Onus on EC to decide 35% seat distribution for East Malaysia, says Abang Jo

KUCHING: The onus is on the Election Commission (EC) to determine the distribution of 35% of the 222 parliamentary seats for East Malaysia, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said Saturday (Sept 10).

He was referring to the recent decision by the Special Council on the Malaysia Agreement (MKMA63) to endorse the restoration of 35% quota of parliamentary seats for Sabah and Sarawak.

The Sarawak Premier said GPS, in principle, had agreed with the decision reached by the council in the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob

However, he said the distribution ratio between the two states should be determined according to the current breakdown.

Sarawak currently has 31 seats while Sabah has 25. With the endorsement by the council, Sabah and Sarawak will be able to push for 78 of the 222 parliamentary seats.

“As to where these seats will be, we leave it to the EC to decide as our task is to ensure the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 is upheld. On the distribution of seats for Sabah and Sarawak, it has to be the same as the current breakdown ratio in the two states.

“Malaysia has a population of 31 million, with six million alone in Sabah and Sarawak, but based on that figure, we have less than 30% of the parliamentary seats.

“If we do not have 35%, they (Peninsula MPs) can amend the Constitution (without the need for Sabah and Sarawak MPs),” he told reporters after officiating at the Pesta Benak Sri Aman 2022 here on Saturday.

Abang Johari said GPS was in no hurry for the 35% seat claim to be implemented, adding that more importantly, the principles behind MA63 must be clearly understood. – Bernama