KUCHING (April 12): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is sincere in wanting to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Peninsular Malaysia based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
However, he said, there were certain weaknesses at the secretariat level and if there had been good handling of the matter and a face-to-face discussion on the part of the secretariat and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government, there would not be failure to amend Article 1 (2) of the Federal Constitution.
“It could be better, but one thing is the prime minister is very serious and sincere. Initially, it was alright but the thing was not done as what we expected, because my submission was within the parameter of the Federal Constitution and MA63.”
Abang Johari, who is also GPS chairman, said this to reporters after attending the Certified Integrity Officer Programme closing ceremony at the Old Sarawak Legislative Assembly Building, here, today.
The proposed Federal Constitution Amendment Bill, which was tabled by Dr Mahathir for the second reading in the Dewan Rakyat on April 9, failed to get two-thirds majority support after the GPS and other Opposition MPs abstained from voting.