Iskandar Development Region (IDR) Growth Area and the Delimitation Process
The Iskandar Development Region (IDR), which encompasses at least 6 parliament seats, has seen significant development over the past 5 years with new residential, industrial and commercial areas sprouting up.
As a result, the number of voters in these 6 parliament seats have also increased significantly. According to the latest delimitation exercise, all of the seats in the IDR have at least 95,000 voters with P162 Gelang Patah topping the table at 112,081 voters as of Quarter 1 2016 (See Table 1 below).
Table 1: Number of voters in the parliament seats in the IDR, Quarter 1, 2016
|Parliament Seat||Number of Voters|
|P159 Pasir Gudang||108156|
|P160 Johor Bahru||98351|
|P162 Gelang Patah||112081|
With the number of residents in the IDR expected to grow significantly in the next 10 years, it is expected that the number of voters will also increase commensurately. It won’t be surprising if the Gelang Patah constituency will have more than 150,000 voters in 10 years’ time. If this is the case, then the Election Commission should increase the number of parliament seats in IDR not just because of the high number of voters currently but also because of the expected increase in the number of voters in the near future.
I do not understand how the Election Commission can allow Gelang Patah to have 3 times more voters than Pagoh (36387 voters) and Labis (37568 voters) which is in total violation of the one-man-one-vote principle.
The upcoming High Court hearing in January 2017 on the case between the Selangor state government and the Election Commission on the last delimitation exercise will have an impact not just on the seats in Selangor but for the entire Peninsular Malaysia.
As long as the public enquiries for Selangor has not been completed, the Election Commission cannot proceed to the next stage of the delimitation exercise, as spelt out in the 13th Schedule, which is to publish the revisions in the delimitation proposal after the 1st round of public enquiries. This is because the delimitation proposal for Peninsular Malaysia has to be presented as one review representing all the states in states of Malaya (article 113 of the Federal Constitution).
If the High Court decides that the EC has violated constitutional principles in the delimitation of constituencies in Selangor, then those same principles can be applied to other states in Peninsular Malaysia, including Johor. As such, this upcoming court case will prove crucial in deciding the limits by which the Election Commission can abuse the democratic process in carrying out the delimitation of constituencies.