The Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation proposal will create single ethnic domination in certain seats, contrary to the government’s national integration efforts, says the Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet).
The think tank warned that the EC’s latest approach also contradicts the urban housing policy.
“It’s certainly not about 1Malaysia,” Cenbet said in a statement today.
Cenbet called for the EC to ensure a good ethnic mixture in the urban and semi-urban constituencies in particular.
“Single ethnic seats encourage politicians to pander to narrow racial sentiments, at the expense of nation building. Such seats will become breeding grounds for extremism,” the statement read.
Another bone of contention for Cenbet was the non-consultative method taken by the EC in coming up with the redelineation proposals.
“The EC must be transparent, professional and accountable in carrying out its constitutional duties,” Cenbet said, citing the United Kingdom as a case in point.
“In redrawing parliamentary constituencies, the UK Boundary Commission is required by law to spend weeks in consultations with political parties and the public.”
Just as important for Cenbet is the constitutional duty by EC to push for equal electoral representation.
“The EC must not compromise on the basic ‘one person, one vote, one value’ principle in a parliamentary democracy.
“Any deviation from the principle must be for valid reasons,” it said.
“Urban constituencies with high population density must be weighed against rural constituencies with a sparse population.
“Hence, there must be clear justification for deviation and the formula must be spelled out,” the NGO said, adding there is still no justification nor information provided by the EC on the proposals last week.
Without such information, the Cenbet warned that the EC’s proposals would come across as arbitrary, or worse, politically-motivated.