Explain how new Sabah seats work, says SAPP chief

SAPP president Yong Teck Lee says some state assemblymen are already adjusting their constituencies.

KOTA KINABALU: Former chief minister Yong Teck Lee has urged the authorities to clarify that Sabah’s new electoral boundaries will only come into effect after the dissolution of the present legislative assembly.

The state assembly is to have 13 new seats, which were approved by the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. This raises the number of state seats in Sabah to 73 from 60 at the next general election.

Yong said the Sabah legislative assembly and the Election Commission should immediately explain the situation to assemblymen, members of Parliament and local government officers.

“This clarification is needed because some assemblymen are reported to be adjusting their constituency demarcations to align with the new electoral constituency boundaries.

“Any expenses incurred beyond their constituencies could be subject to an audit query or be illegal. The constituency development funds allocated to MPs and assemblymen and implemented by community development leaders may be used only in the current constituency,” he said here today.

The new seats were created by an amendment to the state constitution in 2016, based on a redelineation exercise by the Election commission.

Yong, who is Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president, said mistakes in local constituency work have occurred over the last year.

The new night market at Gaya Street in central Kota Kinabalu had been named Api Api night market, even though Gaya Street does not fall within the Api Api state constituency.

Yong said a state assembly member unsure about his constituency boundaries was recently involved in land encroachment at the Likas Bay-Kurol Melangi area near Kota Kinabalu.

“The encroached area falls under the Karambunai state constituency and not Likas,” he said.