Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said this would, therefore, require support from the opposition, which could only be seen when the time comes in parliament. Bernama Photo
KOTA KINABALU: A two-thirds majority in parliament is needed to allow changes to the Federal Constitution to ensure the restoration of Sabah and Sarawak rights as outlined in Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said this would, therefore, require support from the opposition, which could only be seen when the time comes in parliament.
“So we have to figure out how we can achieve the two-thirds majority. In the meantime, we will study what has to be repealed and substituted with new provisions in the Constitution.
“There will also be some laws which we need to look into,” he told reporters after the breakfast meeting with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and state leaders.
Asked about the timeframe for the review, he said, “It depends on the people working. Depends on the push by Sabah and Sarawak,” he added.
He also said the discussion on the restoration of Sabah and Sarawak’s status as equal partners announced last night could start immediately, but approval would take time.
Asked whether Sabah and Sarawak rights would be restored if the opposition also pushed for it, he said that was not always the case.
“They (opposition) say something but when they are there (in parliament) they do not support … Like recently the law on fake news, we thought they would support us but we went to the senate where we don’t have the majority, so we lost,” he explained.
When asked about other rights the federal government was looking at returning, he said they were considering a few things.
“There are certain things which are decided in Kuala Lumpur by people who are not actually familiar with the conditions in Sabah and Sarawak. We have to address that issue.
“Either we have more Sabahans and Sarawakians in the Peninsular working in the government, or else we would need to have some of the decision-making transferred to Sabah and Sarawak,” he stated.
To another question whether it would involve matters on education and health in Sabah, in reference to the two new state ministries formed after the 14th General Election, Dr Mahathir said this was being looked into.
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