A think tank has slammed the Election Commission for changing the polling districts of voters, resulting in many now having to cast their votes in different constituencies.
Political and social analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat, from the Penang Institute, said instead of redrawing the boundaries of constituencies, the EC is changing polling districts.
“The change is made to the polling district boundary within the constituency. It is a purely administrative exercise.
“People cannot file objections over this, only a judicial review,” he said, describing the exercise as a “backdoor” way to change the boundaries.
“The public is not told about it and they cannot complain. But if the change crosses the constituency boundary, it becomes an issue,” he said.
Wong pointed out that this has happened to the Paya Terubong state seat in Penang, where a small part of it is now in the Batu Uban seat.
“Some people who voted in Batu Uban will now vote in Paya Terubong because of the change made to their polling district,” he said, comparing an election map from 2013 with the current one.
Wong said some changes in Penang were significant and some were not.
“Other examples are in Bukit Bendera, between Batu Maung and Bayan Lepas, Pengkalan Kota and Komtar, Batu Uban and Seri Delima, Prai and Bukit Tengah.
“There will only be impact on the seats that have marginal support. Seats that are strongholds will not be affected,” he said.
The redrawing of polling district boundaries is being challenged in Selangor to declare it unlawful, he said.
Wong was presenting to the media the report “Hard Evidence on the Election Commission (EC) Sustaining and Worsening Malapportionment” at the Penang Institute today.
The report was prepared by Wong and other researchers and analysts, Dr Toh Kin Woon, Yeong Pey Jung, Nidhal Mujahid and Ooi Kok Hin.
Source : Looi Sue-Chern @ FMT Online