Sabah to get new constituencies next year

Several constituencies in the west coast of the state is to be carved up due to rapid population growth.

Queville To, FMT

PAPAR: Sabah is set to get several new electoral constituencies when the re-delineation exercise takes place next year.

Deputy State Speaker Johnny Mositun said he had met several high-ranking Election Commission officers here and in Kuala Lumpur and they had informed him that many constituencies on the west coast of the state would be carved up due to rapid population growth.

“I have been given to understand that Sabah will get some additional constituencies,” said Mositun who is also PBS information chief, while speaking at the PBS Bongawan Division annual general meeting here on Saturday.

“I have put forward my view that the recent emergence of big industries and rapid population growth along the west coast justifies the creation of several new constituencies between Papar and Sipitang,” he said.

Mositun said the creation of new constituencies should not be based on ethnicity alone but rather the overall population and geography of the locality, among other things.

“The important thing is for the electoral constituencies to enable a balanced and equitable representation of Sabahans based on the overall demography of the state,” he said.

The mini-boom taking place in the area due to the oil and gas hub being built by Petronas in Kimanis has resulted in the area south of the capital experiencing rapid growth after years of slumber.

There has been a tremendous increase in vehicular traffic in the Papar district in the wake of rapid industrialisation and business opportunities that have opened up at Kimanis and Sipitang over the past year with commuters now complaining of daily traffic jams at bottleneck areas close to the towns along the way.

“I hope the state government will take up my suggestion for a diversionary road from near the the Pengalat-Dambai junction and an additional bridge over the Papar River,” Mositun said.

“This will ease the daily bottleneck at the entry to Papar town itself. Additionally I suggest the state government treat calls for upgrading the Kinarut-Pengalat-Papar road to a dual carriageway as a matter of urgency,” he added.