KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal will be at the Parliament next week to lobby MPs to support the Bill to increase the state’s seats from 60 to 73.
The Semporna MP said he does not foresee any problems in getting support for the Bill, which has already been approved at by the Sabah state assembly.
“The additional seats Bill was tabled at the state assembly before the general election by the previous (government), so was already approved and there is no reason for us (Sabah reps) not to support this, as it will allow us to have more representatives in Sabah.
“I will be in Parliament on July 16 and 17, and I will also debate as an MP on why we give our support, but I don’t want to spill (the beans) of what the points are now,” he told reporters when asked about the Bill expected to be tabled in Parliament next week.
Mohd Shafie said the Bill does not require a two-thirds majority, and a simple majority would be sufficient.
“We are confident the Bill will not involve any amendments, just state seats … so I am confident that we will get the support.
“That is why I am going to spend a day or two there to ensure we can lobby, explain, and debate the reasons,” he told reporters after launching the 7th Sabah Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition on Thursday (July 11).
The Sabah state assembly, in August 2016, had passed an amendment to the state Constitution to allow for 13 new seats to be created. However, the proposal was not tabled in Parliament despite a push in 2017.
It is learnt that the effort to table it this time followed a request by the Sabah government to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.