KOTA KINABALU: MCA has questioned whether there is an element of chicanery in Putrajaya’s proposal to amend the Federal Constitution to make it compliant with the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63).
“It could be just a diversion to momentarily appease Sabahans and Sarawakians who want the Borneo states to be more autonomous,” said Sabah MCA Women chief Pamela Yong.
Speaking to FMT, she said she would welcome the proposed amendment to Article 1 (2) of the constitution “if it means we will get our rights”, but she added that she had doubts because the government had so far been allegedly untrue to its promises, particularly when it came to honouring MA63 in spirit.
She cited the promise to raise the oil royalty share for the two states to 20%.
She alleged that those in power had been giving a series of excuses to save Pakatan Harapan from having to fulfil the promise, “which was so fervently made” during the campaigning period before the 14th general election.
“First there was the quibble on whether the royalty should be based on net profit or gross production. And then there was talk about serious financial implications to Petronas and the federal government. Later on, they said the promise could not be fulfilled unless the Petroleum Development Act is amended.”
She also spoke of development funds for the two states, noting that they were given less than 20% of total in the 2019 national budget. She said this did not accord with the government’s promise to treat Sabah and Sarawak as equal in stature to Peninsular Malaysia.
“I hate to break it to the minister in charge, but amending Article 1 (2) is pointless if the rest of the constitution remains the same,” she said.
“It also begs the question of why the federal government and the Sabah government are not pursuing what is already etched in the constitution. Implement what is already in the constitution instead of wasting time on amending it to who knows what end.”