by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Sunday, 6th June 1993:
DAP invites Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to create history by ensuring that the 33-member Penang State Assembly unanimously supports the private member’s bill to amend the Penang State Constitution to increase six state assembly constituencies and the DAP motion asking Parliament for an increase of two parliamentary constituencies
DAP invites the Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, to create history by ensuring that the 33-member Penang State Assembly unanimously supports the private member’s bill to amend the Penang State Constitution to increase six state assembly constituencies which I would be moving and the DAP motion asking Parliament for an increase of two parliamentary constituencies.
I am prepared to meet with Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to find ways whereby on matters affecting the Penang state, as in this case concerning the right of the people of Penang to an increase of six state assembly and two parliamentary constituencies, the Government and the Opposition could rise above party politics and take a common stand.
I am prepared to meet with Dr. Koh Tsu Koon any time next week if he accepts the principle that the Government can take a common stand with the Opposition in the Penang State Assembly for the good and welfare of the people of Penang.
In this connection, I must rebut a suggestion in certain quarters that the DAP’s proposal for an increase of six State Assembly and two parliamentary seats for the Penang State is an ‘about-face’ from our position in the Penang State Assembly last year when we rejected the 1992 Penang State Constitution Amendment Bill by denying it the requisite two-thirds majority.
The 1992 Penang State Constitution Amendment Bill sought to increase three state assembly seats for Penang without any increase of parliamentary seats. This is highly ridiculous and makes a mockery of the democratic principle of one-man, one-vote as Penang is entitled to at least two new parliamentary seats and six new state assembly seats, i.e. increasing from the present 11 Parliamentary and 33 State Assembly seats to 13 Parliamentary and 39 State Assembly seats.
It is for this reason that DAP said in the Penang State Assembly last year that if there is to be no increase of parliamentary seats, then the ratio of one Parliament to three State Assembly seats should be increased to one to four, which would mean an increase of eleven seats.
However, with the cancellation of the review of the electoral constituency redelineation exercise by the Election Commission when it was challenged by my legal suit in February this year, the opportunity has been created to reconsider this question again.
Dr. Koh Tsu Koon himself said immediately after the cancellation of the constituency redelineation exercise that the State government was seeking an extra parliamentary seat from the Election Commission for Penang state.
This is why DAP is introducing a private member’s bill to amend the State Constitution to increase six state assembly seats and a motion to ask Parliament to amend the Federal Constitution to increase two parliamentary seats for Penang – making a total of 13 Parliamentary seats ns 39 State Assembly seats in Penang, as proposed by the DAP in the Penang State Assembly last year.