The move by the Election Commission (EC) to carry out a review of the redelineation of electoral boundaries for parliamentary and state seats in the peninsula and Sabah has raised questions from the Opposition which claimed that the exercise favours Barisan Nasional.
However, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman (pic) Said insisted that the exercise was carried out within the limits of the powers of the EC.
“The allegations that the EC is misusing its powers to sabotage the Opposition is untrue. As long as it is within the jurisdiction of the EC, all allegations of sabotage is done in bad faith,” she said yesterday.
It was reported that the EC, in an 18-page notice, proposed to alter the electoral boundaries of certain parliamentary and state constituencies in all states, with the exception of Perlis, Labuan and Putrajaya.
A total of 12 parliamentary and 34 state constituencies in the peninsula could undergo a name change under the proposed amendments.
The EC also listed 13 proposed new state constituencies for Sabah, increasing the number of the state seats to 73.
The EC noted that except for the name change, the number of seats in the peninsula would remain the same.
The recommendations on the review of the redelineation exercise, along with the draft plan of the constituencies, has been displayed at the affected constituencies for a month since Thursday.
It was earlier reported that EC secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said the review would be conducted based on the provisions of Clause (2) Article 113 of the Federal Constitution and amendments to Clause (2) Article 14 of the Sabah State Constitution, which was gazetted on Aug 18.
Abdul Ghani said objections to the recommendations, however, could only be made by the state government, local authorities partly or partially included in the redelineation exercise, or a group of no less than 100 registered voters of an affected constituency.
“All objections must be submitted in writing and addressed to the state election director before Oct 14,” he added.
Gelang Patah MP and DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang claimed that the exercise was undemocratic in violating the “one man, one vote” principle.
He alleged that some of the seats such as Pagoh (held by MP Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) and Lembah Pantai (MP Nurul Izzah Anwar) were altered to ensure that Barisan has a bigger chance of winning an election.
Kluang DAP MP Liew Chin Tong also alleged that the exercise was politically motivated to keep Umno in power, especially in Johor.
Source -The Star Online-