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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — DAP MP Tony Pua accused the Election Commission (EC) of electoral gerrymandering after it published its redelineation proposal today that will take effect in the 14th general elections that must be held by 2018.
The Petaling Jaya Utara lawmaker whose P.106 seat is among those affected by a name change pointed out that while there were no new parliamentary or state seats created in the peninsula, the redelineation adds a majority in areas where the Barisan Nasional (BN) is seen as an unlikely victor, while reducing the number of voters for seats where the ruling coalition stands little chance of recapturing.
“The absurdity of creating a monster Damansara seat with more than 150,000 voters is even more outrageous when contrasted with other seats in Peninsular Malaysia with only a fraction of the voters,” he said in an immediate statement.
He claimed the disparity to be “unjustifiably huge” in Selangor which has 2.08 million voters and 22 parliamentary seats, pointing out that tiny Sabak Bernam has only 37,126 voters or 24.7 per cent that of his P.106 constituency.
“Effectively, a vote in the redelineated Damanasara is not worth even a quarter of a vote in the above gerrymandered seats designed to give the advantage to BN,” he added.
Pua argued that the average number of voters per seat should be approximately 94,500.
He urged voters to file a complaint against the latest redelineation exercise with the EC to protect their constitutional rights.
“We call upon all voters in Damansara, as well as all other affected voters in Malaysia to protest vehemently at the proposed election rigging exercise by the EC which deny them of their equal rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said.
In an 18-page notice published in national daily New Straits Times today, the EC announced a name change for 12 parliamentary seats and 34 state seats nationwide without adding or subtracting any constituencies.
A significant number of the federal seats affected are currently held by the Opposition, namely DAP Teresa Kok’s Seputeh in Kuala Lumpur; Ong Kian Ming in Serdang, Selangor; Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham in Beruas, Perak; PKR’s Wong Chen in Kelana Jaya, Selangor; P. Sivarasa in Subang, Selangor; and Hee Loy Sian in Petaling Jaya Selatan, Selangor.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is the MP for his hometown of Bagan Datok in Perak will see a slight change to the spelling of its name to Bagan Datoh.
The notice also showed that the bulk of the 34 state seats to get new names is in Johor.
The EC notice also said those with any objection to the proposed changes can file their complaint within one month of the notice’s publication.