Hornbill Unleashed

September 20, 2016

Redelineation: Opposition cries foul

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 PM

We have heard of voters claiming that they found out that they were “silently relocated” from their constituencies.

This and many other such concerns were raised to the EC several months back by Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) together with Member of Parliaments and State Assemblymen.

However, not only did EC not act on these complaints, they have now gone ahead with the redelineation exercise.

(Redelineation simply means re-organising voters into new geographical divisions, corresponding to new arrangements in electoral roll.)

Although the EC secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh says that the EC would propose that there be no changes in the number of parliamentary and state seats in the Peninsula, the Pakatan Harapan coalition has already identified seats that are affected and possibility of losing the seats.

Bersih 2.0’s grouses were that such delineation exercise requires the approval of Parliament which it did not have then.

Instead of owning up to the “sneaky” relocations done, it looks like the EC will actually seek approval from the Parliament to actually carry out redelineation exercises – for real.

If anything, it is a nightmare coming through for the Opposition.

PKR Batu MP Tian Chua says he has confidence in Malaysians that they will not take this siting down and will come forward to object to the redelineation exercise as it is their right to do so.

“We (Opposition) are worried, but if it happens, we need to face it.

“But we are not giving up just yet, though we are put in a position we still have about more than two weeks more to object to the redelineation exercise.

“Even if we fail, it is not over. So if the EC goes ahead with the redelineation exercise, and the Prime Minister announces a snap election, we will just have to restrategise and restructure our game plan.

“We just have to do it,” says Tian Chua.

He further explains that the redelineation exercise is bound to worsen the ethnicity polarisation in Malaysia and will not benefit even the ruling party.

“That is what we (Pakatan) don’t want. Even if BN succeeds in winning certain seats, their representation will be meaningless and they will not be able to serve the people.

“We are asking that the BN take this into consideration and come to their senses if this is their way of winning the elections.

“Think about how it will affect the constituents and not just think about how to win the elections and not benefit the people in the end,” he adds.

PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar says if the next general election takes place in 2018, it is too late to start a re-delineation exercise.

“In the run up to this year’s Sarawak state elections, the EC had delineated the voting boundaries in Sarawak — a controversial process which Keadilan challenged.

“As if compromising the votes of one state was not enough, this rigged process of redelineation is now traversing borders, enveloping all of Malaysia,” she says in a statement.

She adds that the redelineation is a method of which the ruling UMNO-BN cadre of political elites control Malaysia.

“Redelineation, as per our Malaysian Federal Constitution, is a process meant to provide voters ‘convenient opportunities of going to the polls’ and to keep the number of voters in constituencies within each state ‘approximately equal’.

“But in Malaysia’s case, the EC’s actions betray the very principles of redelineation enshrined in the Constitution,” she adds.

Nurul who is also the PKR Lembah Pantai MP says the victory is BN’s with the redelineation.

“In 2013, the opposition won 52% popular support. Despite an outright majority, the opposition only secured 40% of parliamentary seats (89 seats).

“According to our calculations, the new redelineation leaves the opposition with possibly less than ⅓ of parliamentary seats (less than 74 seats),” she says.


Soo Wern Jun


 

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