Selangor provides a clear example of how the Election Commission has abused its power and redrawn the boundary lines in order to benefit one side namely the Barisan Nasional, says Ong Kian Ming.
The 2016 delimitation exercise is a disgusting and partisan attempt by the Election Commission to gerrymander and malapportion parliament and state seats in Selangor in order to help the BN win back additional parliamentary and state seats.
At the parliamentary level, the commission has redrawn the boundary lines by shifting pro-Pakatan state seats into pro-Pakatan parliament seats and by doing so, reducing the majority of marginal Pakatan parliamentary seats.
For example, the N25 Kajang state seat has been moved from the P101 Hulu Langat parliamentary seat to the P102 Bangi parliamentary seat (the current Serdang parliament seat) resulting in the projected majority for Pakatan falling from 17,267 in 2013 to 1,046.
In another example, the N37 Bukit Lanjan state seat has been moved from P107 Sungai Buloh (the current Subang parliamentary seat) to P106 Damansara (the current Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary seat) resulting in the projected majority for Pakatan falling from 26,719 to 2013 to 3,037.
The N44 Sungai Pinang seat (renamed as N45 Bandar Baru Klang) has been moved from the P109 Kapar parliamentary seat to P110 Klang resulting in the projected majority for Pakatan falling from 23,790 to 391. At the same time, the projected majorities for the super safe and super big (in terms voters) seats is expected to increase significantly – from 44,672 to 73,533 in P106 Damansara (the current PJU) and from 24,685 to 49,335 in P110 Klang. (See Table 1 below)
Significant gerrymandering has also taken place at the state seat level. Many pro-opposition polling districts (daerah mengundi) have been shifted from marginal Pakatan seats into safe Pakatan seats in order to increase the chance for BN to win back some of the marginal seats.
Based on the 2013 general election results, the BN would win back seven state seats as a result of the 2016 delimitation exercise. These seats are N11 Ijok, N23 Dusun Tua, N43 Sementa, N44 Selat Klang, N46 Pelabuhan Klang, N51 Sijangkang and N53 Morib.
At the same time, six state seats which were won by Pakatan with more than 54 per cent of the popular vote in GE2013 have become marginal seats as a result of the delimitation exercise i.e. projected to win with less than 54% of the popular vote. These seats are N15 Taman Templer, N29 Seri Serdang, N33 Taman Medan, N38 Paya Jaras, N41 Batu Tiga and N49 Seri Andalas.
Finally, two Pakatan state seats that were previously considered marginal are now even more marginal after the delimitation exercise namely N17 Gombak Setia and N18 Hulu Kelang (See Table 2 below).
Selangor provides a clear example of how the Election Commission has abused its power and redrawn the boundary lines in order to benefit one side, namely the Barisan Nasional. We must take all the necessary legal steps in order to ensure that this delimitation exercise is not approved.
Dr Ong Kian Ming is the member of Parliament for Serdang.