Decision to look into Sabah, Sarawak parliamentary seats significant, says Nanta

GPS secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi says the federal government’s decision to restore 35% of the 222 parliamentary seats to Sabah and Sarawak is a significant one. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 9, 2022.

THE federal government’s commitment to look into the total number of Sabah and Sarawak representatives in the Parliament is a significant move, GPS secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi said.

He said this is important, especially in the spirit of equal partners under the Federation of Malaysia and also in accordance with the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63).

The two states will also have a better voice in parliament, especially when it comes to amending the Federal Constitution, which requires a two-thirds majority, said to Nanta who is also the domestic trade and consumer affairs minister.

“This is important so that if there is any attempt to amend the Federal Constitution that affects Sarawak and Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia cannot just do it on its own.

“At the moment, Sabah and Sarawak do not command more than one-third. So, anything that requires a two-thirds majority to amend the constitution can simply be done by Peninsular Malaysia. This is not about having to compete with the peninsula but maintaining checks and balances,” he said.

He told reporters after attending the SCORE-Access Road to Tunoh, Kapit Project Stakeholders Engagement Workshop in Kuching, today.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob gave his commitment to issues raised on Sabah and Sarawak, including the total number of representatives of the two states in parliament.

He said this was among the issues raised in a meeting of the Special Council on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MKMA63), which he chaired yesterday.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Dr Maximus Ongkili who was also present in the meeting was reported as saying that the meeting endorsed the move of restoring 35% of the 222 parliamentary seats to Sabah and Sarawak.

The endorsement would enable Sabah and Sarawak to have 78 of the 222 seats. – Bernama, September 9, 2022.

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