KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — Putrajaya is expected to table a Bill increasing the number of state seats in Sabah by 13 in the current Dewan Rakyat sitting.
The Bill was listed as item five in the House Order Paper, which announced Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will table the motion with MPs receiving The Redelineation Exercise Review Report 2017 and Federal Constitution Order (Redelineation Exercise in Sabah) 2019.
This confirmed the rumours circulating in the corridors of power that the Bill that was shelved during the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, will be tabled this month.
Last December, it was reported that Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had requested Dr Mahathir to table the Bill.
In August 2016, the Sabah legislative assembly passed an amendment to the state Constitution to allow for the 13 new seats to be created, which was gazetted after the Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negri consented to it.
The Election Commission (EC) then submitted the proposal for the creation of the seats in 2017 to then-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for tabling in Parliament.
However, it never came to fruition before the 14th general election.
The EC, now under Azhar Azizan Harun, resubmitted the same proposal to Dr Mahathir late last year.
The Bill must be tabled within two years of Sabah’s gazetting the amendment.
Citing unnamed sources, The Star reported that the Bill only requires a simple majority in Parliament and if is passed, the EC could begin the process of creating the 13 new seats.
In a separate press statement later, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the government is expected to submit the motion along with the EC report on July 17.