KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) want Dayak seats to be increased after a proposed delineation of state constituencies later this year. According to PRS President James Masing, the Dayaks form well over 44% of the population but have less than 40% of the state seats.
“We understand that the number of state seats, 71 at present, would be increased by three or four seats,” said James. “We expect some of them to be allocated to us by the Barisan Nasional Sarawak.”
He was commenting on reports that the party had set up a three-member special committee to keep watch over the proposed new seats and the party’s stand that the Dayaks should have 44% ethnic seats.
The Senate Deputy President Doris Brodie, Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang and Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Wilson Nyabong form the steering committee.
The PRS chief said the party is particularly interested in the Hulu Rajang, Selangau and Sri Aman, all parliamentary constituencies, and the Batang Ai state seat. List of Malaysian electoral districts
“We have proposed where the new seats should be,” disclosed James. “The Election Commission is studying the matter.”
Area-wise, Hulu Rajang is the largest parliamentary constituency in the country but has only two state seats, Baleh and Belaga.
Selangau, another large parliamentary constituency, also has only two state seats, Tamin and Kakus; while Sri Aman has three state seats, Balai Ringin, Bukit Begunan, and Simanggang.
Batang Ai is one of two state seats in the Lubok Antu parliamentary constituency, the other being Engkilili.
The last re-delineation of electoral boundaries in Sarawak was conducted in 2005. A review should be conducted every eight to ten years.
“Of the existing 71 state seats only 29 are Dayak, a shortfall of at least two seats,” said James.
Currently, the ruling BN allocates 35 of the seats to Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), SUPP 19, PRS nine, and SPDP eight.
PBB won all its seats in 2011, SUPP won only six, PRS lost Pelagus to an independent, and SPDP lost two seats.
SUPP lost four of its six seats and SPDP five of its six seats in mid-May to Teras, a new kid on the block, which has been included in the State Cabinet and given government positions by Chief Minister Adenan Satem.
~ Free Malaysia Today