Ministerial motion on Article 1(2). Batu Kitang Assemblyman, Lo Khere Chiang DUN May 2019.

Lo Khere Chiang

Honourable Datuk Amar Speaker,

Thank you for the opportunity to debate ministerial motion by YB N7. Samariang.

I support this ministerial motion.

In 1963, MA63 was made up of 4 entities: The Federation of Malaya (11 states),the States of Borneo namely Sabah and Sarawak and the State of Singapore. In 1976 an amendment to the Federal Constitution reduced SARAWAK to just one of 13 states.

2. Now fast forward 2019, Malaysia is made up of the 11 states plus 2 states, Sarawak and Sabah, no thanks to Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for attempting to bring us back to 1976 with the Article 1(2) bill amendment. I want to see our rights returned to 1963, not 1976. This is why the words ‘pursuant to Malaysian Agreement 1963’ are crucial.

3. If this Article 1(2) bill had been passed in parliament as it was presented to us at the First Reading, we could very well have been signing away Sarawak’s oil and gas rights. There is even the fear that our immigration autonomous rights could be taken away.

Land that belongs to Sarawak that is no longer required for Federal projects could be reverted and used  by Malaya without Sarawak’s consent. Even Sarawak’s right to impose the 5% sales tax on petroleum would be at risk as this bill could revert to the Federal Constitution 1957 and not MA63.

Therefore I  support the motion to seek amendment to Article 1(2) to  include the words ‘pursuant to the Malaysia Agreement 1963’ and the insertion of a new article 85A.

I also support the motion to secure an amendment to Article 160(2) to substitute the definition of ‘the Federation ‘ with ‘the Federation established under the Malaysia Agreement signed on the 9th July, 1963.

We cannot just amend Article 1(2).We have to amend the definition of the federation so that it is really a federation formed under the Malaysia Agreement 1963. The Constitution’s definition for Merdeka Day is 31 Aug 1957 but there is no definition for Malaysia Day.

Malaysia Day is not recognized by the Federal Constitution, even though Malaysia Day is used in so many parts of the Constitution. Sabahans and Sarawakians  see 16 Sept as a historical day, as historical as 31 Ogos Merdeka Day is to Malayans. Without Sabah and Sarawak, there is no Malaysia. Malaysia was born on 16th September 1963 when Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore formed Malaysia.

The exit of Singapore does not invalidate the agreement signed by Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. The three are still party to the agreement and all three must respect this agreement MA63.

The legislative list has been disturbed again and again by Malaya to the detriment of the Sarawak.

In 1994, they put ‘Tourism’ which is a residual power of the state in the federal list. Our tourism ministry was formed long before Malaya had one and they put tourism in the federal list so only federal can deal with tourism and collect tourism tax from Sarawak.

They passed ‘Environment’ to EQA, even though environment is still a residual power of the state.

Thus I support the motion in this DUN to seek the transfer of  Tourism from the Federal list to the concurrent List III for Sarawak and to add Environment to List IIIA.

When Singapore left, the Borneo States were left with less than 1/3 seats in parliament. That gave Malaya the means to amend the constitution anytime. Therefore it is of utmost importance we have a provision in the constitution whereby Parliament cannot amend the legislative list without consulting the state legislative.

We must always remember that Malaysia was not formed through the coming together of 13 states to form a federation. Malaysia was formed when 3 nations (4 if we include Singapore); Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak came together to form a federation on 16 September 1963. That is why Sabah and Sarawak are in a different position compared to the others states.

We should also remember that although the Federation has more powers compared to the individual states when it comes to legislative jurisdiction, the Federal government need to seek the consensus of DUN in order to pass any laws affecting Sarawak.

4. With Article 1(2) bill amendment subjected to so many unknowns and interpretations, would we risk signing it, especially when

(1) we are not allowed to have a glimpse of it until the eleventh hour
(2) it is being bulldozed through and we were warned that
(3) ‘you will never see this opportunity again’

Would you, as a thinking person sign a document under such circumstances?

However, Member for kota Sentosa and his DAP members do not understand. They all said you must support the bill. If we had passed the bill, tomorrow Malaysia thru Pakatan Harapan will take away our legislative power because they have more than 2/3 seats in the Parliament to do so.

5. Sarawak stand to lose everything if we sign without thinking.  Our 19 GPS MPs did the right thing to abstain. That is why the phrase “Pursuant to Malaysia Agreement 1963″ under  the amendment to Article 1(2) is so important.

I thank and applaud Yang Berhormat Bukit Assek for supporting this motion as well, listening to DAP member from Pujut would have been a death wish for Sarawak.

It is GPS who have saved Sarawak at the end of the day.

HIDUP GPS!

Lo Khere Chiang

Lo Khere Chiang