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Monday, October 24, 2016

Take Sarawak status fight to Parliament, Adenan told

KUCHING - Tan Sri Adenan Satem should instruct a Sarawak MP to table a parliamentary motion to reverse the constitutional amendment that made Sarawak just one of the country's 14 states and federal territories, said PBDS Baru president Cobbold John Lusoi.

Lusoi said Adenan's attempt to restore Sarawak to being a founding state of the country must not be limited to a motion in the state legislative assembly next month to reassert the state's rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement, Inter-Governmental Committee Report and Cobbold Commission Reports.

"What we need is to table a Bill or a motion in Parliament to restore Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution to what it was agreed upon in 1963 before it amended in 1976," he said in response to Adenan's announcement yesterday.

Adenan said that a state minister would table the motion in the state assembly meeting starting November 21.

Lusoi said the 1976 amendment was the "the worst ever decision" ever inflicted on Sarawakians because it dramatically downgraded the status of Sarawak from being on par with the peninsula to one of the states in Malaysia.

"One of the consequences of the downgrading of status was reflected in the allocations of funds as Sarawak is treated as equal to all the states, instead of being equal to Malaya," he said, citing the "insignificant" allocation of funds to Sarawak under Budget 2017 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Lusoi said the allocation would not help Sarawak to catch up with the more developed peninsula, in terms of roads, schools, hospitals and other infrastructures.

"The future of Sarawak does not look promising if Sarawak continues to be sidelined and marginalised," he said.

By Sulok Tawie

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