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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Why is state seat bigger than parliamentary seats, voter asks EC

A Subang Jaya voter has taken the Election Commission to task for enlarging the state constituency, even though it already has more voters than other parliamentary constituencies in Selangor.
Long-time Subang Jaya resident Theresa Ratnam said this was the complaint she raised when she attended the EC’s local inquiry today, to object the commission’s proposal on the Kelana Jaya parliamentary constituency, and the Subang Jaya state constituency within it.
Currently, Subang Jaya has 62,687 voters, while Kelana Jaya has 101,603 voters.
After redelineation, Subang Jaya would have 66,059 voters, while Kelana Jaya would be renamed “Subang” and would have 128,330 voters. The existing Subang parliamentary constituency will be named “Sungai Buloh.”
“By virtue of it being enlarged, then you are looking at the administration, the enforcement, the social issues. How can one assemblyperson or one parliamentarian oversee the whole administration?
“By virtue of that, we have submitted that EC must review their recommendation, and instead of enlarging (the constituency), see if we can have smaller constituencies,” Theresa told reporters after attending the local inquiry.
“Because N31 (Subang Jaya) is going to be bigger than P092 (Sabak Bernam) and P093 (Sungai Besar).
“They are going to be smaller than state assembly seats. How can that be? There is no justification,” she added.

The Sabak Bernam and Sungai Besar parliamentary constituencies would only have 37,126 voters and 42,833 voters, respectively, after redelineation.
The management consultant, who has lived in Subang Jaya since 1989, said she urged the EC to review their proposal and justify their intentions.
‘Racial segregation’
Meanwhile, the Ampang PKR election director Nallan Dhanabalan told Malaysiakini that Ampang PKR had made objections this morning on grounds that EC’s proposal would disrupt racial harmony in the constituency, among others.
He said this is done by redelineating the Tasik Permai polling district from the Ampang parliamentary constituency to Pandan.
The Kampung Baharu Ampang Pertama and Kampung Baharu Ampang Kedua polling districts, meanwhile, will be redelineated from the Lembah Jaya state constituency to Bukit Antarabangsa.
Tasik Permai voters are predominantly Chinese and Indian Malaysians, he said, while Kampung Baharu Ampang Pertama and Kampung Baharu Ampang Kedua voters are predominantly Chinese Malaysians.
“The EC is carrying out racial segregation, because they are putting the Malays in one area, and they are putting the Chinese and Indians to another constituency,” he said.
Nallan said the panel, comprising all seven of the EC’s commissioners, only said they would respond to his complaints in writing.

Separately, the Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin (photo) slammed the EC for holding the local inquiry on such short notice.
She said she received notification of the local inquiry by post on Friday last week, and tried unsuccessfully to ask for a postponement yesterday.
Zuraida was supposed to attend the local inquiry together with Nallan, who received the notice a day earlier than she did, adding that many people were away for the holiday season and could not attend the inquiry.
“I’ve had a few complaints, so for people who can’t make it today, we wrote for a postponement. But one or two (voters) could make it today, so they went to meet up with the EC,” she said when contacted.
Apart from disrupting racial harmony, she said Ampang PKR is also objecting to the EC’s proposal on the grounds that the number of voters are not being apportioned properly, and the electoral boundaries do not follow features, such as roads and natural barriers.
Local inquiries
The EC’s local inquires for Selangor are taking place at the Grand BlueWave Hotel in Shah Alam.
The closed-door hearings are expected to continue tomorrow until at least early-January. When met during lunch break, EC chairperson Mohd Hashim Abdullah refused to speak to reporters.
The redelineation process in Selangor had been stalled, as the state government challenged the constitutionality of the redelineation exercise.
This was until the Court of Appeal lifted a stay on Dec 18, allowing the EC to proceed with the local inquiries, although the case is still pending in court.

The ongoing redelineation exercise has been marred by allegations of malapportionment and gerrymandering, and formal objections were filed by voters.
The EC is required to hold inquiries to consider these objections under Part II of the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Should the EC decide that changes to its proposals are necessary, it would be required to display the new proposal and allow objections to be filed for 30 days, and then hold the second and last round of local enquiries on those objections.
Otherwise, it may submit its proposal to the prime minister, who is to table it in parliament for approval by a simple majority.
If approved, the recommendations would be passed to be Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the form of a draft order to be issued, and hence becomes law.
Otherwise, the prime minister may make changes to the proposal in consultation with the EC, and then table it in the Dewan Rakyat again. - Mkini

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