Sabah CM sees Bill for 13 new state seats sailing through Parliament

Shafie said the Bill for 13 new state seats was unlikely to invite controversy. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Shafie said the Bill for 13 new state seats was unlikely to invite controversy. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KOTA KINABALU, July 11 — The Bill to add another 13 state constituencies in Sabah can be approved with only a simple parliamentary majority, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said to predict its smooth passage today.

He also said the Bill set to be introduced today was unlikely to invite controversy as it was limited to just the Sabah assembly.

“It doesn't need a two-third majority anyway — just needs a simple majority. We are confident. It won’t involve Parliament seats, just the state constituencies, so we hope to get support,” the Semporna MP said.

“I will personally be in Parliament on the 16th and 17th, and I will debate on it then, (on) why we should support it.”

He was speaking to reporters after attending a Sabah oil and gas conference and exhibition here today.

The Bill is fifth in today’s Order Paper, with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad listed as the lawmaker to table the motion and MPs to receive the Redelineation Exercise Review Report 2017 and Federal Constitution Order (Redelineation Exercise in Sabah) 2019.

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 but it never came to fruition before the 14th general election.

The Bill must be tabled within two years of Sabah’s gazetting the amendment.

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