Sarawak expects to gain at least 12 new parliamentary seats once redelineation exercise completed

Two days of mourning (Feb 21 and 22) have been declared as tribute to the late former Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

KUCHING, Dec 13: The number of parliamentary seats for Sarawak and Sabah would be increased once the ongoing redelineation process is completed, with Sarawak expected to receive a minimum of 12 new seats.

According to a news report by FreeMalaysiaToday (FMT), an anonymous member of Parliament from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) believes that discussions among component parties within GPS are underway to identify potential areas for these proposed new seats.

For years, politicians from Sarawak and Sabah have advocated for the two Borneo regions to each be allocated one-third of parliamentary seats, aligning with their equal partner status under Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“Currently, the parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak constitute less than two-thirds of the total (222 seats) in Parliament.

“During a Malaysia Day speech in Kuching on Sept 16, Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim assured that, based on MA63, Sabah and Sarawak should implement the one-third allocation as soon as possible,” the GPS lawmaker was quoted as saying in the news report today.

Deputy Minister of Law and Institutional Reform Ramkarpal Singh had also mentioned that the redelineation of electoral boundaries had commenced in Sarawak, with a similar exercise planned for Sabah in 2025 and Peninsular states in 2026.

As of now, Peninsular Malaysia holds 166 or 75 per cent of the 222 seats in Parliament, while Sarawak (31 seats) and Sabah (25 seats) make up the remaining 25 per cent.

Another GPS MP emphasised that the allocation of the new seats to coalition parties was secondary, with the primary focus being on Sarawak receiving additional seats.

“After getting approval for the additional seats, only then can GPS discuss which seats should be allocated to each party,” he said.

Although details on specific areas in Sarawak slated to receive the new seats were not disclosed, the source indicated a focus on expansive regions within existing parliamentary constituencies, particularly in rural areas requiring additional developmental attention.

The FMT news report also mentioned that a government agency source said an official announcement on the matter is likely to be made next year, given that the process is still in its early stages.

In October, it was reported that Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) would establish a committee to propose an increase in the number of parliamentary constituencies in Sarawak, in line with MA63.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also PBB president, said the proposal would be forwarded to the Election Commission. — DayakDaily