Home Coalitions Clean and Fair Elections Cheating in redrawing constituency boundaries: Voters must hold PM, Electoral Commission chair...

Cheating in redrawing constituency boundaries: Voters must hold PM, Electoral Commission chair responsible

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The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) strongly condemns the Electoral Commission’s continuing rush in the redrawing of constituency boundaries with no regard to due process and principles provided in the Federal Constitution.

The commission chairman, Mohd Hashim, yesterday announced that the exercise to redraw boundaries has been completed, and they have presented the final report to the prime minister.

This action by the commission is illegal because it has not properly completed the second local inquiry for Selangor. In February, over 250 objections were filed by voters in Selangor, but the commission has only notified and held local inquiries for about 50 groups.

As for the other 200-over groups of objections, the commission has neither any courtesy nor responsibility to notify them of the status of their objections and local inquiries. On the contrary, the commission chairman had deceitfully made a media commentary recently that the second local inquiries were still ongoing, and similar assertions were made by the senior federal counsel to the Court of Appeal in the Selangor case on 2 March 2018.

The commission has now stooped to a new low, as the announcement of the completion of the boundary redrawing exercise effectively means that they are now even denying the very minimum rights of over 20,000 objectors to be heard on the issues of the redrawing, as provided by the Federal Constitution.

As such, Bersih and a group of four objectors have filed a legal suit against the commission last week, demanding that their local inquiries and their rights to be heard. The commission can expect more legal suits by voters to come as the people continue to fight for their rights. We urge the judiciary to fulfil its role in protecting the rights of ordinary voters and not to continue granting ‘immunity’ to the commission against judiciary scrutiny as it has done in the other constituency redrawing and election cases.

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It is clear that the commission and the prime minister are determined to have the new electoral boundaries passed before the coming general election. Now that the final report is in the hands of the prime minister, he has unfettered power under section 9 of the thirteenth schedule of the Federal Constitution to make any further changes as he deems necessary before tabling it in Parliament. It is certain that the prime minister and the commission will continue to cheat and force the proposed exercise through to steal the coming election.

Bersih 2.0 warns Prime Minister Najib Razak and Elecoral Commission chairman Mohd Hashim that their continuing abuse of power and contempt against voters will not go unnoticed. Voters will ensure that they are punished and made to answer for all their actions. We urge all voters to hold Prime Minister Najib and commission chairman Mohd Hashim responsible for manipulating, cheating, and destroying the electoral system in Malaysia.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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