Two-thirds majority to restore status: Mahathir

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said it would take time for Pakatan Harapan to make the amendments as they were still working on the numbers to achieve a two-thirds majority.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said it would take time for Pakatan Harapan to make the amendments as they were still working on the numbers to achieve a two-thirds majority.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KOTA KINABALU • Pakatan Harapan (PH) needs to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament before it can make amendments to the federal Constitution that will restore Sabah and Sarawak's rights as equal partners in the federation of Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday.

It would take time for the ruling coalition to make the amendments as it is still working on the numbers to achieve a two-thirds majority, he said. The coalition has 125 out of 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat. The support of 148 MPs is needed before the Constitution can be amended.

"We have to figure out how we can achieve a two-thirds majority.

"But, in the meantime, we will study what needs to be repealed and substituted with new provisions in the federal Constitution," Tun Dr Mahathir said.

The PH chairman was speaking a day after he announced that the equal partner status of the two states would be restored in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

On a question about the timeframe expected to achieve this, Dr Mahathir said that it would depend on the people working on the matter and the "push by Sabah and Sarawak".

He also admitted that there were certain things being decided at federal level by people unfamiliar with the conditions in Sabah and Sarawak and there was a need to address this issue.

"Either we have more Sabahans and Sarawakians working in the peninsula and in the federal government or else we will need to have some of the decision-making transferred to Sabah and Sarawak," he added.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2018, with the headline 'Two-thirds majority to restore status: Mahathir'. Print Edition | Subscribe