The people of Sarawak finished voting on Saturday (July 4) in the elections which will decide 24 of the federal seats in the Malaysian Parliament.
The people of Sarawak finished voting on Saturday (July 4) in the elections which will decide 24 of the federal seats in the Malaysian Parliament. Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman's ruling Alliance failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority of seats to permit it to make constitutional changes.
Needing 15 of Sarawak's 24 seats in Saturday's election -- the first here since this Borneo State joined the Malaysian Federation -- the Alliance was trailing with eight seats to the opposition's eleven and five still to be declared.
The Alliance sought a two-thirds majority in the 144-seat Federal Parliament to enable it to make what it considers as necessary constitutional changes to prevent sensitive race issues being raised inside and outside Parliament.
The Federal Parliament, in Kuala Lumpur, was suspended when bloody racial fighting followed General elections in May last year. The Federation has since been ruled by a National Operation Council headed by Deputy Premier Tun Abdul Razak.
The elections-in Sabah as well as Sarawak- were those that should have taken place last year. The voting was staggered from June 6 to July 4 because of the communication problems of the State and election officers had t use the rivers or RMAF helicopters to get to some of the polling stations.
The Government had indicated that a resumption of Parliamentary Democracy was possible within six to 12 months in a modified form-preventing debates on racially inflammatory issues -- if they had received the required two-thirds majority.
The constitutional amendments are still possible if sufficient opposition members agree.