Minister wants 1 more state seat for Penampang

International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking (standing, centre) at the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking has welcomed the additional 13 state seats for Sabah but believes another redelineation exercise is in order.

Speaking to reporters after officiating the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCOM) for Climate and Energy here today, the Penampang MP said his constituency is bigger than neighbouring Papar but only has two state seats compared to Papar, which will have three.

“Actually, Penampang is surrounded by three federal constituencies, each with three state seats but we are given only 2 seats,” he said.

Leiking admitted the issue did not come up when Parliament debated the 13 new state seats because the motion had already been approved in the Sabah state assembly.

He said he would discuss the matter with the state government, particularly Chief Minister Shafie Apdal and Local Government and Housing Minister Jaujan Sambakong, to add a new state seat in Penampang.

Penampang has 53,131 registered voters while Papar has 43,586 and Sepanggar 62,415.

Leiking also said it is also time for Sabah to have additional parliamentary seats.

“I support Jaujan’s call for additional parliamentary seats but we have to wait for the 13 state seats to be gazetted first,” he said.

Commenting on the proposed Papar Dam project, Leiking acknowledged that there were different opinions.

He said he had asked that both Shafie and Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony to reveal details of the RM3 billion project and explain them to the people as soon as possible.