Bill to increase Sabah state seats to be tabled on July 17

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KOTA KINABALU (July 11): Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is confident the Bill for the additional 13 seats, to increase the number of state seats from 60 to 73, will be approved when it is tabled in Parliament on July 17.

He said the bill does not require a two-thirds majority, and a simple majority would be sufficient because it does not involve constitutional amendments.

Mohd Shafie said the additional 13 seats had been approved in the Sabah state assembly when it was tabled by the previous state government.

“There is no reason for us (Sabah reps) not to support this, as it will allow us to have more representatives in Sabah.

“I will be in Parliament on July 16 and 17, and I will also debate as a member of Parliament (Semporna), to get the support for the additional state seats,” he told reporters when met after launching the 7th Sabah Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition here, today.

On Aug 9, 2016, the Sabah state assembly passed an amendment to Article 14(2) of the Sabah state constitution to increase the number of assemblymen from 60 to 73. It was gazetted after receiving the consent of the Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negri.

Based on the new delineation, the proposed new seats are Bengkoka, Mangaris, Pintasan, Pantai Dalit, Darau, Tanjung Dumpil, Dambai, Tulid, Telupid, Sungai Manila, Lamag, Segama and Kukusan.

On July 8, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong announced that the Pakatan Harapan government had reviewed the Election Commission’s (EC) report on the Redelineation Exercise for the Federal and State constituencies.

Liew said the government would table a motion on the draft of the Federal Constitution Order (Electoral Boundaries) (State of Sabah), together with the EC report dated Feb 14, 2017, in Parliament on July 17. — Bernama