perhaps they didn’t realise the consequence. We don’t know. It was all BN at that time. They were so powerful.”

See said based on the hansard, no MP from Sarawak and Sabah talked on Article 1(2) but instead focused on other Articles to be amended.

~ Borneo Post

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