SIBU: Sabah and Sarawak's quest for an increase in Parliamentary seats might only result in Sabah getting more seats, says Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (pic).
"Based on population figures, the 35% of seats allocated for Sabah and Sarawak may end with most of the increase happening only in the Parliamentary seats for Sabah," said the Deputy Premier in a Facebook post on Sunday (Sept 18).
Currently, Sarawak has 31 Parliamentary seats with a population of 2.47 million while Sabah has 25 Parliamentary seats with a population of 3.39 million.
Dr Sim said while Sarawak managed to persuade Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that 35% of the Parliamentary seats should go to Sabah and Sarawak in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), the matter still needed to go through the Cabinet and Dewan Rakyat.
This comes after Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar successfully amended the Federal Constitution last December.
Meanwhile, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said at the state-level Malaysia Day celebration on Friday (Sept 16) that the composition of Parliament must be balanced between Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah to ensure that the rights of both Borneo states are safeguarded.
Abang Johari said the MA63 Special Council recently discussed increasing the number of parliamentary seats for Sarawak and Sabah to 35% of all seats in Parliament.
He said there was currently an unhealthy imbalance in Parliament as Sarawak and Sabah only had 56 or 25% of the total 222 seats.