Right of Borneo states to occupy a third of Dewan, EC told

Johnny Mositun (centre) with some members of Pantai Manis PBS at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has urged the Election Commission to ensure that the next redelineation exercise will result in enough seats for Sabah and Sarawak to make up a third of the Dewan Rakyat.

Speaking to reporters here on his return from Kuala Lumpur, PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun said the proportion was the two states’ entitlement under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63).

He said PBS was “only reminding Putrajaya of the need to honour the terms of MA63” and did not want “to be seen as demanding too much, too soon” after the Dewan Rakyat’s approval of a bill to add 13 seats to the Sabah state assembly.

He added, however, that the two East Malaysian states had for too long been too submissive in their dealings with the federal government.

“It is this attitude, more than anything else, that has emboldened successive federal governments to ride roughshod over us and reduce us to the status of mere states of Malaya,” he said.

“Luckily, we have woken up. But we must be careful not to fall asleep again. PBS will play its role to restore Sabah’s rights.”

Sabah has 25 MPs and Sarawak 31 in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.

Mositun said the two states were “at least 15 short” of the quota provided for by MA63.

He said Sabah must seek to add seven or eight more for itself, “not just one or two” as Bersih has suggested.

“After all,” he added, “we are Malaysia’s second largest state and should be having at least 30 MPs.”