Due to the Constitution Flaws, Sarawakians Might Lose Their Rights To Participate In Politics—Chong


Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:

One whole week has passed since the amendment to the Constitution of the State of Sarawak was passed in the Sarawak DUN.

On the issue of the step-son of Taib is now eligible under the amended Constitution to be an elected State Assemblyman, there is a deafening silence from the Ministers, including Abdul Karim who tabled the Amendment Bill. All of them seem to be avoiding the question.

Only the Deputy Speaker Gerawat and the ex-DAP ADUN Wong King Wei came to the defence of GPS by claiming that the word “parents” connotes biological parent.

This, however, is a miserable attempt by the two to try to defend the rush-job of GPS in tabling the Amendment Bill, while all the GPS ministers are dead silent on the issue.

The simple question is that, if biological parents were truly intended by the amendment, why was the word “biological” not included in the Amendment Bill? And why are the GPS ministers so quiet about it, leaving it to an ex-DAP ADUN to lead the defence for GPS?

In fact, with the new amendment, not only that a non-Sarawakian can be an ADUN by virtue of the birth place of his/her parents, on the other hand, a true Sarawakian may be denied the rights to be an elected ADUN of the State.

As an illustration, a Sarawakian couple while temporary working in West Malaysia gave birth to a son in West Malaysia. Their son is a Sarawakian and his Identity Card will have the number “13” and the letter “K”. After the birth of their son, the couple together with their son moved back to Sarawak. The son grew up in Sarawak. If the son married someone who is also not born in Sarawak, under the new Amendment, the son’s children will not be eligible to be elected as a member of the Sarawak State Assembly even if they are Sarawakians and reside in Sarawak their whole life.

It is clear that under the new amendment to the Constitution of Sarawak, being a “Sarawakian” is not one of the criteria for the eligibility to be an ADUN, but the “birth place” of the parents or one of them is the criteria for the eligibility to be an ADUN. That is the absurdity of the new Amendment Bill.

Undeniably, there are thousands of Sarawakians not born in Sarawak because at the time of their birth, their parents were working outside Sarawak. Their children of these Sarawakian not born in Sarawak will thus be disqualified to be elected as an ADUN even if they are Sarawakians and have the letter “K” in their Identity Cards.

Therefore, because of the rush job in the amendment of the State Constitution, not only a non-Sarawakian may be allowed to be elected as an ADUN, but at the same time, a Sarawakian may be disallowed to be elected as an ADUN. The GPS Government should learn to be more consultative when it comes to the amendment of the Constitution and not bulldozing through the amendment with the might of its more than 2/3rd majority in the State Assembly.

Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman