Friday, December 3, 2021

PBB leader disappointed over delay in bill to amend constitution

Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah says ministers who required more information should have referred to the proposal.

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Sarawak Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today said he was disappointed with the federal ministers who need further explanation from the attorney-general (AG) about the proposed amendments to Article 160(2) of the constitution.

The amendments, particularly to Articles 1(2) and 160(2), were supposed to be tabled in Parliament tomorrow for second reading. However, this has now been postponed to mid-December.

Speaking to reporters today, Karim said the ministers should have been well-informed about the proposed amendments in the bill, which seek to redefine the meaning of “federation” in the constitution.

“Personally, I am a bit disappointed as the bill could have been tabled during this sitting but (was rescheduled) as some ministers need further explanation from the AG.

“I was told that it had been postponed because of this,” he said.

He added that those who do not understand issues pertaining to the amendment should read the proposal.

“No need to ask the AG to elaborate further.”

Karim also said that amending the definition of “federation” under Article 160(2) is crucial to reflecting the true spirit and intention of Sarawak during the formation of Malaysia.

“What our law minister Wan Junaidi is trying to do is to reinstate our rights which have been eroded,” he said.

“One of them is with regards to the definition of the federation, because the definition currently in the Federal Constitution refers to 1957.

“If it refers to the 1957 federation, Malaysia had not yet been formed at that time. What about the federation of Sabah and Sarawak? That is why this needs to be amended.”

He called for the amendments to be tabled in Parliament as soon as possible, adding that MPs should lend their support as the bill will require a two-thirds majority to be passed.

This is the second attempt at amending the constitution. The first, on April 10, 2019, was made during the administration of Pakatan Harapan. However, it failed to obtain the two-thirds support needed.

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