Address unfair redrawing of constituency boundaries urgently

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Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) objects irrevocably to the second display on the proposed electoral boundaries in Selangor.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has been recalcitrant and has not withdrawn its unfair redrawing of constituency boundaries. Bersih 2.0 has submitted our strong objection to the violation of the constitutional clause of “approximately equal”.

The role of the commission is to ensure fair redrawing so that the rakyat will be able to elect the representatives whom they voted for and will not be manipulated due to unfair redrawing of boundaries, malapportionment and gerrymandering. The commission’s continuous inability to solve the matter is indicative of the failure of such weak institutions to uphold the rights of the rakyat and their participation in ensuring clean and fair elections.

Bersih 2.0 holds the commission accountable to the people, the political parties and Parliament as it plays a vital role in facilitating the processes and procedures by which the democratic system rests. It cannot continue to sidestep and flout the law without so much as a slap on the wrist.

Despite the commission bulldozing through the local inquiries as a result of objections to the first display with no care or consideration for the availability of the objectors during the festive season, Bersih 2.0 and all concerned parties have worked together to protest against unconstitutional redrawing of boundaries, malapportionment and gerrymandering.

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The ensuing local inquiry process must be based on the right of the voter to choose their own government and for that reason, the redrawn boundaries must be impartial to all political parties. There is no point to the local inquiries if the commission continues to bulldoze through the process without taking action to address gerrymandering and malapportionment, or the entire process will be reduced to nothing more than a farce.

“This is not just about redelineation but safeguarding our Constitution, the supreme law of the country – and also the rule of law, and to defend clean and fair elections in Malaysia. The violations of the people’s constitutional right further bring home the need for laws and institutional reform of the Election Commission,” said Maria Chin Abdullah, chairperson of Bersih 2.0.

Bersih 2.0 expects the local inquiries to begin within the next one or two weeks. The final report on the redrawing of boundaries will be sent to the prime minister, who will then table it at Parliament for adoption. The courts have failed to deliver justice and so Parliament is our last bastion to put the lid on unfair redrawing of boundaries.

Bersih 2.0 calls upon all MPs to act as the rakyat’s voice and critically debate the report, if it is tabled in Parliament – and to reject the commission’s report on the redrawing in total where there is gross violation of the constitutional parameters.

Satukan tenaga, kalahkan penipuan.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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