Leave Sabah seats to local parties, says Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: National parties should leave the Sabah state seats to Sabah parties, says Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

Stressing that Sabah STAR strongly rejects Peninsular Malaysia-based parties from contesting in the state, its president added that their national counterparts have had their share of parliamentary seats.

“The parliamentary seat allocation should be 65% in the peninsula and the remaining 35% in Sabah Sarawak.

“However, throughout the years, the seats in the peninsula have increased, while the number of parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak remained, and today, we are left with just 25% of the overall seats nationwide,” the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister said.

Speaking to the media after launching the party’s triennial general meeting here on Saturday (June 22), Kitingan added that the peninsula's 75% parliamentary seat share has weakened Sabah and Sarawak’s positions.

“It is getting harder to defend our rights through the Constitution since the peninsula now holds a two-thirds majority.

“From the beginning, they intended to ensure they got 65%. Therefore, this seat allocation needs to be defended and respected.

“That is why I kept repeating that peninsula parties should not come to Sabah and take our state seats, and they will just diminish the power of Sabah and Sarawak,” said Kitingan, who is also the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Minister.

Instead, he added that national parties should cooperate with local parties because the objective of forming Malaysia was to unite and collaborate while respecting each other's sovereignty.

He added that this was Malaysia's strength and if the position, sovereignty, or formula is not respected, he fears that Sabah would lose its political power in its own state.

"We must respect each other. This will give us the incentive to cooperate rather than fight for seats between the Peninsula, Sabah, and Sarawak," he said.

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