Premier: Sarawak will look into proposal on new parliamentary seats, to bring it up to EC

Abang Johari speaking at the PBB Special Convention for Betong Zone on Oct 8, 2023. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Oct 8: Sarawak will conduct a feasibility study on increasing parliamentary seats in the State before bringing the matter up to Election Commission (EC) for approval, says Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He was responding to one of the resolutions passed during the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Special Convention for Betong Zone today, which proposed that new parliamentary seats be set up.

“Yes, we will study it and not only for Betong, probably for other areas too, as a whole.

“We will take into account the views from Betong area and we will set up a committee at the PBB level to bring this up to the Election Commission (EC) on the proposal to set up new parliamentary seats in accordance with Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” he said after the convention at Dewan Sukan Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan in Betong today.

Earlier, PBB vice president Datuk Julaihi Narawi during his speech, stated that one of the resolutions proposed that the number of parliamentary seats in Sarawak be increased in line with the quest for one-third representation for Sabah and Sarawak in the Dewan Rakyat.

“In Sarawak, we can consider at least 12 new parliamentary constituencies and for Betong Zone, we can consider at least 3 new parliamentary constituencies,” he said.

Abang Johari who is also PBB president further said that the PBB Betong zone resolution is connected with the quest for one-third parliamentary seats for Sabah and Sarawak in the Dewan Rakyat.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari also made reference to a “so-called analyst” who argued that the one-third representation in Parliament was not mentioned in the Federal Constitution or MA63 documents.

“However, this matter is stated in the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report.

“The report did not specifically state ‘one-third’ but it is stated that our voices (Sabah and Sarawak) must be taken into account in Parliament (before amending the Constitution).

“This is mentioned in the IGC report’s introductory paragraph. I think the analyst did not read the Cobbold Commission report,” Abang Johari added. — DayakDaily