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Election Commission must be transparent over delineation

Photo credit: hazuism.blogspot.com

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The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) calls upon the Election Commission to be fully transparent in its announcements on the delineation exercise.

Photo credit: hazuism.blogspot.com

There is a pressing need for information so it is possible for the public to make protest representation on the proposed boundaries within the allotted time period.

We request the Election Commission to:

  • reveal the planned date of release of the review proposal report on delineation.
  • ensure the new constituency maps are easily available and accessible to all at no cost. This includes providing digitised copies of all the maps.
  • ensure all the constituency maps, for state and federal levels, are available centrally at Putrajaya, in addition to widely disseminating them regionally.

These steps will ensure the public have the opportunity to fully review the proposals to ensure the new boundaries are in the best interests of their communities. At present, the 30-day time period to make protest representation is extremely restrictive.

In addition, we express disappointment that the Election Commission has not followed through with assurances to investigate concerns we have raised in the past.

The Election Commission must answer the following questions:

Will the Election Commission continue to increase the number of seats in Parliament and state assemblies? We reiterate that the determination of the number of seats is a function of Parliament, not the Election Commission.

Will the Election Commission abide by the constitutional requirement of maintaining local ties in setting constituency boundaries? We argue that in order to maintain local ties, these boundaries should be based on local council boundaries.

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Will the Election Commission uphold the fundamental principle of “one person, one vote, one value” (OPOVOV) when determining the size of constituencies? We stress the constitutional provision to maintain “approximately equal” constituencies cannot be stretched to mean some constituencies can be two or three times larger than others.

Will the Election Commission preserve the integrity of the electoral roll in the delineation process? The teleporting of voters away from their geographical location, such as in the case of Kampung Abdullah, should not recur.

We strongly urge the EC to take these issues into consideration and provide the public with comprehensive explanations of the delineation process.

Issued by,

The Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0, which comprises:

Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Prof Madya Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusoff, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and New Sin Yew; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).

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