Friday, October 31, 2014

More state seats in the offing

by Jonathan Chia, Posted on October 30, 2014, Thursday

Bill to increase number of assemblypersons to 82 likely to be tabled at DUN sitting
KUCHING: There is a good chance that Sarawak will see 11 state seats added to the present 71 if a State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Bill that has been circulating around is anything to go by.

The Bill, which is expected to be tabled and debated during the DUN sitting beginning Nov 10, will be enforced once it is approved and gazetted.

According to the Bill’s explanatory statement, it is necessary and appropriate to increase the state seats considering the growing number of electors apart from the accelerating pace of development in the state since 2005 when the present number of DUN members was determined.

It also cited the overall need to provide the people effective representation in the legislature, thus the need to increase the number of representatives to 82.

“This Bill is, therefore, presented under Article 14(2) of the Constitution of the State of Sarawak to increase the membership of the Dewan Undangan Negeri to 82 elected members.”

State Election Commission director Datu Takun Sunggah, who is currently away in Melaka, when contacted said he had no knowledge of the proposal.

“We will have to wait until the DUN sitting then we will know,” he said.

Speculations are rife that the areas that may be affected are Belaga, Baram, Simanggang, Sibu, Miri, Kalaka, Siburan, Batu Kawa, Bandar Kuching and Samarahan.

Apart from the Bill on increasing the DUN membership, the state government will be presenting Land Custody and Development (Amendment) Bill, 2014, Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and Supplementary Supply (2014) Bill, 2014.

Among the Bills that will draw interest is the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which seeks to permit owners of land held under native customary rights to transfer, dispose of, or have dealing over such land and natives may also acquire, purchase and inherit such land; improve provisions dealing with caveats.

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