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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Masing calls on Sarawak, Sabah MPs to unite and support Bill to reclaim powers of both states

KUCHING - Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing has called on all MPs from Sarawak and Sabah to stand united for once to regain powers that had been eroded over the years.

Masing, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, said it was important for the MPs from both Bornean states to show their unity to reclaim the powers as it involved the rights of both states.

The Baleh assemblyman was responding to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan’s statement on Sunday that Sarawak MPs may propose in Parliament to reinstate an article of the Federal Constitution.

According to Adenan, before the amendment in 1976, Sarawak and Sabah fell under a category that was different from peninsula states.

“Before that (the amendment in 1976), it says the states of Malaysia shall be (a) the states of West Malaysia, (b) Sarawak and Sabah and (c) Singapore. Of course, Singapore no more lah. Now there is only one category,” he was quoted as saying.

Masing said if the motion to reinstate the article is tabled, all MPs from Sarawak and Sabah ought to support the motion regardless of political divide.

When asked whether PRS would take a lead in tabling the motion, he said if Sarawak was to table such a Bill, it should be Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and PRS would definitely support.

“PRS has six out of 31 MPs (Sarawak). Therefore, we are not in the position to take the lead in tabling a bill reclaiming our rights as enshrined in Malaysia Agreement 1963. If Sarawak is to table such a Bill it should be PBB and PRS definitely will support.”

Masing said it would also be appropriate for Sabah MPs to second the motion.

PBB currently has 14 MPs in Parliament, PRS has six, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) three, SUPP one and BN-friendly Teras has one. The opposition DAP has five MPs and PKR has one MP from Sarawak.

Meanwhile, PBB secretary-general Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, who is also state BN secretary-general, could not be reached for comment at press time.

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