Onus is on Election Commission to prove that it is not gerrymandering the current constituency redelineation exercise as in the past to keep UMNO in power
The onus is on the Election Commission to prove that it is not gerrymandering the current constituency redelineation exercise as in the past to keep UMNO in power.
There are two reasons why the Election Commission shoulders such an onus.
Firstly, the public admission or confession at the end of 2013 by the former longest-serving Secretary and later Chairman of the Election Commission, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, who managed six of the 13 general elections and responsible for three of the four electoral constituency redelineations in Malaysia that he had gerrymandered the redelineations to ensure that the Malays remain in power.
Secondly, preliminary study of the current redelineation exercise indicate that it is driven by the overall agenda to keep UMNO in power and to eliminate Opposition leaders in vulnerable seats from Parliament, like Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Pagoh and Nurul Izzah Anwar in Lembah Pantai than to comply with the democratic and constitutional principle of “one man, one vote, one value” and to establish that the Election Commission is transparent, independent and professional not beholden to the dictates of the government of the day.
As rightly pointed out by the Pakatan Harapan Johor leaders, Liew Chin Tong of DAP, Aminolhudu Hassan of AMANAH and Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar of PKR, the redelineation of Pagoh is not only politically motivated to end Muhyiddin’s parliamentary career, the underlying objective of the exercise is to ensure that UMNO/BN will not lose power in Johor in the next general election – just as in Selangor, the objective of the gerrymandering is to help UMNO/BN to recapture power in the state.
This is a perversion of the constitutional mandate of the Election Commission to carry out constituency redelineation under Article 113 of the Federal Constitution when the purpose is to address malapportionment and not to allow gerrymandering.
In December 2013, the then Chairman of the Election Commission, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf cited the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution as authority why constituencies after redelineattion will only contain a maximum of 100,000 voters.
Can the Election Commission explain why under its proposed redelineation, there are 13 Parliamentary constituencies with more than 100,000 voters (six in Selangor, two in Johor and one each in Malacca, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) violating the redelineation principle diby the immediate former Election Commission Chairman himself, viz:
Petaling Jaya 129,363
Gelang Patah 112,081
Kota Raja 121,126
Pasir Gudang 108,156
Kota Melaka 105,067
Kuala Terengganu 101,875
Sungai Petani 101,829