Bersih 2.0 is urging 100,000 Selangor voters to sign up as objectors to defeat the Election Commission’s (EC) controversial redelineation which the electoral reform group alleges is an unlawful exercise.
- EC accused of gerrymandering
- Redelineation favouring BN
Speaking at a press conference at Bersih’s headquarters at 8 Avenue Business Centre, Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said the group was concerned with the Second Display of the redelineation boundaries in Selangor released by the EC last Monday, which had reverted roughly to the same boundaries used in 2013.
“While the second display of the proposed redelineation within Selangor has reverted to more or less the same boundaries that used to be in 2013, this does not mean that the current constituencies at both the state and Parliament seats are exempt of malapportionment or gerrymandering.
“We are calling concerned voters to sign up as objectors to the Second Display of the proposed redelineation boundaries in Selangor with immediate urgency.
“Bersih’s call for the 100,000 objectors is a show of rakyat’s protest against the continuation of unconstitutional redelineation.
“It is the duty and right of the voters to protect and ensure that the strength of a vote is equally represented across Malaysia,” Maria said.
She revealed that procedures require one spokesperson and at least 100 signatures to endorse each objection, saying her group is aiming to collect these from 100,000 people.
She added that voters could support the move by signing up to be objectors, helping to collect the needed signatures or volunteer as community representatives.
Maria said Bersih has identified 12 locations within Selangor, which can be found at dart.bersih.org/pusatbantahan, that will serve as objection collection centres.
The last day to submit objections is Feb 14, after which the EC will launch inquiries to discuss the concerns stated in the objections.
“The final report will then be sent to the Prime Minister who will then table it in Parliament for adoption,” Maria added.
Bersih and various lawmakers have accused the EC of gerrymandering, which is the forming of electoral boundaries for the purpose of providing an advantage to a specific political party.
In this case, the claim is that the redelineation will favour the ruling Barisan Nasional in general and Umno, its lynchpin, in particular.
Meanwhile, Penang Institute’s Wong Chin Huat said there was a risk that the Selangor government might fall to Barisan Nasional under the proposed redelineation.
He added that the risk was even greater when coupled with other factors, such as low voter turnout and multi-cornered fights.
Wong said he foresees that under such conditions, the ruling coalition might receive an additional 15 parliament seats to regain the two-thirds majority in Dewan Rakyat.
“This will give them a free hand to add seats and trigger another round of delineation,” he said.
The new proposed changes in electoral boundaries will affect five parliamentary constituencies instead of 18 in a previous proposal.
The affected constituencies are Ampang, Kuala Selangor, Gombak, Pandan and Tanjong Karang.
Four affected state seats are Batu Caves, which will be renamed Sungai Tua, Bangi (Sungai Ramal), Chempaka (Pandan Indah) and Teluk Datuk (Banting).