KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) Deputy President Patrick Anek Anak Uren has appealed for “empathy” for voting in favour of an amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution on July 13, 1976.
He warned that Malaya would fight “tooth and nail” any attempt to go back to the pre-1976 situation.
“The amendment was like driving a nail into timber and allowing it to rust there,” said Anek. “If we pull out the nail, it will cause the entire timber to collapse.”
He voted as instructed then by his party, the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP). SUPP has since apologised for supporting the 1976 amendment.
“We (MPs) were part of a grand coalition,” he recalled on the sidelines of a public forum over the weekend. “We had to vote in favour of the amendment.”
Anek said, in remarks reported by the Daily Express, that he knew all about the amendment.
“I was well read. I knew what we were voting for,” conceded Anek. “Many of my fellow MPs probably didn’t realise what was going on.”
Even if he had voted against the amendment, he argued, it would not have changed the situation.
In going forward, said the PBDSB deputy chief, the focus should be on whether the 1976 amendment had an effect on the future.
“A future government is not bound by the 1976 change,” he said in explaining that the sovereignty of Parliament was confined to its five-year term.
“So, the emphasis should not be on the past but the future.”
Again, he asked, “does 1976 impinge on the future?”
The answer is “no”, continued Anek, in taking the position that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) decides. “1976 does not reduce or make MA63 less effective.”
He conceded that from the “Malayan viewpoint”, the 1976 amendment strengthened Malaya’s grip on the Borneo states.