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Not time to discuss seats: Upko
Published on: Saturday, July 20, 2019
By: Neil Chan

Kota Kinabalu: This is not the right time to discuss the distribution of the additional 13 State seats in Sabah that were approved by Parliament this week, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (pic). 

He said what was more important was to ensure the people’s trust in the State Government is strengthened.

“The good news is the 13 additional State Assembly seats are approved. 

“We are aware of the different views by various parties on the additional seats that were approved by the State Assembly in 2016.

“So if this (additional seats) issue was not sent to Parliament, we will have to repeat the whole process again,” Tangau, who is also State Trade and Industry Minister and Tuaran MP, told a press conference at the State Finance Ministry building, here, Friday.

The conference was called to announce the State Ministry of Trade and Industry’s participation in the Expo Malaysia Fest Singapore on July 25-28 at the Singapore Expo Hall in Singapore.

On the issue of distribution of the additional seats, Tangau said political parties, including Upko, which are interested will have to strive for the seats. 

“Of course, we also have our (Upko) divisions as well in all those areas such as Lahad Datu, Libaran, Papar, Kudat, Telupid, Beluran and so on. 

“In any case, I feel now is not the right time to discuss the distribution of the seats. What’s important is to strengthen the people’s trust in us. 

“We want a stable (political) situation in the State under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.”

On the lowering of the voting age to 18, Madius said it was something that was welcome. 

“We have to adjust and see how we can communicate with the people, especially those new young voters.

“With regard to the government information system, we have to adapt to ensure the people, especially the youths, have correct information on the services and government plans, especially in terms of policies and programmes.”

Asked on the statement by State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon that the additional seats would make it easier to administer areas that have an unbalanced number of population, Madius agreed and cited Luyang with 30,000 people and Pulau Banggi with only 5,000.

“For Banggi, even with only 5,000 population, it is not easy communication wise as you have to reach there by boat and so on. But for Luyang, even with 30,000 population, it is not a problem as the area is small (and easily accessible). 

“So you have to look also at these factors and not just at the population size.”

Tangau said all state assemblymen agreed that the number of State seats should be increased until we reach a percentage in Parliament similar to that during the formation of the country in 1963.

“That is our goal because we started originally with 16 parliamentary seats and now it’s 25. So only how much has been increased in comparison with the peninsula where the increase is very high starting from 104 seats originally and now it’s 166 seats.”

On the Expo Malaysia Fest Singapore, 20 local SME companies would be participating this year, offering cosmetic, food, drinks and fashion products from Sabah.

In last year’s event, Sabah products received a very positive response from Singaporean buyers with counter sales recording RM153,024 and RM672,000 in orders involving four containers.

At the Cosmobeauty Seoul Expo 2019 in Seoul, South Korea in May, which saw seven Sabah companies participating, there were a total of RM4.64 million in orders involving nine containers from buyers from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines and the UAE. 

There were also another RM6.4 million of sales orders involving 13 containers still in the discussion stage.

This achievement was better than last year which only achieved RM33,600 in sales orders. 

Photo Source: Bernama



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