Yong: Master strategy to get Bill defeated
Published on: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
By: David Thien

KOTA KINABALU: The failure of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to get the proposed amendment to the Malaysian Federal Constitution Article 1(2) passed in the Dewan Rakyat is a deliberate master strategy.

Sabah Progressive Party President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee, said there is nothing to be restored to Sabah in terms of equal status by the Federal Government as it was never taken away.

“What do you mean by to restore equal status? There was nothing to restore. Because it was never taken away,” Yong opined during his commentary to panel speakers of an open public forum on “Article 1(2): Reimagining the New Federation of Malaysia?” organised by an NGO Seeds or the Society for Empowerment & Economic Development of Sabah.

He claimed that PH put it in their manifesto because it did not expect to win the 14th General Election. But PH won and Datuk Liew Vui Keong (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) had to deliver.

“They knew it will not passed, therefore they let it failed,” Yong alleged.

“Therefore, politically, they can say they have discharged their responsibility.”

“To me this is a master strategy. Sudah enam puluh tahun, kita masih kena tipu (Already 60 years have gone by and yet we are being cheated).”

According to Yong, it was a master stroke to split and disunite Sabah and Sarawak which were coming together in unity to assert their claims to equal partnership rights.

SAPP leader Amde Sidik asked what would happened if Sabah ceded from Malaysia. The panel speaker Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said that no secession is allowed, and war could result from such an act of treason against the King and country.

Meanwhile, Yong called for the setting up of an inter-governmental committee (IGC) after the government agreed to establish a parliamentary select committee (PSC) for the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Yong said the IGC should replace the current federal-dominated Cabinet committee on MA63 so that the governments of Sabah and Sarawak can present their respective proposals.

 “Such an IGC would allow the governments of Sabah and Sarawak to speak up without fear or favour.

 “(This is) instead of being force-fed by the federal Attorney-General’s Chambers in drafting the bills for amendments to the constitution,” he said.

While SAPP welcomed the PSC announcement by de facto law minister Liew, Yong said it did not have to take such a long time to be set up.

 “This committee is long overdue because the current cabinet committee, consisting of only government officials chaired by the prime minister, is inherently not suited to hear inconvenient truths,” he said.

He added that the PSC had earlier been proposed by opposition MPs from Sabah and Sarawak when they resisted the proposed amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution when a bill was brought to the Dewan Rakyat recently.

Yong said the fiasco surrounding the failure to pass the amendment bill could have been avoided if the government had been wise to refer the bill to a PSC, in the first place, instead of trying to force it upon the reluctant and unconvinced MPs.

 “MPs like Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin had demanded that all Sabah and Sarawak MPs support the original bill or else it would mean the ‘end of MA63 committees’. They will now have to eat their words.

 “It seems that these government MPs have become ‘yes-men’.

 “On the other hand, the MPs who had resisted the original, hollow and meaningless bill have been vindicated in abstaining when called to vote in Parliament. The Sarawakians got it right.”


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