Electoral Commission should resign over scandalous ‘Selangor by-pass’ in redelineation

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Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

Bersih 2.0 calls on the Electoral Commission to resign over its scandalous attempt to expedite its flawed redelineation proposal by by-passing the state of Selangor, while the judicial review is still being heard by the court.

Bersih 20 stresses that the commission’s second proposal, which was published yesterday for display for a month, is unconstitutional and smacks of contempt of court because it has taken Selangor out from the “States of Malaya”.

Article 113(6) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that:

There shall be separate reviews under Clause (2) for the States of Malaya and for each of the States of Sabah and Sarawak, and for the purposes of this Part the expression “unit of review” shall mean, for federal constituencies, the area under review and, for State constituencies, the State and the expression “States of Malaya” shall include the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

It is very clear from the Article and the previous redelineation exercises that all states of Malaya and the federal territories are to be redelineated in one go. The commission is completely silent on why Selangor is excluded in the exercise in defiance of Article 113(6)’s stipulation and previous practices.

As the Electoral Commission cannot have acted on its own, we demand that Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali and whoever in the attorney general’s chambers responsible for advising the commission account to the public for their advice.

The commission’s inelegant silence cannot conceal the shame it has brought on itself by tearing apart Article 113 and the Thirteenth Schedule in its first proposal published on 15 September, for not only Selangor, but the entire peninsula and Sabah.

The Selangor suit has exposed the Electoral Commission’s blatant and extensive non-compliance with the Thirteenth Schedule.

Sub-section 2(c) demands apportionment to be approximately equal. Yet the commission proposed a vast disparity, with the largest parliamentary constituency, P106 Damansara, having 4.05 times as many voters at the smallest one, P092 Sabak Bernam.

Sub-section 2(d) demands “maintenance of local ties.” Yet, the commission proposed to fragment local authorities such that the proposed P107 Sungai Buloh spans across four local authorities and the proposed N41 Batu Tiga spans across three local authorities.

Sub-section 2(d) demands attention on “inconveniences” caused by boundary changes. Yet, the senior federal counsel representing the commission admitted in court that the commission never considered any unintended consequences of its proposals.

The Electoral Commission should respect the judge, the courts and the judicial review process. The commission should await and learn from the court’s wise decision and apply the decision to other states.

Instead, Mohd Hashim Abddullah and his commission, under the apparent bad counsel of  Apandi’s attorney general’s chambers, has chosen to treat with utter contempt the judge presiding over the Selangor suit, the judiciary and the Federal Constitution.

Malaysians must all stand up and condemn the Electoral Commission’s scandalous “Selangor by-pass”. We must tell them that they are not above the law, the court and the Federal Constitution.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee members

Yap Pik Kuan
Media & Comms Officer
BERSIH 2.0 Secretariat

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