S’wak asks Federal Govt to increase number of parliamentary seats in line with MA63

Sarawak state assemblymen posing for a photo before the start of the sitting on Thursday (May 19). — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak will urge the Federal Government to increase the number of parliamentary seats in the state, in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Deputy Minister in the Premier's Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said this was part of ongoing efforts to regain Sarawak's rights, following amendments to the Federal and state constitutions which restored the state's status as an equal partner in the Federation of Malaysia.

"The state government recognises the importance of balanced representation in Parliament, taking into account the situation during the formation of Malaysia," she told the state legislative assembly during question time on Thursday (May 19).

She added that this matter had been raised with the Federal Government through the Special Council on MA63 chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Sarawak and Sabah MPs recently called for a redelineation exercise to increase the number of seats for both states to one-third of the total.

The MPs told the Dewan Rakyat in March that there should be a balance in the distribution of seats between Peninsular Malaysia and the two Bornean states.

Sarawak currently has 31 out of the 222 seats in Parliament, while Sabah has 25.

Sharifah Hasidah also said the state government would continue to look into the need for further constitutional amendments to protect Sarawak's interests.

She added that the state hoped to resolve issues related to MA63 as quickly as possible.

"However, some issues may require amendments to the Constitution and relevant laws, and this will take time," she said.

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