UPKO firm in its demand for one-third representation in Parliament
12 November 2023
KOTA KINABALU: United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) remains steadfast in its demand for one-third representation in Parliament for the Borneo States.
UPKO President Datuk Ewon Benedick said this during the Convention for Zone C 2023 which comprises Penampang, Kota Kinabalu and Putatan held in Penampang today.
Ewon said the convention serves as an important platform for showcasing and highlighting how UPKO, as a political party, can actively contribute to the overall progress of the nation while safeguarding the rights and interests of Sabah.
Ewon emphasised that the strength of UPKO with other parties in Sabah and Sarawak has the political strength to further shore up the strength of the Unity Government.
"With the strength of our contribution, we are determined to assert our rights, which include securing a one-third representation in parliament from outside the peninsula of Malaysia," he said, adding that this is written in the Malaysian Agreement in 1963.
"We firmly believe that fair and equitable representation is essential in ensuring that the voices and interests of all regions within Malaysia are effectively represented at the national level," he stressed adding that the terms written during the formation of Malaysia should not changed even after the departure of Singapore.
"Unfortunately, it was given to the Peninsular, so its is high time that we demand for the return of the allocated seats in parliament as agreed, during that time."
He said there are discussions in Sarawak pertaining to this matter and he supported them wholely in their decisions.
Speaking to reporters on the demarcation of voting areas expected to be discussed in 2025, he said it is an exercise that occurs every eight years due to population growth.
However, he stressed the importance of ensuring fairness and inclusivity in this process, considering its significant implications for the electoral process, political representation, and the overall fairness of democratic systems.
"Regardless of the challenges we may face, we firmly assert our rights to one-third representation in Parliament."
On the presentations by convention participants, he said he will take them into consideration and bring these issues and suggestions for discussions in Parliament.
Also present during the event were UPKO Putatan Chief Datuk Marcus Mojigoh, UPKO Penampang Chief Datuk Donald Mojuntin and Dennison Indang of UPKO Kota Kinabalu.