MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, December 30, 2023

Engage with stakeholders to expedite electoral reforms


Bersih proposes that the Election Commission (EC) engage with all stakeholders in discussions and engagements to obtain their full views and concerns regarding the redelineation process before it begins.

This is critical to provide clarity and alleviate concerns about the potential for redelineation that may benefit only certain parties.

These engagements and discussions will allow the EC to hear the views of various interested parties to ensure that the redelineation process can be conducted smoothly, fairly and equitably.

At the same time, the expressed concerns call for the need to declassify the report of proposals by the Electoral Reform Committee so that it is open for public scrutiny, debate and phased implementation.

The declassification also requires the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSC) for Human Rights, Election and Institutional Reforms to refine said report to ensure the prompt implementation of the agenda for electoral and institutional reforms.

We understand the current circumstances necessitating the re-delineation of electoral constituencies, particularly for Sarawak (due to an eight-year gap since its previous redelineation in 2015). For Sabah, redelineation could take place from 2025 and 2026 for Peninsular Malaysia.

Disproportionate numbers

Additionally, we are also aware that since the implementation of the Automatic Voter Registration and Undi18 (late 2021), almost six million new voters have been registered.

This has led to notable malapportionment in the distribution of voter numbers in parliamentary constituencies such as Bangi and Sabak Bernam, with 311,469 and 51,842 voters respectively (2023).

The substantial difference does not align with the spirit underlying Part 1 Section 2(c) of Schedule 13 of the Federal Constitution which provides that the number of voters in each electoral constituency in the same state must be “approximately equal” subject to certain exceptions.

Therefore, the redelineation process for future elections needs to be implemented based on principles outlined in the Federal Constitution as well as fair and equitable electoral boundaries to uphold justice and a balanced distribution of voting power, especially for voters in heavily populated electoral constituencies. - Mkini

BERSIH works towards clean and fair elections, independent of any political party, while scrutinising the democratic institutions that are necessary for Malaysia’s political stability.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.

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