Election Commission’s proposed redelineation of constituencies is not only undemocratic but runs afoul of the 1Malaysia Policy to build a nation of Malaysians

In my 53rd Malaysia Day message, I asked whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Policy is dead or alive.

This was because the Election Commission’s constituency redelineation proposals, made public on the eve of the 53rd Malaysia Day, was not only undemocratic in violating the “one man, one vote, one value” principle, but clearly against the 1Malaysia policy to create a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion or region second.

Let the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah explain whether the constituency redelineation proposals had been inspired by the 1Malaysia policy to promote a nation where every Malaysian regards himself or herself as Malaysia first or will in effect exacerbate racial polarisation and consciousness, and undermine national unity, in the country.

Furthermore, let him answer critiques that the new redelineation proposals are in fact more undemocratic than previous redelineations in violating the democratic principle of “one man, one vote, one value”.

At the end of 2013, 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, made a shocking confession about the secret and unconstitutional agenda of previous redelineations to gerrymander the electoral constituencies to ensure that the Malays, actually meaning UMNO, remain in power.

Let Mohd Hashim explain whether the Election Commission is still promoted by this secret agenda in the redelineation of electoral constituencies, as analysis of the redelineation proposals seem to point not only to the existence of this agenda to ensure that UMNO remains in power, but its being the raison d’etre of the Election Commission’s fifth redelineation exercise.

How else can the Election Commission explain for proposing an even greater disparity in the number of electors among the constituencies?

For instance, for the States of Selangor and Johor, the disparity between parliamentary constituencies with the largest and smallest electorates in the 13th General Elections have been widened rather than decreased in the redelineation proposals, e.g. 144,159 voters in Kapar and 37,318 voters in Sabak Bernam in the 13th General Elections widened to 150,439 voters in Damansara and 37,126 in Sabak Bernam for Selangor and 106,725 voters in Gelang Patah and 37,714 voters in Labis in the 13th General Elections to 112,081 voters in Gelang Patah and 37,568 voters in Labis.

There has been no serious attempt to reduce the voter disparity to give meaning to the principle of “one man, one vote, one value” principle.

Peninsular-wide, the electorates of 15,627 voters in Putrajaya and 150,439 voters in Damansara in effect provide an example where one vote in Putrajaya is equivalent to 10 votes in Damansara!

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah