Mositun: Why the silence over Sabah’s 13 new state constituencies

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Mar 2019

Datuk Johnny Mositun. -Bernama filepic

KOTA KINABALU: Opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) is calling for the Election Commission to list Sabah’s new state constituencies on the electoral rolls as soon as possible.

PBS vice-president Datuk Johnny Mositun said chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal must also explain why this has not been done despite having the new seats approved and gazetted before GE14 at the state assembly.

“As of May 10, 2018, the Sabah State Constitution provided for 73 state constituencies,” he said in a statement Monday (March 18).

“But only 60 seats were contested as the 13 new constituencies were not included by the Election Commission (EC),” he said.

“Surely that would have affected the 14th general election results in Sabah, although we can’t say for certain how,” Mositun added.

He said it was also disturbing that the new EC Chairman, Azhar Harun, implied improprieties about last year’s redelineation of electoral constituencies in peninsular Malaysia and said that he wants to correct them while not addressing the 13 new constituencies in Sabah.

“He did not mention the EC’s refusal or inability to list these new 13 state seats,” he said.

Mositun said Azhar should live up to his reputation of being fair-minded and take up the matter with the Prime Minister’s Department if that was where it was being held up.

By way of explanation, he said it was the State Assembly’s prerogative and right to decide on the number of state constituencies but the EC would conduct the redelineation.

Once done, the State Assembly would approve and gazette the changes and amend the State Constitution accordingly.

The Prime Minister would then obtain the King’s assent, present it in Parliament after which the EC would prepare new electoral rolls incorporating all the changes.

“Two years have gone by since the redelineation was done but no explanation has been forthcoming from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Chief Minister’s Office or the Elections Commission as to why the new constituencies for Sabah were not presented in Parliament while those for peninsular Malaysia were,” he said.

Mositun said Shafie should speak to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir to expedite the matter with the EC.

“The 13 new state constituencies are our right. There was no problems with approving the new constituencies for peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, but strangely there is a deafening silence over

Sabah’s new constituencies,” he said.

“This is wrong,” he added.

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