One-third representation in Dewan Rakyat for Sabah, Sarawak agreed in 1963, says Masidi


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and Sarawak are pursuing one-third representation in Parliament as this was what was promised to both regions when Malaysia was formed in 1963, says Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

The Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister said all quarters must understand this fact as it was already agreed upon previously.

He said that increasing Sabah and Sarawak seats in the Dewan Rakyat was not something that recently came about.

“We are not demanding. We are only requesting that the Federal Government fulfils its promise which the Federation of Malaya agreed upon back then.

“So, don’t misunderstand this. This is not a question of us asking, we are only asking our friends on the other side to deliver on what they themselves agreed earlier on,” Masidi said during a working visit to the Sandakan district on Tuesday (Sept 20).

Former Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar had recently incurred the ire of Sabahans when he suggested that fulfilling the 35% representation quota was troublesome and unfair to Peninsular Malaysia.

Wan Ahmad was quoted as saying in an Utusan Malaysia report on Sept 13 that Malaysia did not need additional parliamentary seats to the 222 it already has and instead proposed that the EC re-delineates the boundaries to ensure a fair distribution of voters.

He also said that fulfilling the 35% demanded by Sabah and Sarawak will reduce the Peninsular Malaysia seats, claiming that it was an “inappropriate, unwise and unfair” move for parliamentary constituencies in the peninsula.

Among those who hit back at Wan Ahmad were Parti Bersatu Sabah secretary-general Datuk Julita Majungki and Sabah Progressive Party supreme council member Yong Yit Jee.

Majungki said as a former senior officer of the EC, he should have respected the spirit of Malaysia's formation for the good of the Malaysian Parliament.

Masidi, who is also the Parti Pribumi Malaysia Bersatu Sabah chapter deputy chief, said the Borneon states must have one-third representation in Parliament so they can take part in making important decisions in the Dewan Rakyat.

He said this would mean Sabah and Sarawak would have veto powers against legislation that places both states in a losing position.

As such, he hoped both states’ desire of having one-third of the seats in Parliament could be realised soon.

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