KOTA KINABALU: A PAS proposal to create more Malay-Muslim parliamentary constituencies is against the Malaysian federation concept, Sabah’s Upko leader Datuk Ewon Benedick said.
The Upko vice-president said the proposal by PAS strategic director Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali for more Malay-Muslim seats to be created to benefit the Malays is also against the spirit of multi-racial Malaysia.
“Malaysia is a multi-racial country and his proposal is extreme and against the spirit of multi-racial Malaysia, ” Benedick, the Kadamaian assemblyman, said in a statement on Thursday (March 25).
He added that the PAS strategist‘s statement poses a threat to Sabah and Sarawak which are partners of the Malaysian federation.
He said that Sabah-based parties like Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Sabah STAR, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), which are members of the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah and Perikatan Nasional, must make a stand on the matter.
“I do not know their stand but it looks like their voices have no influence on the matter at the federal level, ” he said in reacting to the proposal by Mohd Khairuddin, who is Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister.
Khairuddin has said it is important for the ruling coalition to win a two-thirds majority in the next general election so that changes could be done to amend the constitution to allow for more Malay-Muslim majority seats in Parliament.
“As partners in the national and state governments, are PBS, STAR, PBRS and SAPP agreeing to it? Do the people of Sabah agree to it?” he said, stressing that Upko is against the proposal.
Benedick said the formation of Malaysia in 1963 was not for only one race but all Malaysians to progress.
He said there were enough delineation exercises done since 1993 that changed Sabah’s political landscape till today.