Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah has withdrawn her appeal against a court decision that did not allow her to challenge the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation exercise over its purported lack of information on constituencies’ landmass.
The electoral watchdog said it was concerned that it would not win the case if it proceeded with its appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision to refuse Maria leave for her judicial review application, and that it could set an adverse precedent for other pending and future lawsuits against the redelineation exercise.
“The lack of landmass information has impaired any objection by interested parties to challenge the EC on whether due weightage has been given in EC’s proposal in accordance with the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution,” said Bersih 2.0 in a statement today.
The polls reform group cited Section 2(c) of the 13th Schedule that states that the number of voters in each constituency should be “approximately equal” and that a certain weightage should be given to constituencies if disadvantages facing rural constituencies are taken into account.
“The ratio of 4:1 between P106 Damansara and P1092 Sabak Bernam is clearly a grave deviation from the ‘approximately equal’ apportionment. But is the excessive over-representation of P092 Sabak Bernam (37,126) justified by its area or landmass (in squared kilometers)?
“If so, could the EC explain why P094 Hulu Selangor can have an electorate twice as large as that of P092 Sabak Bernam (76,599 voters) with a landmass that seems to be five times as large?” said Bersih 2.0.
The group pointed out that the EC has readily admitted the necessity of landmass information by always including it in its final report to Parliament.
“If left unchecked and unchallenged, the EC would be allowed to decide on the kind of information that needs to be made available to the public, and that only the bare minimum of information regarding the proposed redelineation exercise would be disclosed,” said Bersih 2.0.
Source : @ Malay Mail Online