Bersih 2.0 has urged all Malaysians regardless of race, religion and political views to reject and condemn PAS’ malicious intent to change electoral boundaries in a way that would rob the people of democracy.
The election watchdog reminded the Islamist party that they once fought for clean and fair elections because they were victims of an unfair electoral system.
“PAS had strongly opposed the practice of gerrymandering and sent representatives to protest the redelineation exercise carried out by the Election Commission (EC) in 2016,” Bersih said in a statement.
“It is absurd that Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (PAS central committee member) now wants to bring back the old and dirty practices that were once opposed by his party.”
Khairuddin yesterday said boundaries of parliamentary constituencies could be changed to benefit Malay-Muslims if PAS and its allies won the next general election with a two-thirds majority.
He said it would take the cooperation of three Malay parties – PAS, Bersatu and Umno – to turn that dream into a reality.
Bersih said drawing up election boundaries based on ethnicity is immoral and will not help in cultivating national unity in Malaysia.
The election watchdog said Khairuddin’s statement to draw the electoral boundaries to benefit Malays and Islam was in total disregard for the principles of equality and the principle of “one person one vote”.
“His statement clearly showed his intention to gerrymander the boundaries in order for his party to win the election.
“The practice of gerrymandering is a betrayal of democracy. In a democracy, voters elect politicians. Politicians must take care of the people and work hard if they do not want to be fired.”
Bersih said that by gerrymandering, politicians will choose their voters, ensuring that their supporters dominate many constituencies even though the people’s support for them has declined.
“It will make them unafraid of being fired, and there is no need for them to take care of the people and work hard.
“Bersih rejects the outright lies that fraud in the delineation can benefit the Malays because it will guarantee Malay political power.”
Bersih said Malays are already dominating Malaysian politics, but they are only powerful if they can choose any party freely.
“If there are certain parties that can secure victory even if they were rejected by the population, which majority are Malays, the Malays would suffer the greatest loss.
“We want to remind that Malays dominated 70% of the 20 largest parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia at the 14th general election.
“This is due to the growing population of Malays and their migration to the cities. Thus, malapportionment harms the Malays.
“With the 8 million new voters that will be added into the electoral roll in July 2021, more Malays will be victimised by greater malapportionment in the delineation.”
They said that there is a clear guideline for re-delineation of constituencies in Article 113(2) and Section 2 (c) of the Thirteenth Schedule of the federal constitution.
“According to these provisions, the EC is obliged to ensure that the number of voters in the constituency is ‘approximately equal’.
“The existing electoral boundaries are already marred with severe problems of gerrymandering and malapportionment, along with the existence of super-sized constituencies, with the ratio between the largest parliamentary constituency to the smallest one exceeding four times.”
As for the next re-delineation exercise, Bersih 2.0 urges the EC to correct the worsened interstate malapportionment as a result of the 2016 re-delineation.
“Even Malay-majority states such as Kedah, Perak, Kelantan and Terengganu have suffered from malapportionment with the ratio of largest parliamentary seat and the smallest seat exceeding 33.33%, the allowable standard deviation.
“For example, the ratio of the largest and smallest parliamentary constituencies in Kedah is 2.7, Kelantan 2.4 and Perak 3.4. Malapportionment violates the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ and it undermines representation of the people in areas that have been unequally delineated.”
They added that they view Khairuddin’s statement with grave concern as a malicious attempt to change the boundaries in order for certain political parties to win, instead of ensuring the voters are properly represented by elected representatives.
“Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Perikatan Nasional government should reject Khairuddin’s statement.
“Bersih also urges the EC to state their position on the issue as this concerns the EC’s responsibilities as constituted by Article 113(2).” – TMI