PENAMPANG September 8, 2011: United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) has submitted its proposal for an electoral boundary re-delineation for Sabah to the Election Commission (EC) in early 2010, its vice president, Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap, said.
Maijol said the proposal was in line with the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution that calls for a revision of parliamentary and state legislative assembly seats every eight years.
“Our comprehensive exercise, a process that took us almost 18 months to complete, was based on the findings and suggestions from the grassroots as well as from existing voters. Opinions from party leaders at the branch and divisional levels were also considered. In addition, comments from our elected representatives, community leaders and senior government officials were sought to facilitate our exercise,”
In order to minimize the elements of biasness, Maijol said data collection was made primarily through a carefully designed questionnaire, numerous interviews as well as factual analysis on EC’s work in the past.
Maijol, who also chairs a working committee tasked to come up with re-delineation proposal, said several factors were given strong emphasis to support and justify why a revision of electoral boundaries was necessary in several areas.
These include geographical factors; size of the local population and the number of existing voters; racial distribution and composition; topography; available and needed infrastructures; socio-economics factors; and the level of effectiveness of government administration system in the area.
“I like to reiterate that it is about time that the EC undertake a re-delineation exercise as the last one was done in 2002 which is almost 10 years ago. A lot has happened since and a further increase in the total number of state and parliamentary seats would serve well to fasten the pace of development in the state,” he said.
Maijol said this in response to several suggestions in recent days calling for the increase in the number of seats in both state and parliamentary constituencies in Sabah.