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One-third parliamentary seats for Sabah, Sarawak still under discussion, says DPM

Fadillah Yusof says the process will take several years to complete.

Bernama
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MPs gather at the Dewan Rakyat in the Parliament building, July 28, 2022. Photo: Bernama
MPs gather at the Dewan Rakyat in the Parliament building, July 28, 2022. Photo: Bernama

Returning the one-third seat composition in the Dewan Rakyat for Sabah and Sarawak as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is still at the discussion stage, says Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof.

He said the matter would take two to three years to complete as it needed to go through many stages, including three main committees: the MA63 Steering Committee, MA63 Technical Committee and MA63 Implementation Action Council.

Fadillah said the MA63 Technical Committee chaired by him would discuss issues related to MA63 based on topic and give priority to those that do not involve complicated legal or technical matters.

"Once it is decided at the technical level, it will then be taken to the Implementation Action Council for final approval before being presented to the Cabinet for amendments to be made to all related laws.

"So the process is still long. We also have to get Cabinet approval, before tabling it in Parliament, which requires a two-thirds majority support," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Fadillah, who is also plantations and commodities minister, said earlier that the one-third parliamentary seat allocation for Sabah and Sarawak was important as it would prevent the peninsula from amending the constitution in ways that might eliminate the rights of the two states as enshrined in MA63.

He said the return of autonomy in education and health to Sabah and Sarawak was also at the discussion stage.

On the "Sarawak First" slogan, Fadillah said it was created to restore the spirit of the people of Sarawak, to together build and develop Malaysia.

He said although there were calls for Sarawak to leave Malaysia, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak leadership has expressed its commitment that the state will remain as part of Malaysia.

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