Redelineation to increase parliamentary seats for Sarawak, Sabah must follow legal process

Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

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KUCHING, March 17: The proposed redelineation exercise to add parliamentary seats in Sarawak and Sabah must follow the legal process, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said the increase or decrease of parliamentary seats would involve amendments to Article 45 of the Federal Constitution for those in the Senate, and Article 46 for the House of Representatives.

According to Article 113 of the Federal Constitution, he added, redelineation is based on Schedule 13 and can be initiated in two ways.

“The first is when there is amendment to the number of House of Representative members or State assemblymen. The second is (it must take place) at least eight years after the previous redelineation date,” he explained, according to a news report from Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas).

Wan Junaidi also said the issue was earlier raised by the Sarawak and Sabah governments in the Allied Working Committee Meeting on Feb 8.

He said the meeting had agreed that the issue be referred to a technical committee chaired by the Attorney-General for further discussion and scrutiny before the government makes any decision.

“Therefore, any action taken by the government especially involving the amendment of the Federal Constitution must go through an in-depth study while views and feedback from all parties must be refined, especially applications from the Sarawak and Sabah governments,” he said.

Wan Junaidi was responding to Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni’s inquiry about the matter in Parliament on Wednesday (March 16).

Wan Junaidi also noted that the last redelineation exercise for Sarawak was in 2015, and for Sabah in 2017. — DayakDaily