The Election Commission must publicly explain its justifications for redrawing electoral boundaries that has sparked outcry from across the political divide. The opaque manner in which the EC came up with the recommendations go against the principle of good governance which Cenbet promotes.
The EC should publicise information and be transparent about its methodology and formula in arriving at its redelineation proposals, be it due to ethnic composition constraints, population density and geographical considerations etc. Without such information, the EC’s proposals would come across as arbitrary, or worse, politically-motivated.
The EC should have also engaged political parties from across the divide as well as the public on matters of such national importance. In the United Kingdom, where there is a now redrawing of Parliamentary constituencies, the UK Boundary Commission is required by law to spend weeks in consultations with political parties and the public.
In redrawing the electoral boundaries, the EC must bear in mind the “one person one vote” basic principle of equality in a Parliamentary democracy.
Any deviation of such principle must be justified for valid reasons. Granted that the high population density in an urban constituency has to be weighed against the sparse population in a wide geographical rural constituency (or for that matter a semi urban constituency) a clear justification for deviation and formula must nonetheless be spelled out.
In this context, the obvious disparity of numbers of voters in an urban constituency like Damansara and other similar urban constituency in Klang Valley is an unacceptable case of irrational proposal.
Further, it is lamentable that some of the EC’s proposals now seem to favour single ethnic domination in certain seats. Such proposal runs against the national integration policy, frustrate the efforts of our Unity Department, contradict the urban housing policy implemented for years, and certainly not in conformity with a united one Malaysia national aspiration.
The EC should instead, wherever demographically possible, ensure that all constituencies have a good ethnic composition, in particular, the urban and semi urban constituencies.
Single ethnic seat encourages politicians vying for support in those areas to pander to narrow racial sentiments, at the expense of nation building. They are inclined to become a breeding ground for extremism, which goes against the nation’s founding principle.
The EC is an all-important institution established under the Federal Constitution. It has an overriding constitutional duty to provide a platform for equal electoral competition in the spirit of harmonious living and national integration as enshrined in our Federal Constitution. The EC must be more transparent, professional and accountable in carrying out its constitutional duty for the nation.
Gan Ping Sieu