East Malaysia demand for one-third parliamentary seats must be discussed properly

20 Jul 2020 / 20:05 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The demand for Sabah and Sarawak to be given one-third allocation from the total 222 parliamentary seats needs to be discussed properly and not emotionally, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.

Lukanisman Awang Sauni (GPS-Sibuti) said the issue was nothing new as it has long been discussed and fought for by previous MPs.

He said the demand was also in line with paragraph 236 (a) of the Cobbold Commission Report which emphasised that the representation of the Borneo territories in the federal government shall take into account not only the populations but also of their size and potentials.

“I, therefore, proposed to the Dewan Rakyat to discuss this matter properly as it has been brought up by the Sarawak state government and supported by the Sabah state government,” he said when debating the motion of thanks of the Royal Address of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the Dewan Rakyat sitting, here today.

The media had previously quoted Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as saying that the state would continue to fight for their rights to get back the one-third allocation out of the 222 parliamentary seats from the federal government.

This was said to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as regional partners after the departure of Singapore in 1965 from the Federation of Malaysia.

Currently, Sabah and Sarawak hold a total of 56 parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile, Datuk Rozman Isli (Warisan-Labuan) said the demand was very reasonable and fair.

“This matter was recently highlighted by the Sarawak chief minister and was well received by the Sabah chief minister (Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal) so that the parliamentary seats are no less than one-third of the total size, similar to the previous allocation before Singapore left Malaysia,” he added. - Bernama

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