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Monday, August 29, 2011

PBS: Sabah needs new constituencies

Rapid population growth and accelerating economic development has led to a call for more elected representatives in Sabah.

KLIAS: The Election Commission (EC) has been urged to consider creating a couple more parliamentary constituencies and between four to six new state seats in the west coast of the state.

Barisan Nasional component, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) said the rapid infrastructure development, economic growth and population increase taking place along the west coast justified the call.

PBS information chief Johnny Mositun made the call when opening the PBS Klias division annual general meeting yesterday.

Mositun, who is also the Deputy Speaker in the state assembly, said that the new parliamentary seats would be for more effective representation of the people living in the area between Papar and Sipitang.

“This will not only provide for more effective and efficient political representation for the rakyat in this rapidly developing part of the start but also lighten the heavy workload and responsibilities of the elected representatives,” he said.

Hoping to head off concerns over which BN party should be granted the new seats, Mositun indicated that it could be sorted out within the coalition.

“I hope the BN leadership will view my suggestion positively,” he said, adding that it was a fact that no parliamentary constituency in Sabah is made up exclusively of one community.

“Some constituencies may consist predominantly of one community or racial group, but not exclusively,” he said.

Greater unity

He said it was the same with political parties as they all had divisions and branches in every parliamentary constituency.

“I think it would be a good idea to ensure that whichever BN party represents the constituency in parliament, at least one of the state seats in that constituency be represented by another BN component party.

“This would lead to greater unity and cooperation between the different communities in that constituency and make them more enthusiastic about supporting the BN.

“In other words, no community would feel left out in terms of an elected representative from their own community.

“I make this suggestion with an open mind.

“It is not directed at any BN party in particular because if accepted, it will work both ways between the parties concerned and involve all BN component parties,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mositun also advised PBS members not to be overly alarmed over the tussle within the BN for seats to contest in the coming general election.

“This is a very common and natural phenomenon, and only to be expected in a democracy.

“Anybody can ask or suggest seats for their party to contest. There is nothing wrong with that.

“But that should be done in a way that does not offend our fellow BN component parties or members.

“We must also be realistic about the seats we ask for and the number of seats that we can expect to be given to contest under the BN banner.

“Nobody will be one hundred percent satisfied, but that is the reality,” he said.

Accept reality

Mositun reminded members that whilst the party was aware that many were vying to contest in the coming general election, “not all will be selected”.

“When that happens, there will always be some who will react negatively.

“Some will scold the leadership for not selecting them, some will start saying bad things about those who were selected in their place, and yet others who will threaten or actually leave the party.

“We can’t do anything about such people, but loyal PBS members who are sincere about serving the party and the rakyat will not do such things.

“They understand and accept the reality.

“They understand the constraints and limitations that the leadership faces in choosing candidates to represent the party in an election.

“I hope and pray that you, the members of PBS Klias Division, will put your faith in the party’s leaders and support whoever the party and BN leadership select as candidates.

Among those who attended were Umno Beaufort chief Lajim Ukin, PBS Klias chief, Jaimis Digi, PBS Kawang chief, Merchal Dibang and PBS executive officer, Marcellus Roman as well as other component party leaders.

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