Fight cheating: Do not steal the right to vote by adopting unfair constituency boundary changes

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Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) upholds the need for the redrawing of electoral constituencies and insists that such boundary changes must comply with the principles for free and fair elections stipulated in the Federal Constitution.

Bersih 2.0 has monitored the progress of the redrawing of constituency boundaries by the Electoral Commission of Malaysia. The result of this work is the boundary changes report (recommendations) which Parliament is expected to endorse by a simple majority next week.

On Wednesday, Bersih 2.0 will submit a memorandum to the Speaker of Parliament, Pandikar Amin, and Prime Minister Najib Razak to lay before them the reasons why Parliament should not give effect to the recommendations contained in the boundary changes report.

Bersih 2.0 is flabbergasted by the blatant disregard by the Electoral Commission, the prime minister and the speaker of Parliament and potentially all members of the government and backbenchers for the following reasons:

First, there are cases pending in the courts with respect to the process of constituency boundary changes conducted by the Electoral Commission. One of the cases has 107 plaintiffs representing 10,000 voters! We are flabbergasted that the government and Parliament display such disrespect for the judiciary.

Second, prior to presenting the report to the prime minister, the Electoral Commission failed to hear objections from many members of the public who submitted objections in conformity with the Federal Constitution.

Third, the Federal Constitution anticipates that the Electoral Commission requires two years from giving public notice of the proposed boundary changes to submitting a report to the prime minister. The Electoral Commission published the notice on 15 September 2016. Therefore, the Electoral Commission has about six more months to complete its work (until 14 September 2018).

The Electoral Commission has displayed extreme bad faith and lack of respect for voters and their rights by submitting the report to the prime minister while cases are pending before the courts. This is not the first time that the Electoral Commission has bulldozed its way through the democratic process in order to legitimise clear attempts to skew the elections in favour of the ruling coalition and thereby derail clean and fair elections.

In view the cases before the courts and the violation of voters’ right to have their objections heard, the prime minister and the speaker should immediately withdraw the report from Parliament. The speaker of Parliament should not allow the tabling and debate of the report until all legal challenges are heard in court and decided by the judiciary.

Bersih 2.0 urges all Malaysians to join us at the gates of Parliament as we submit a memorandum to the speaker of Parliament. We must stand up and defend the right to elect a government that is the people’s choice. The blatant misuse of power and unchecked violations to the constitution cannot be allowed to continue.

Keluar mengundi, kalahkan pencuri.

Bersih 2.0 steering committee

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