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Bung, 19 from Sarawak abstained
Published on: Saturday, April 13, 2019

Kota Kinabalu: Kinabatangan Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (pic) was the sole elected representative from Sabah who abstained from voting on the Constitution Amendment Bill to restore Sabah and Sarawak’s rights as equal partners in Malaysia.

Among the 59 who abstained were also 19 MPs from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), making it altogether 20 lawmakers, including Bung, from the two Borneo states. The rest were from Peninsula Malaysia. 

Bung was one of the 59 MPs who took such stance which resulted in the defeat of the Bill at the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday. It fell short of 10 votes.

Pakatan Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah as well as some opposition parties in Sabah managed to garner 138 votes for the amendment, but this was still short of the 148 (two-thirds) votes needed to have the Bill passed.

There were no lawmakers opposing the Bill. There were a total of 197 out of the 221 Dewan Rakyat members who were present for the vote, with one vacant seat following the death of Sandakan MP Datuk Stephen Wong. The Bill sought to amend Article 2(1) of the Federal Constitution.

As a result of the Bill’s failure, all the MPs who abstained have been severely criticised with Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong saying a golden opportunity for Sabah and Sarawak had been lost and that it might take another 60 years for any chance at another attempt.

Prior to the voting, Bung, who is Sabah Umno chief, had said in a statement that the opposition disagreed with the amendment because it only proposed a new clause specifying all the states that form the Federation.

He had insisted that Government should have referred the matter to a special Select Committee before proceeding for second reading in Parliament.

He also insisted that the process was compulsory if the Federal Government was serious in implementing the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

“Amending Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution would be meaningless if it is not being referred to the Select Committee or at least discussed in the State Assemblies of Sabah and Sarawak,” he had said.

He had also said that since the steering committee on the MA63 was still discussing on the restoration of equal status for the two Borneo states, the proposed amendment should have waited until there pending an outcome of the discussion. He also insisted that the amendment must be done holistically by prioritizing the aspiration of the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

However, Prime Minister and PH Chairman Tun Dr Mahathir had said that there was no provision to refer the matter to the state assemblies.

The 59 lawmakers who abstained from voting were Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Bera), Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong (Ayer Hitam), Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (Tapah), Dato’ Seri Dr. Shahidan Kassim (Arau), Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar (Tanjong Karang), Dato’ Dr Noraini Anmad (Parit Sulong), Dato’ Dr. Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (Lenggong), Datuk Seri Haji Ahmad bin Haji Maslan (Pontian), Dato’ Sri Bung Moktar Radin (Kinabatangan); 

Dato’ Sri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (Baling), Dato’ Hasbullah Osman (Gerik), Dato’ Jalaluddin Alias (Jelebu), Datuk Seri Dr. Adham Baba (Tenggara), Mohd Shahar Abdullah (Paya Besar), Ramli Bin Dato’ Mohd Nor. (Cameron Highlands), Dato’ Seri Mahdzir bin Khalid (Padang Terap), Tan Sri Annuar Musa (Ketereh), Datuk Ahmad Jazian bin Yaakub (Machang); 

Dato Sri D. Haji Ismail Abd Muttalib (Maran), Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique (Kota Tinggi), Dato’ Mohd Nizar bin Haji Zakaria (Parit), Dato’ Haji Mohd Salim bin Haji Sharif @ Mohd Sharif (Jempol), Datin Mastura binti Mohd Yazid (Kuala Kangsar), Dato’ Tuan Ibrahim bin Tuan Man (Kubang Kerian), Dato’ Takiyuddin bin Hassan (Kota Bharu); 

Dato’ Dr Mohd Khairuddin bin Aman Razali (Kuala Nerus), Tuan Nik Mohamad Abduh bin Nik Abdul Aziz (Bachok), Puan Hajah Siti Zailah binti Mohd Yusoff (Rantau Panjang), Tuan Haji Wan Hassan bin Mohd Ramli (Dungun), Tuan Ahmad Marzuk bin Shaary (Pengkalan Chepa), Dr. Nik Muhammad Zawawi bin Haji Salleh (Pasir Puteh),Tuan Ahmad Fadhli bin Shaari (Pasir Mas), Dato’ Haji Che Abdullah bin Mat Nawi. (Tumpat); 

Tuan Abdul Latiff bin Abdul Rahman (Kuala Krai), Tuan Haji Awang bin Hashim (Pendang), Tuan Sabri bin Azit (Jerai), Tuan Ahmad Tarmizi bin Sulaiman (Sik), Tuan Shaharizukirnain bin Abd Kadir (Setiu), Tuan Haji Anmad Amzad bin Mohamed @ Hashim (Kuala Terengganu), Tuan Che Alias bin Hamid (Kemaman), Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah bin Yusof (Petrajaya), Dato’ Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi bin Tunku Jaafar (Santubong) Dato’ Sri Dr. Richard Riot Jaem (Serian); 

Dato’ Seri Tiong King Sing (Bintulu), Dato’ Hajah Hanifah Hajar Taib (Mukah), Puan Rubiah binti Wang (Kota Samarahan), Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri (Batang Sadong), Dato’ Sri Hajah Rohani binti Abdul Karim (Batang Lupar), Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (Kapit), Dato’ Henry Sum Agong (Lawas), Datuk Ago Dagang (Kanowit), Tuan Anyi Ngau (Baram), Tuan Haji Hasbi bin Haji Habibollah (Limbang) Dato’ Masir Kujat (Sri Aman), Datuk Wilson Ugak Anak Kumbong (Hulu Rajang) Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat (Betong), Tuan Haji Anmad Johnie bin Zawawi (Igan) Tuan Yusuf bin Abd Wahab (Tanjong Manis) and Tuan Lukanisman bin Awang Sauni (Sibuti). 



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