Hornbill Unleashed

November 29, 2013

Stop redelineation exercise, Bersih urges Election Commission

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Bersih says the recent statement by the former EC chairman further damages the commission's credibility in conduction elections. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 27, 2013.TMI

Bersih says the recent statement by the former EC chairman further damages the commission’s credibility in conduction elections.

Bersih 2.0 has reiterated its call to the Election Commission (EC) to stop its redelineation exercise until the electoral rolls have been cleaned and the whole leadership of the EC stepped down.

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections was responding to a recent report confirming that the former EC chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, has joined Perkasa.

Abdul Rashid, who joined the Malay right-wing group six months ago, has said that his experience could help the majority race keep power.

He also revealed that three redelineation exercises on electoral borders, which were done during his time with the EC, had ensured Malays remained in power.

“We did it in a proper way. Not illegally. The people who lost in the past general elections claimed that we did it wrong. But if we did, how did Barisan Nasional lose to the opposition in Kelantan, Penang and Selangor?” he had said.

Bersih pointed out in a statement today that the fact that the former chairman could make these statements openly was a matter of concern.

“That the former EC chair felt he could make these statements openly, with not even the barest recognition of public accountability, speaks volumes about the political culture which the current EC inherited and continues to perpetuate,” it said.

It said Abdul Rashid’s statement defending EC’s race-based electoral boundaries as proper and legal was “disingenuous”.

The influential group, which was behind several major rallies in the country, pointed out that newly drawn electoral boundaries would see more voters in an urban constituency compared to a rural constituency of a similar or bigger size.

It compared two Malay-majority seats, the rural parliamentary seat of Baling in Kedah, with 93,376 voters in 2013, which had more voters than the urban Alor Setar seat with 69,189 voters.

“It appears, in fact, that political rather than ethnic factors were at play in previous re-delineation exercises. As Bersih 2.0 has long suspected, the gerrymandering and malapportionment served the interests of the political party in power.

“The measure of the EC’s success is not the victory of any particular political party but whether their actions can meet these standards. Abdul Rahman’s statements lend credence to Bersih 2.0’s long-running contention that the EC is not an independent, non-partisan election management body,” it noted.

Bersih said it had “severe reservations” about the ability of the EC under its current leadership in executing its duties in an ethical, non-partisan, and independent manner.

It said the EC’s credibility was further damaged by testimonies heard at the recent People’s Tribunal on electoral fraud, observations made by election monitors during the May 5 polls, claims that the top two EC leaders are Umno members, its reluctance to clean up the electoral rolls as well as lack of accountability over several issues, including on the indelible ink episode.

Abdul Rashid managed six of Malaysia’s 12 general elections. He was appointed EC secretary in 1979 before assuming the commission’s leadership in 2000, retiring shortly after the watershed 2008 general election.

1 Comment »

  1. It was obvious and apparent that the former chairman of the Election Commission had deceived and cheated on Malaysian voters through gerrymandering to help UMNO Baru retained and stayed in power. He was only using the Malay race and Islam as his shields in the event he was crticised and blasted by right thinkng Malaysians.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — November 29, 2013 @ 2:57 PM | Reply

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