Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:
The Federal Government must open Parliament right now without any delays and explain to the people of Sabah & Sarawak the significance if any of the purported decision by the Federal Government to refer Sabah & Sarawak as “Wilayah” instead of “Negeri” even without any changes or amendments to the Federal Constitution. We do not want this merely to be a cosmetic change without any legal authority to create a false sense of security as a lure for the upcoming State Elections.
This can be likened to where someone uses his “glamour name” to look good, but legally in his IC his name is totally different thus giving that “glamour name” no legal standing at all.
In the Prime Minister YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin speech last week, he mentioned that the Special Council on Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) will announce its decision on several issues including the Federal Constitution amendment and socioeconomic matters concerning Sarawak and Sabah this week.
Don’t tell me this “cosmetic change of name” is all that is supposed to be announced? If not, the PM should reconvene Parliament and that is the best place to have proper debate and input towards such an important topic such as this.
The Perikatan Nasional Government should also table the necessary constitutional amendments to restore these rights in Parliament so that is not just mere “lip service” before the election.
Under the previous Pakatan Harapan(PH) government, within the first year, we tabled a constitutional amendment to Article 1(2) which restores the original words as of MA63 giving legal authority to the original status of Sabah and Sarawak as agreed upon in MA63. However uch attempts were failed due to rejections from UMNO, PAS & GPS.
The concern is that, with just the current “name change” without a constitutional amendment of Article 1(2) that clearly sets our special status, what will differentiate our “wilayah” with that of Wilayah Perseketuan Kuala Lumpur & Labuan which is under the jurisdiction and authority of the Federal Government who create and approve laws for that territory?
This is important as this concerns our rights and whether we are indirectly affirming more control of the Federal Government over Sabah & Sarawak.
That is why, Parliament should open immediately, and it is the best platform for such substantive discussion and debates. There must be greater accountability when it comes to discussion of our rights under MA63.
Under PH, the Special Cabinet Committee consist of politicians and leaders of both political divide, Chief Ministers of both Sabah & Sarawak, legal experts, academicians and even NGOs.
However, the current model under the PN Government has truly little accountability and we do not even know who are in the Special Council on Malaysia Agreement 1963. Discussion on matters of such importance should not happen only with parties on one political divide and very little accountability to the people who are affected by it.
Let us not make the same mistakes in the past under BN when such rights were taken away without the people knowing as it was done purely by one side of the political divide.
That is why, if the PM is genuine and sincere about restoring our rights, there is no need to wait until the next General Election, he can open Parliament right now as it is the best platform for substantive debates and discussion on the matter with full transparency and accountability to the people.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching