Kerajaan negeri perlu pimpin pembaharuan persempadanan kawasan pilihan raya (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Gabungan untuk Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) menggesa agar persempadanan pilihan raya yang ada sekarang dikaji semula sebelum pilihan raya umum ke-15 untuk mengatasi masalah persempadanan yang telah lama berlaku.

Kerajaan negeri yang berfikiran reformasi mesti proaktif untuk memimpin pembaharuan ini sekiranya kerajaan persekutuan enggan melakukannya.

Bersih 2.0 pada telah melancarkan sebuah laporan yang bertajuk “Perwakilan Saksama dan Berkesan dengan Persempadanan Daya Usaha Kerajaan Negeri – Kajian Kebolehlaksanaan Untuk Pulau Pinang”. Laporan ini dinaungi oleh Bersih 2.0 dan ditulis oleh Prof Wong Chin Huat.

Mengambil Pulau Pinang sebagai contoh, laporan ini mengkaji masalah persempadanan di kawasan-kawasan dewan undangan negeri di Pulau Pinang dan menjalankan simulasi persempadanan untuk mengurangkan masalah ketidaksekataan (malapportionment) dan gerimander (gerrymandering) di Pulau Pinang. Penyelidikan ini juga mengkaji masalah sempadan pilihan raya di Selangor dan Negeri Sembilan, yang hasilnya akan dikongsikan kepada umum kelak.

Bersih 2.0 menyatakan kebimbangan bahawa masalah ketidaksekataan akan menjadi lebih serius apabila penurunan usia mengundi kepada 18 tahun (Undi18) dan pendaftaran pemilih automatik dilaksanakan kerana golongan muda kebanyakan tinggal di kawasan bandar bagi mendapatkan pendidikan dan pekerjaan. Pada masa ini, jumlah pengundi di kawasan bandar sudah jauh lebih tinggi daripada di kawasan luar bandar, sekitar tiga hingga empat kali ganda. Jurangnya mungkin menjadi enam hingga lapan kali ganda selepas Undi18 dan pendaftaran pemilih automatik berkuatkuasa.

Dalam pelaksanaan persempadanan semula pada tahun 2016 berdasarkan daftar pemilih tahun 2015, kawasan dewan undangan negeri terbesar di Pulau Pinang iaitu N34 Paya Terubong mempunyai 3.3 kali ganda lebih banyak pengundi daripada jumlah pengundi terkecil di negeri ini iaitu N23 Air Putih. Tanpa perubahan persempadanan pilihan raya, nisbah diantara keduanya telah meningkat kepada 3.6 dalam tempoh lima tahun, pada akhir tahun 2020, menurut hasil kajian laporan ini.

Sementara di Selangor, kawasan dewan undangan negeri terbesar iaitu N30 Kinrara, memiliki 77,638 pemilih, atau 4.8 kali pemilih di kawasan dewan undangan negeri terkecil, N01 Sungai Air Tawar, 16,315 pengundi. Perbezaan saiz pengundi ini dijangka akan semakin teruk.

Di Negeri Sembilan, kawasan dewan undangan negeri terbesar Negeri Sembilan iaitu N25 Paroi, memiliki 39,200 pemilih sementara yang daerah terkecil iaitu N17 Senaling, hanya memiliki 7,955 pemilih, menghasilkan nisbah maksimum-ke-minimum yang tinggi iaitu 4.9. Dari 36 kawasan dewan undangan negeri, hanya 13 (36%) memenuhi piawaian 1957 dan 12 (33%) lagi memenuhi piawaian 1962, menjadikan empat kawasan pilihan raya (11%) terlalu besar dan tujuh yang lain (19%) terlalu kecil.

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Tanggungjawab terbesar masalah ini terletak pada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya, yang gagal menegakkan Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan membetulkan masalah dalam proses persempadanan kawasan pilihan raya yang dilakukan pada setiap lapan tahun. Ia tidak dapat bertindak balas terhadap perubahan sosio-demografi yang penting iaitu migrasi dan pembandaran.

Perkembangan seperti ini, jika tidak ditangani segera, akan merosakkan prinsip satu orang satu undi dan akan mengganggu keputusan pilihan raya.

Jadual Ketiga Belas Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Subseksyen 2(c), menetapkan bahawa semua kawasan pilihan raya harus mempunyai jumlah pengundi yang hampir sama dan 2(d), menekankan “pemeliharaan hubungan tempatan”.

Oleh itu, kami menggesa agar kerajaan negeri Pulau Pinang, Selangor dan Negeri Sembilan untuk mengatasi masalah ketidaksekataan dan gerimander di negeri mereka. Ini dapat dilakukan dengan menambahkan kerusi ke dewan undangan negeri, yang akan mencetuskan pelaksanaan pemilihan di peringkat negeri. Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya berkewajiban untuk melakukan persempadanan dengan segera dan bukannya menunggu sehingga kitaran lapan tahun berakhir.

Kerajaan Pulau Pinang, Selangor dan Negeri Sembilan juga mesti memperkenalkan pindaan terhadap perlembagaan negeri masing-masing yang menetapkan secara jelas dua kriteria penting dalam persempadanan kawasan di negeri mereka:

  • Jumlah pengundi mestilah hampir sama di antara kawasan pilihan raya di negeri ini. Bagi Selangor, setiap wakil rakyat yang terpilih akan mewakili sejumlah pemilih yang antara 1.17% hingga 2.02% dari semua pemilih. Di Pulau Pinang, setiap wakil rakyat yang terpilih akan mewakili sejumlah pemilih yang turun antara 1.55% dan 2.68% dari semua pemilih
  • Setiap wakil rakyat yang terpilih hanya mewakili pemilih dari satu daerah pentadbiran. Persempadanan kawasan dewan undangan negeri tidak boleh melintasi dua atau lebih daerah pentadbiran

Ketuanan pengundi! Hidup demokrasi! – Bersih 2.0

English version

State governments should take lead in constituency delimitation reform to address malapportionment and gerrymandering

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) calls for the current election constituency boundaries to be reviewed and redrawn before the next general election to address the longstanding problems of malapportionment and gerrymandering. Reform-minded state governments must be proactive to take the lead in this reform if the federal government is unwilling to do so.

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Bersih 2.0 launched a report entitled “Equal and Effective Representation by way of State-triggered Dedelimitation: A Feasibility Analysis for Penang”. The report was commissioned by Bersih 2.0 and written by Prof Wong Chin Huat.

Taking the state of Penang as an example, the research examines the severe malapportionment of state constituencies that is currently happening in Penang and runs a simulation of redelineation exercise to reduce the problems of malapportionment and gerrymandering in Penang. The research will also review the problems of election boundaries in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, for which the findings will be released at a later stage.

Bersih 2.0 expresses concern that the problems of malapportionment will become even more serious when the lowering of the voting age to 18 and automatic voter registration are implemented as the youths are predominantly living in urban areas for education and work. Currently, the number of voters in urban constituencies is already much higher than those of rural constituencies, some by three to four times. The disparity may become six to eight times after the lower voting age threshold and automatic voter registration come into force.

In the 2016 redelimitation exercise based on the 2015 electoral roll, the largest state constituency in Penang, N34 Paya Terubong already had 3.3 times as many voters as the state’s smallest and its neighbour, N23 Air Putih. Without any change of electoral boundaries, the largest-to-smallest ratio between the two has grown to 3.6 within five years, by the end of 2020, according to the findings of the report.

In Selangor, the largest state constituency which is N30 Kinrara, had 77,638 voters, or 4.8 times of the electorate in the smallest state constituency, N01 Sungai Air Tawar, 16,315 voters. This disparity in constituency size is expected to get much worse.

Finally, for the same period, Negeri Sembilan’s largest state constituency, N25 Paroi, had 39,200 voters while its smallest, N17 Senaling, had only 7,955 voters, yielding a high maximum-to-minimum ratio of 4.9. Of its 36 state constituencies, only 13 (36%) met the 1957 standard and 12 (33%) more met the 1962 standard, leaving behind four constituencies (11%) to be overly large and seven others (19%) to be overly small.

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The biggest responsibility of such problems lies with the Election Commission, which has failed to uphold the Federal Constitution and rectify the problems in the last few rounds of constituency delimitation, which is conducted every eight years. It has failed to respond to important socio-demographic changes over the years due to migration and urbanisation.

Such trends, if not addressed soon, will further undermine the principle of one voter one vote, and the election results will be distorted.

The Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, Subsections 2(c) stipulates that all constituencies should have approximately equal numbers of voters and 2(d), emphasises the “maintenance of local ties”.

We therefore call on the state governments of Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan to take the lead in addressing the problems of malapportionment and gerrymandering in their states. This could be done by adding seats to the state assembly, which will trigger the redelimitation exercise of the election boundaries at state level. The Election Commission will be duty bound to conduct the delimitation exercise immediately instead of waiting for the eight-year cycle to be lapsed.

The governments of Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan must also introduce amendments to their respective state constitutions that stipulate explicitly two important criteria in the constituency delimitation in their states:

  • The number of voters must be approximately equal among the constituencies in the state. For Selangor, every elected member shall represent a number of electors which falls between 1.17% and 2.02% of all electors. While in Penang, every elected member shall represent a number of electors which falls between 1.55% and 2.68% of all electors.
  • Every elected member shall represent only electors from one administrative district. The boundaries of state assembly constituencies should not cross over to two or more administrative districts

Ketuanan pengundi! Hidup demokrasi! – Bersih 2.0

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