KOTA KINABALU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has suggested to the State Election Commission (EC) to take into account the ethnic ratio in Sabah in its proposed re-delineation of electoral boundaries, to ensure there were suitable constituencies for Chinese candidates to contest in.
LDP president Datuk Teo Chee Kang, said the proposed seven new state seats for Sabah published in the media recently have not been finalised yet, and that the EC would carry out the re-delineation exercise based on legal procedures.
Teo who is also Special Tasks Minister brought up this matter during a courtesy call on Sabah EC director Datuk Md Idrus Ismail recently.
Political circles are claiming the new state seats proposed are Bukit Garam (under Kinabatangan parliamentary constituency), Langkon (Kota Marudu), Sepagaya (Lahad Datu), Pandasan (Kota Belud), Limbahau (Papar), Mengkabong (Tuaran), and Darau (Sepanggar).
Teo said the party’s stance was that the race of a candidate and the constituency he or she contested were not directly interrelated, meaning that a candidate of any race could contest in any constituency.
“However, we cannot deny that the ethnic ratio of a constituency yields a certain level of impact on the overall landscape of the State Legislative Assembly.
“Hence, I have suggested to the EC to take into account the ethnic ratio in the State in its re-delineation exercise,” said Teo.
“We do not wish to see that after adding seven or ten new seats in the re-delineation exercise, but practically none is suitable for Chinese candidates to contest in.
“This will directly affect the political strength of the Chinese community in Sabah,” he pointed out.
Therefore, Teo said the EC must achieve the right balance in terms of ethnic ratio in the re-delineation of electoral boundaries.
On the other hand, Teo said it was high time to increase the number of parliamentary seats for Sabah and Sarawak if the re-delineation exercise also included parliamentary constituencies.
He said the current number of parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak is 56, only 25 per cent of the total 222 parliamentary seats in Malaysia.
At present, Sabah and Sarawak has 25 and 31 parliamentary seats respectively.
“We hope that Sabah and Sarawak’s representation in the Parliament will be increased.”
Also present at the courtesy call were LDP deputy president Senator Datuk Chin Su Phin, vice president Datuk Lim Ming Hoo, chief publicity officer Albert Kok, organising secretary Peter Chong and Supreme Council member Nancy Lim. By Bosco Wong/Sayangsabah