DAP lawmakers cry foul over EC’s ‘stealth’ delineation in Kuala Kubu Bharu

Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming alleged that the EC had misled the public by publishing a federal gazette that merely informed of changes to the polling centres and districts in Kuala Kubu Bharu when it had actually redrawn the electoral boundary for the seat. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming alleged that the EC had misled the public by publishing a federal gazette that merely informed of changes to the polling centres and districts in Kuala Kubu Bharu when it had actually redrawn the electoral boundary for the seat. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 ― Selangor DAP lawmakers questioned today the Election Commission’s (EC) low-key publication of electoral changes in the Kuala Kubu Bharu state seat recently.

Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming and Kuala Kubu Bharu assemblyman Lee Kee Hiong alleged that the EC had misled the public by publishing a federal gazette that merely informed of changes to the polling centres and districts there when it had actually redrawn the electoral boundary for the seat.

Both further claimed the move was a ploy to aid the Barisan Nasional (BN) state opposition to win back Selangor at the next elections due by 2018, and said DAP may mount a legal challenge against the EC over its recent actions.

“We are considering a legal action over this,” Ong told a news conference at the DAP national headquarters here.

“We have a good reason to believe that the notice published in the gazette on April 29, 2016 listing the polling districts and polling centres for the federal and the state constituencies in peninsular Malaysia is actually a delimination by stealth illegal exercise conducted by the Election Commission,” he added.

He alleged that the “illegal exercise” carried out by the EC saw the movement of 5,590 voters and 14 localities from the neighbouring Batang Kali state constituency (N7) to the Kuala Kubu Bharu state constituency (N6).

This action resulted in just over a quarter increase of voters in Kuala Kubu Bharu, from 21,186 to 26,720, he added.

He also said two areas in Kuala Kubu Bharu that had 56 voters were shifted to Batang Kali, decreasing the number of voters by 122.7 per cent from 43,578 in 2013 to 38,044 now.

“We cannot help but to suspect that this is a strategy being used by the Barisan Nasional to win back the state of Selangor by stealth, via this illegal delimitation exercise,” he said.

Ong said he would seek an explanation from the EC over its recent questionable moves.

He said the election regulator has the right to create new polling districts and to shift voters between polling districts within the same constituency under Section 7 of the Elections Act 1958.

“But the EC does not have the right to shift voters from one constituency to another, be it at the state of federal level, unless it is in the context of a delimitation exercise,” he emphasised.

The Kuala Kubu Bharu state seat was won by DAP with a 1,702-vote majority in Election 2013 while BN won the Batang Kali state seat with a 5,398-vote majority.

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