Hentikan persempadanan semula sehingga masalah diselesaikan

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Bersih 2.0 mengecam kenyataan umum oleh bekas Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, berkaitan keahliannya dalam Perkasa. (English translation below)

Bekas pengerusi SPR Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman
Bekas pengerusi SPR Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman

Menurut laporan media, beliau telah mengakui bahawa sepanjang tempoh beliau menjawat jawatan Setiausaha dan Pengerusi SPR, tiga persempadanan semula telah dijalankan untuk “mengekalkan kuasa Melayu” (“Bekas pengerusi SPR sertai Perkasa untuk pastikan Melayu terus berkuasa”, The Malaysian Insider, 25 November 2013).

Beliau turut mengeluarkan kenyataan berbunyi, “Kami lakukan secara sah dan teliti. Mereka yang kalah semasa pilihan raya umum lalu mendakwa kami melakukan kesalahan. Jika betul, mengapa Barisan Nasional tewas di Kelantan, Pulau Pinang dan Selangor?”

Kenyataan Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman bahawa penggarisan semula sempadan pilihan raya berdasarkan kaum tersebut dilakukan dengan “cara yang sah” dan “teliti” ternyata satu kenyataan yang tidak jujur. Di bawah Jadual Ketiga Belas dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, salah satu prinsip yang harus diikuti dan dipatuhi dalam amalan persempadanan atau penggarisan semula ini termasuklah “bilangan pemilih di dalam setiap bahagian pilihan raya di dalam sesuatu negeri patutlah lebih kurang sama banyak kecuali bahawa, dengan mengambil kira kesulitan yang lebih besar untuk sampai kepada pemilih di dalam daerah desa dan kesukaran lain yang dihadapi oleh bahagian-bahagian pilihan raya di luar bandar, ukuran perwajaran bagi kawasan patutlah diberikan kepada bahagian-bahagian pilihan raya”. Ukuran perwajaran dengan tujuan mengurangkan jumlah pengundi dalam kawasan desa berbanding kawasan bandar hanya boleh berlaku dengan mengambil kira kesukaran logistik untuk memberi khidmat kepada mereka.

Bersih 2.0 tidak menafikan bahawa peruntukan perwajaran di daerah desa sering ditafsirkan sebagai menyebelahi Melayu, namun gambaran sebenar adalah jauh lebih kompleks. Kami suka untuk mendedahkan bahawa kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, selain tidak beretika dan menyalahi semangat Perlembagaan, adalah tidak tepat dan tidak sejajar dengan fakta dan angka sebenar.

Kerusi DUN terbesar di Selangor dan Perak adalah kerusi majoriti Melayu; misalnya kerusi DUN Seri Serdang (majoriti Melayu) yang pernah menjadi kerusi BN dahulu adalah dua kali ganda lebih besar berbanding kerusi Kinrara (majoriti Cina) yang dimenangi oleh Pakatan. Dengan meletakkan hanya seorang Adun untuk berkhidmat kepada 72,729 pengundi berdaftar di Seri Serdang, serta puluhan ribu lagi penduduk yang bukan pengundi, apakah kebaikan yang diterima oleh pengundi Melayu di sana?

Peruntukan perwajaran yang digariskan di dalam Perlembagaan juga tidak dipatuhi oleh SPR, seperti yang berlaku di kawasan Parlimen desa seperti Baling (93,376 pengundi pada 2013) yang mempunyai lebih pengundi berbanding kawasan Parlimen bandar seperti Alor Setar (69,189 pengundi pada 2013). Kedua-duanya adalah kawasan majoriti Melayu.

Ternyata, bukan faktor kaum yang menjadi asas kepada amalan persempadanan pilihan raya yang lalu, sebaliknya politik. Seperti yang selama ini diragui oleh Bersih 2.0, ternyata gerrymandering dan pembahagian tidak adil berlaku hanya untuk memenuhi kepentingan parti politik yang sedang berkuasa.

READ MORE:  New Election Commission chair should inspire public confidence and continue with electoral reforms

Tugas yang diamanahkan kepada SPR tertakluk kepada Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan standard antarabangsa, termasuklah Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 1994 Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Election. Kejayaan dan keberkesanan SPR tidak diukur pada kejayaan mana-mana parti politik menguasai mana-mana kerusi, sebaliknya kemampuan untuk mematuhi standard dan prinsip yang telah digariskan seperti di atas.

Kenyataan oleh Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman ini membuktikan kebenaran dakwaan Bersih 2.0 selama ini bahawa SPR adalah badan pilihan raya yang tidak adil dan berat sebelah. Apabila bekas Pengerusi SPR sendiri mampu membuat kenyataan sebegini secara terbuka, tanpa mengambil kira tanggungjawab dan akauntabilitinya terhadap masyarakat, maka kami yakin sikap dan amalan sebegini akan turut diwarisi oleh SPR hari ini.

Dengan rekod lampau yang ditunjukkan oleh SPR yang lalu, Bersih 2.0 tidak mempunyai keyakinan ke atas barisan SPR hari ini dalam menjalankan tugas mereka secara adil, bebas, dan beretika. Testimoni yang dikumpul ketika Tribunal Rakyat pada September 2013 yang lalu pernah mendedahkan kewujudan ahli-ahli parti politik yang aktif menjadi petugas SPR ketika Pilihan Raya Umum yang ke 13 lepas. Sebelumnya, timbul dakwaan Pengerusi dan Timbalan Pengerusi SPR juga mempunyai keahlian dalam Umno.

