Pas Mp Questions Gerrymandering In Sabah Redelineation Exercise




PARLIAMENT | A PAS lawmaker asked today why the Pakatan Harapan is pursuing the redelineation of electoral boundaries in Sabah despite elements of "gerrymandering."Awang Hashim (PAS-Pendang) urged the government to withdraw the motion tabled in the Dewan Rakyat today to increase the number of state seats in Sabah
"I can conclude that there is gerrymandering in the Sabah redelineation exercise, and that it is the responsibility of the Election Commission to rectify it," he said
Awang said that this is based on the malapportionment of several parliamentary seats – including Kinabatangan, with just 18,000 voters despite its size
"If we said there was gerrymandering before, we should cancel what was done by the previous government and come up with something better."My question is, why do you still continue (with this) knowing that there is gerrymandering?" he asked
Despite his reservations, however, Awang still pledged to support the motion, which was tabled by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad this morning
Yesterday, electoral reform group Bersih termed the proposed redelineation "malicious, flawed and obsolete," and broke the parliamentary embargo on the 2017 Sabah delineation review report
In 2016, the Sabah Legislative Assembly passed an amendment to Article 14(2) of the state constitution to increase the number of state seats by 13
The EC submitted the proposed delineation to then-prime minister Najib Abdul Razak in 2017, but it was not tabled in Parliament
Last December, Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said that the proposal would be revisited. The proposed redelineation will see the addition of one Chinese-majority, two non-Muslim bumiputera-majority and six Muslim-majority seats. The remaining four are mixed seats
The proposed Muslim-majority seats are Pintasan (under Kota Belud), Tanjung Dumpil (Putatan), Pantai Dalit (Tuaran), Sungai Manila (Libaran), Lamag (Kinabatangan) and Kukusan (Kalabakan)
The two non-Muslim bumiputera majority seats are Dambai (Papar) and Tulid (Pensiangan). The four mixed seats are Bengkoka (Kudat), Darau (Sepanggar), Telupid (Beluran) and Mengaris (Kota Marudu)
The sole new Chinese-majority seat proposed is Segama in Silam
During today's debate, Wilfred Madius Tangau (Upko-Tuaran) also urged the government to increase the number of parliamentary seats in both Sabah and Sarawak
Both states, he said, should have a third of the total number of parliamentary seats in the country, as they are equal partners to Peninsular Malaysia
"The size of Sabah and Sarawak is 60 percent of the size of Malaysia. I have always said, Sabah and Sarawak is the mainland of Malaysia," he stressed, adding that the EC should look at conducting redelineation now instead of waiting eight years. - Mkini

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