KUCHING, Feb 8: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang called for the federal government to increase the number of parliamentary seats in Sarawak and Sabah.
He believed the additional number of parliamentary seats must be allocated proportionately to the two states equivalent to the percentage that used to be held by Singapore before it left the Federation of Malaysia.
Idris explained that by doing so, there would be equity in terms of balance of power between Peninsular Malaysia and the Bornean states, as envisaged by the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) along with the recommendations made under the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report and the Cobbold Commission Report.
“Without that needful balance, Malaya could just pass any legislation including amending our Federal Constitution unilaterally.
“Our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is absolutely right to say that as it is, ‘democratically not right’,” he said in a statement.
He noted that the present structure of parliamentary seats only gave the two Borneo states a sum of 25 per cent out of the total 222 seats.
As a result, he pointed out that it invariably empowered Peninsular Malaysia or its members of parliament to command the vital two-third majority.
In the event that any critical issue involving regional interest should arise, he opined that it would put Sabah and Sarawak at an obvious disadvantage and render it potentially vulnerable to any kind of subjugation of its rights.
Idris pointed out that the present “imbalance” was equivalent to putting the Borneo states in a legislatively lame or irrelevant position.
Hence, he outlined that the situation could be regarded ineffective, as if Sarawak and Sabah were mere colonies to Peninsular Malaysia.
Last Thursday, following the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) supreme council meeting, Abang Johari who is GPS chairman told the press that Sabah and Sarawak lawmakers must made up over one-third representation in Parliament as part of the country’s electoral reform exercise.
He said the two-third majority should not be confined just to one area, but consist of the three regions of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia which formed the Malaysian federation.
“It must be more than one third, Sabah and Sarawak combined.
“At the moment, the peninsula MPs have enough numbers to amend the (Federal) Constitution and this is not right.
“If they want to amend the Constitution, they must also get support from Sabah and Sarawak.
“We want to be part and parcel of the reform” he was reported as saying. —DayakDaily