Lau agrees one-third seats in Parliament for Sarawak, Sabah must be restored

Robert Lau Hui Yew

KUCHING, July 17: One-third representation for Sarawak in Parliament was one of the fundamental conditions in the formation of Malaysia in 1963 which must be restored, said Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew.

Highlighting this, he thus expressed strong support for Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s continuous fight for Sarawak’s rights in restoring the one-third out of 222 seats allocation in Parliament.

“I fully support Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari’s views that one-third of the Dewan Rakyat members must be from Sarawak and Sabah.

“It (the conditions in the formation of Malaysia) was meant as a safeguard for Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore against the might of Malaya (Peninsular),” he pointed out in a statement today.

Lau, who is Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan chairman, elaborated that when Singapore left Malaysia in 1965, the 15 parliamentary seats allocated to Singapore were ‘extinguished’ instead of being distributed among the three entities.

“This was a blatant disregard to the basis for the formation of and the foundation of Malaysia.

“It was done despite the protest by the Chief Ministers of both Sarawak and Sabah. This was a great injustice to Sarawak and Sabah. It has to be corrected,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari has yesterday (July 16) renewed his call for Sarawak and Sabah to be given one-third of the seats in Parliament.

He said this is important to uplift the status of the Borneo states in Dewan Rakyat after Singapore left Malaysia.

In a local news report, Abang Johari pointed out that if Sarawak and Sabah do not have the one-third representation each in Parliament, power distribution in Parliament would only depend on Peninsular Malaysia.

“We (Sarawak)  know that the Federal Constitution can be amended if they have more than two-third representation. If Sabah and Sarawak are each having less than one-third representation, then the Constitution can also be amended,” he added.-DayakDaily