UMNO, BN MPs the reason Bill failed to get enough support — Anwar

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SEREMBAN (April 9): UMNO and Barisan Nasional MPs were the cause for the Federal Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 failing to get two-thirds majority support in the Dewan Rakyat today, said Pakatan Harapan (PH) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP, said the Government needed 148 votes for two-thirds majority, but could only garner 138 votes after MPs from the Opposition bloc abstained from voting on the Bill.

“UMNO and BN (MPs) did not reject, but did not vote, they just abstained with their own excuses, it’s all right, but we can all see the Bill was very clear, that’s all,” he said at a PH rally for the Rantau State by-election here tonight.

The Bill, which was tabled and debated for nearly seven hours today, was part of efforts by the Government to amend the Federal Constitution to restore the original status of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the agreement for the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

It was tabled by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the second reading today. However, it did not get through the block voting which resulted in 138 MPs supporting the amendment, none rejecting and 59 abstaining.

Anwar, who is also PKR president, explained that the amendment to the Federal Constitution was among the promises made in PH’s manifesto for the 14th General Election last year.

“I am satisfied, I stood up to support Tun Dr Mahathir’s motion for PH because we fulfilled our promise, and that promise is in line with the Federation of Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said.