Allegations that the redrawing of electoral boundaries by the Election Commission was intended to favour the government is baseless and done in bad faith, a federal minister said.
Defending the body against allegations of sabotage, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman was quoted by English daily The Star as saying that the redelineation was done within the EC’s legal powers.
“The allegations that the EC is misusing its powers to sabotage the Opposition is untrue. As long as it is within the jurisdiction of the EC, all allegations of sabotage is done in bad faith,” she was quoted as saying.
The commission in an 18-page notice had reportedly proposed to alter the electoral boundaries of several parliamentary and state constituencies in all states bar Perlis, Labuan and Putrajaya.
The proposed amendments could see 12 parliamentary and 34 state constituencies in the peninsula undergo a name change while it also listed 13 proposed new state constituencies for Sabah, increasing the number of the state seats to 73.
But Pakatan Harapan leaders alleged the some of the proposed redelineation exercise would carve out opposition-held federal and state seats to favour Barisan Nasional, especially in Johor and Selangor.
Among the constituencies that would be affected by the proposed changes are Pagoh in Johor and Lembah Pantai. The former is held by sacked Umno leader Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the latter PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
EC secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh was reported saying the review would be conducted based on the provisions of Clause (2) Article 113 of the Federal Constitution and amendments to Clause (2) Article 14 of the Sabah State Constitution, gazetted on Aug 18.
But objections to the recommendations could only be made by the state government, local authorities partly or partially included in the redelineation exercise, or a group of no less than 100 registered voters of an affected constituency.
The Malay Mail Online