by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Java on Wednesday, July 28, 1993;
Speaker’s proposal for the removal of two-thirds majority for amendment to the Constitution unacceptable
The Speaker, Tan Sri Zahir Ismail, has repeated his proposal for the removal of two-thirds majority for- amendment to the Malaysian Constitution after receiving China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee Chairman, Qiao Shi in Parliament House on Monday.
The Speaker’s proposal is unacceptable, for Malaysians cannot agree that an amendment to allow Tun Mustapha to become Federal Minister for Safaah Affairs without resigning his Usukan Sabah State Assembly seat is a petty or trivial matter.
How can an attempt to remove a constitutional provision which had regulated Federal-State relationship for 36 years suddenly become a ‘petty’ issue, which should be able to be amended without the required two-third majority?
The DAP had been calling for a Constitution Review Commission since the 1970s, but what is needed is to consider how to strengthen democracy and to fortify the principles of justice, truth and morality in the Federal Constitution, rather than to tinker with the two-thirds majority mechanism to amend the Federal Constitution.
Once the two-thirds majority for Constitutional amendments is removed, then there would greater abuses of power by the government.
At present, the Constitution is being amended every time Parliament meets despite the requirement of two-thirds majority. What need is there for calls for the removal for the two-third majority rule, unless the Barisan Nasional Government is fearful that it might lose its two-thirds majority in the next general elections which is likely to be held next year?
Malaysians who oppose the removal of the two-thirds majority for amendment to the Malaysian Constitution should ensure that they register as voters in the current voters’ registration exercise before it ends on August 25 to defend and uphold the Constitution and defend the two-thirds majority rule us an important check against government abuses and excesses of power.