KUCHING: DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said the Opposition coalition is willing to work with BN in fighting for the rights of the state.
Chong, who is the state representative for Kota Sentosa, today tabled a motion to seek to resolve that the state government proceed with its demand and negotiation with the Federal Government on the devolution of powers.
In response to Chong’s motion, Speaker Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, who is state BN permanent chairman, said that it would take a two-thirds majority to amend the Federal Constitution to empower Sarawak’s rights.
Chong then replied that it was not impossible for BN to amend the Federal Constitution in regards to the devolution of power.
Chong said that the Opposition parties, DAP and PKR have both pledged their support to amend the Constitution if it means Sarawak would get more rights in regards to taxation, education matters, state security and oil royalty rights.
Out of 222 parliamentary seats, BN currently controls 134 seats while DAP and PKR control 38 and 30 seats respectively. There are 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak.
“Clearly we have way above the two-thirds majority that is required to amend the Constitution,” Chong told FMT today.
“We challenge BN to put to a vote the amendment to the Federal Constitution, to devolve the four areas of power.
“We will pledge our support for the amendment. It was presumptuous of Asfia to assume that we do not agree,” Chong said.
Part of the drive for Sarawak’s rights is to increase the state’s take of revenues from its oil wells, currently at 5%.
Following an amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1976, Sarawak was recognised as the 13th federated state.
Opponents have said this goes against the spirit of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, when Sarawak agreed to form Malaysia as one of four equal partners, the other three being Malaya, North Borneo and Singapore.
- Freemalaysiatoday June 9 , 2016