By Ling Hui
KUCHING, July 17: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Youth chief Michael Tiang refutes the claim of Sarawak and Sabah being ‘equal partners’ in the Federation of Malaysia when parliamentary representation in either state does not constitute at least one-third of the 222 seats.
Tiang, in a press statement today, voiced his support to Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s assertion that Sarawak would continue the fight for its rights in restoring the allocation of one-third representation in the Parliament for East Malaysia.
“All we (Sarawak and Sabah) are asking for is to restore the Borneo States’ original parliamentary representation status when we formed this Federation (of Malaysia) in 1963, and not asking for something new without basis,” he said.
He also reiterated that when Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the parliamentary representations for Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore constituted 34.6 per cent of total Parliament seats, which was with equality and significance for the states to safeguard their constitutional positions in the Parliament.
“Peninsular Malaysia had one-third representation, Sarawak had 24 seats, Sabah 16 seats and Singapore 15 seats in the Parliament,” said Abang Johari in an interview with Astro Awani.
However, ever since Singapore broke away from the Federation in 1965, both Sarawak and Sabah were never given enough parliamentary seats as promised to safeguard their constitutional position.
“At present, both states (Sarawak and Sabah) only have 56 seats out of 222 seats in the Parliament. That is only 25 per cent.
“Therefore, it is pointless to say Sarawak and Sabah are equal partners to Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) when both states’ total parliamentary representations are not even enough to protect our own special rights and positions in the Parliament,” said Tiang.
In stating this, he urged the Members of Parliament to acknowledge this very foundation for the Federation of Malaysia by supporting necessary constitutional amendments to restore Sarawak and Sabah’s rightful one-third of the Parliament seats.—DayakDaily