Appoint 15 additional senators from Sabah and Sarawak - think tank
8 Sept 2021
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: Think-tank WISDOM Foundation is urging the Federal Government to undertake Parliamentary reform by considering Sabah’s perspective based on the spirit of the formation of Malaysia as it was established in the 1963 Malaysian Agreement (MA63).
Its executive chairperson Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the number of Sabahans and Sarawakians in the Senate should be increased in order to regain equal partner status.
"What is doable is to increase the number of Sabahans and Sarawakians in the Senate from the present nine to 24 members which means we need to appoint 15 additional Senators from Sabah and Sarawak," he said in a statement today.
According to Madius, the percentage of parliamentary seats which are not from Peninsular Malaysia has maintained at only 25 per cent since Singapore separated from Malaysia, in which Sabah accounts for only 11 per cent while Sarawak stands at 14 per cent.
"In 1963, the Dewan Rakyat consisted a total of 159 seats when Malaysia was formed: 104 seats for Malaya, 16 seats for Sabah, 24 seats for Sarawak, and 15 seats for Singapore.
"Today, the Dewan Rakyat consists of 222 seats: 166 seats for Peninsular Malaysia, 25 seats for Sabah, and 31 seats for Sarawak.
"Parliament requires many reforms in order to regain its glory as an independent legislative branch nevertheless, the Federal Government must act on this imbalance in the allocation of seats among the states of Malaysia.
"Sabah and Sarawak are supposed to be equal partners with Malaya, unfortunately, right from the very beginning, the total number of seats has always been unequal with Malaya having 2/3 of the total allocation."
Madius who is also the MP for Tuaran said while Sabah and Sarawak are very rich in natural resources, the people, especially Sabahans, remain the poorest in the country,
"Despite the fact that we will be celebrating the 58th Malaysia Day this coming 16th September 2021, Sabah remains to be the state with the highest incidence of absolute poverty at 25.3 per cent, almost double the percentage of the state of Sarawak which is 12.9 per cent in 2020 according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
"This clearly indicates that there is a crucial need for greater voices and votes of elected representatives and Senators from Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Parliament," he stressed.