PBM says both rural, urban Sarawak need more parliamentary seats

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, September 9 — Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) president Datuk Larry Sng today expressed hope that more parliamentary seats will be created not only in the rural areas, but in the urban centres of Sarawak as well.

He said that while some rural seats were equivalent in sizes to some peninsular states, the population in urban seats were also disproportionately large.

However, Sng welcomed the decision of the Special Council on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MKMA63) to formally support restoring the number of federal seats in Sarawak and Sabah to 35 per cent of the country’s total.

“If the (federal) government supports the plan, I don’t see why the Election Commission cannot follow through with this,” Sng, who is also Julau MP, said on Facebook.

He was responding to a statement by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili that a meeting of MKMA63 had endorsed restoring 35 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats for the two Borneo states.

Ongkili had said the issue was deliberated and endorsed at the fifth meeting of the Special Council chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in Putrajaya.

Separately, Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan said the announcement of an increase of seats to 35 per cent out of the total 222 in Parliament is “not something that we should be happy with.”

He said it will not help Sabah and Sarawak to overturn any laws and policies passed by Parliament and the federal cabinet.

“Besides Malaya controlling Parliament, the federal cabinet is also controlled by Malaya. Most cabinet ministers are from Malaya. Ministers from Sabah and Sarawak are only holding the less important posts,” Voon said.

He said the announcement should be seen as an “election carrot” to fish for support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s government.