KUCHING: The planned new seats under an electoral redelineation exercise in Sarawak should not be subject to public debate and political leaders should be left alone to sort out the allocation for their parties, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.
He expects the ruling Barisan Nasional to also discuss the seat allocation once the coalition was informed by the Election Commission that the exercise had been completed.
Dr Chan, who is Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) president, said that after the commission had done its job, the matter should be left to the component parties to negotiate among themselves about the seat distribution.
It is something that Barisan leaders will sort out themselves.
I don't think it is for public debate, he added, when asked about the new seats that the SUPP would aim for.
Last month, commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said three new parliamentary and eight state seats were being proposed for Sarawak, which is due for state polls in November next year.
The proposed parliamentary seats are Igan, Sibuti and Limbang while the new state seats are Opar, Lingga, Balai Ringin, Bukit Saban, Daro, Bekenu, Pujut and Batu Danau.
The commission was expected to seek Parliament's approval for the proposed new seats in the June or July session, through amendments to the Federal Constitution.
The SUPP has 15 state and nine parliamentary seats. Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, led by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, has 29 state and 10 parliamentary seats.
The Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party has nine state and four parliamentary seats while Parti Rakyat Sarawak has six state and three parliamentary seats.
Three MPs and two assemblymen from the defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak have not moved to any party while the DAP has one MP and one state assemblyman.