KOTA KINABALU (May 24): The people’s elected representatives should not be allowed to hold the position of Member of Parliament and Sabah state assemblymen (ADUN) simultenously, according to a public opinion poll.
The poll was carried out by Justice For Sabah, which is a local political movement, and former Kota Kinabalu MP Datuk Hiew King Cheu.
In a statement, Hiew said that all respondents were unanimous in their opinion that by holding two positions, a person elected by the people will not be able to discharge and execute duties entrusted to him or her fully.
“People’s representatives holding two elected positions as MP and ADUN is a duplication and causes an overlap of duties. Certainly, they will find it very hard to meet the expectations and needs of the people.
What more when an elected representative who is already an MP and an ADUN is also holding a ministerial position.
“Let’s not forget that the people, especially their constituents, voted for them so that they can serve them fully,” he said.
He said based on the poll feedback, people prefer to have two separate individuals to serve them, one as MP and another as ADUN.
“Obviously, people don’t want one person to hold the two elected positions,” he said, adding that there are many examples and cases that prove its disadvantage.
He further revealed that according to the poll results, people do not want their elected representatives to be holding positions in the government like as board chairmen or as directors.
He said this would only distract them from their main duty that is to serve their respective constituents.
“In truth, when they neglect this duty, their people can suffer,” he said.
To drive his point, Hiew said an elected person who is both an MP and ADUN will have to skip attending session of either one.
“This puts his people at the disadvantage. They would lose a voice in either the state legislative assembly or parliament,” he said.
On this note, Hiew strongly feels it is the right time to put a stop to such a practice.
“We must not allow this to continue. A strict legislative measure must be approved and endorsed into our Sabah legislative constitutions to disallow a people’s representatives to hold both MP and ADUN positions,” he said.
He also stressed that this is an important step towards Sabah Maju Jaya.
“Through the public opinion survey that we’ve carried out, the rakyat have spoken. We can ask all Sabahans if we want to and their opinion about this matter will be just the same. So, the government must take heed,” said Hiew.
Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal both hold two posts in Parliament and Sabah state assembly.
Jeffrey is Keningau MP and Tambunan assemblyman while Shafie is Semporna MP and Senallang assemblyman.