Keengganan SPR untuk membersihkan senarai undi walau sudah dibuktikan sebagai bermasalah kini boleh difahami sebab-musababnya. Penemuan kes-kes penyelewengan dan pelanggaran peraturan pilihan raya pada PRU13 oleh Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat (Pemantau), ditambah dengan keengganan SPR untuk bertanggungjawab dalam kes dakwat kekal; memuktamadkan segala dakwaan.

Bersih 2.0 sekeras-kerasnya dengan ini, sekali lagi menggesa supaya persempadanan semula yang sedang berlangsung kini dihentikan serta merta sehingga senarai pengundi dibersihkan, dan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya yang baru perlu dilantik dengan penglibatan langsung masyarakat sivil.

Kenyataan oleh Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman ini melengkapkan lagi episod panjang kecurangan dan salah laku yang terpalit ke atas Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya selama ini. Walau yang demikian, kami percaya kecurangan ini boleh dihentikan, namun ia perlu dilakukan sekarang.

Salam Bersih!

Jawatankuasa Pemandu Bersih 2.0

Gabungan Menuntut Pilihan Raya Bersih & Adil (Bersih 2.0)

Jawatankuasa Pemandu Bersih 2.0 terdiri daripada:

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Penegerusi Bersama), Datuk A. Samad Said (Pengerusi Bersama), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdullah, Dr Farouk Musa, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh dan Zaid Kamaruddin.


Stop delineation until problems are resolved

Bersih 2.0 is deeply troubled to read statements made by the former Election Commission chair, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, upon publicly declaring his membership in Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa). According to news reports, during his time in the Election Commission as secretary and chair, three re-delineation exercises “ensured Malays remained in power” (“Ex-Election Commission chief joins Perkasa, says goal is to help Malays retain power”, The Malaysian Insider, 25 November 2013).

He further stated, “We did it in a proper way. Not illegally. The people who lost in the past general elections claimed that we did it wrong. But if we did, how did Barisan Nasional lose to the opposition in Kelantan, Penang and Selangor?”

Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s statement that the EC’s ethnicity-based re-drawing of electoral boundaries was done “in a proper way” and “not illegally” is, at best, disingenuous. Under the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, one of the principles governing the delineation or delimitation of electoral boundaries was that “the number of electors within each constituency in a State ought to be approximately equal except that, having regard to the greater difficulty of reaching electors in the country districts and the other disadvantages facing rural constituencies, a measure of weightage for area ought to be given to such constituencies.” How this was supposed to be carried out in practice was that a rural constituency may have fewer voters compared to an urban constituency of a similar or smaller geographic size, on the basis of logistical difficulties of serving rural voters.

Bersih 2.0 recognises that the provision on rural weightage is widely interpreted as an implicit pro-Malay weightage, but the real picture is more complex. We would like to point out that Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s claims, setting aside their ethically and constitutionally dubious nature, are not borne out by the numbers. The largest state seats in Selangor and Perak are Malay-majority – for example, the Malay-majority and previously BN-held Seri Serdang is twice the size of Chinese-majority and PR-held Kinrara. With one assembly member to serve the 72,769 registered voters of Seri Serdang (and even more non-voting residents), can this be said to have given the Malay voters of that constituency an advantage?

The provision on rural weightage is not even adhered to by the EC, as the rural Parliamentary seat of Baling (93,376 in 2013) has considerably more voters than the urban Parliamentary seat of Alor Setar (69,189 voters in 2013). Both are Malay-majority seats. It appears, in fact, that political rather than ethnic factors were at play in previous re-delineation exercises. As Bersih 2.0 has long suspected, the gerrymandering and malapportionment served the interests of the political party in power.

The EC is bound by principles set down in the Federal Constitution and international standards in conducting its duties, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 1994 Declaration on Criteria for Free and Election. The measure of the EC’s success is not the victory of any particular political party, but whether their actions can meet these standards.

Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s statements lend credence to Bersih 2.0’s long-running contention that the Malaysian Election Commission (EC) is not an independent, non-partisan election management body. That the former EC chair felt he could make these statements openly, with not even the barest recognition of public accountability, speaks volumes about the political culture which the current EC inherited and continues to perpetuate.

Bersih 2.0 has severe reservations about the ability of the current EC to succeed where its predecessors failed, in exercising its responsibilities in an ethical, non-partisan, and independent manner. Testimonies during the People’s Tribunal in September 2013 spoke of active political party members serving as EC staff during the 13th General Election (GE13). It was previously reported that the current chair and deputy chair of the EC are Umno party members.

The EC’s reluctance to clean the electoral rolls despite repeated evidence casting doubt over their integrity has been noted. Further, observations by Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat (Pemantau) during GE13 noted that flagrant violations of election-related laws happened with impunity, in addition to the EC’s complete lack of accountability over the issue of the indelible ink.

Bersih 2.0 strongly urges that the current re-delineation exercise be halted until the electoral rolls are cleaned and new Election Commission members appointed with the participation of civil society. Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s statements join a long line of disappointing and troubling revelations on the conduct of the EC, but the rot can and should stop here.

Salam Bersih!

Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee

Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0)

The Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0 comprises:

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdullah, Dr Farouk Musa, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin.

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