DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang today questioned if the Election Commission was out to racially polarise the country through its redelineation exercise.
This was after the opposition, including PKR vice-president Dr Xavier Jeyakumar, complained that the EC was replacing racially-mixed seats with Malay seats in the latest exercise.
“Let the EC chairperson Mohd Hashim Abdullah explain whether the constituency redelineation proposals had been inspired by the 1Malaysia policy to promote a nation where every Malaysian regards himself or herself as Malaysian first, or whether it will in effect exacerbate racial polarisation and consciousness, and undermine national unity, in the country,” Lim said in a statement.
He reminded the people that in 2013, the then EC chairperson, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, who oversaw six general elections, admitted to gerrymandering the electoral boundaries in bolstering Malay political power, and by extension, Umno.
“Let Mohd Hashim explain whether the EC is still promoting this secret agenda in the redelineation of electoral constituencies, as analyses of the redelineation proposals seem to point only to the existence of this agenda to ensure that Umno remains in power,” Lim said.
The Gelang Patah MP also urged the EC to respond to criticism that the proposed changes to the constitutional boundaries are the worst yet in regard to violating the democratic principle of ‘one man, one vote, one value’.
Lim said the disparity between parliamentary seats with the largest and smallest electorates in Selangor and Johor have been made worse by the EC in the latest redelineation exercise.
He pointed out the largest seat in Selangor in 2013 was Kapar, with 144,159 voters, while the smallest, Sabak Bernam, had 37,318 voters. Under the redelineation, the new Damansara, which is now Petaling Jaya Utara, would have the largest number of voters at 150,439 while Sabak Bernam is at 37,216.
Similarly, in Johor, the largest constituency, Gelang Patah, will see its voters increase from 106,725 to 112,081, while the smallest constituency, Labis, will see its voters go down from 37,714 to 37,568 voters, thus worsening the disparity.
“Peninsular-wide, the electorates of 15,627 voters in Putrajaya and 150,439 voters in Damansara in effect provide an example where one vote in Putrajaya is equivalent to 10 votes in Damansara,” Lim added.