Sarawak, Sabah deserve additional 29 parliamentary seats respectively, says Dayak think-tank group

Basil (left) and Richard.

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KUCHING, March 11: Dayak Think-Tank Association Sarawak (DTTAS) holds that Sarawak and Sabah should be given additional 29 parliamentary seats respectively, following the recognition of their status as equal partners in the formation of Malaysia.

DTTAS Economic Planning Affairs unit chief Basil Thomas and Financial Affairs unit chief Richard Isau, in a statement today, said the NGO (non-governmental organisation) gave its full support on giving additional parliamentary seats to Sarawak and Sabah, which is in line with the recognition of both regions as equal partners that helped form Malaysia.

“The parliamentary seats for the two regions should be given an increase to reach one-third of the total seats.

“This is the protection that was agreed upon during negotiations to form the Federation of Malaysia,” said the duo.

They pointed out that following the recent amendment to Clause (2) of Article 1 of the Federal Constitution, Sarawak and Sabah are recognised as equal partners to Peninsular Malaysia, which needed to be translated into a fairer distribution of parliamentary seats and a balanced allocation of development funds.

Citing the allocation of RM4.47 billion to Sarawak under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), they said the amount only constituted 6.8 per cent of the total national development expenditure.

To the duo, the allocation under the 12MP did not reflect the needs of Sarawak taking into account its geographical area, level of development, and status as a partner in the formation of Malaysia. — DayakDaily