GEORGE TOWN, Oct 10 — The Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition can retain federal control even if it wins 35 per cent of the popular votes if the proposed redelineation exercise is approved, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah asserted today.
She also said the Election Commission (EC) has not provided sufficient land mass information to the public to enable it to make an informed decision on the matter.
“That’s the reality of it, this is why we have to object against the redelineation exercise, the people must submit their objections,” she told reporters at the launch of the Bersih 5.0 Gallery at City Hall here.
The electoral reform group chief also said she will file a court challenge against the EC’s proposal once she returns to Kuala Lumpur to compel it to provide land mass information.
“We need the land mass information to know how big or small the constituency has been changed but this information was not given to the public so it is difficult for the public to submit any objections,” she said.
Earlier, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, in his speech at the launch of the gallery, had said the redelineation exercise will ensure that BN can stay in power even with only 35 per cent of the votes.
“In the last elections, the Pakatan got 53 per cent of the votes and yet BN had managed to stay in power, so after this exercise, it will mean they can even stay in power with 35 per cent of the votes,” he said.
Both Lim and Chin called on Malaysians to oppose the redelineation exercise instead of leaving it to Bersih 2.0, non-governmental organisations and political leaders.
“We must all act together as Malaysians, we can’t just leave it to Bersih, to parties or to politicians to object and reject the redelineation exercise,” Chin said.
She said everyone must reject it because this exercise will shape the future of politics in Malaysia.
“In this exercise, they have divided the constituencies according to race, they don’t follow the federal constitution, it is based on race and aimed to keep Umno in power. So we must object against it,” she said.
She also explained Bersih 2.0’s small convoy of 10 to 20 vehicles in its cross-country campaign was to avoid causing traffic jams and frightening the people, especially in the countryside.
“We do not want huge crowds in our awareness campaign because we are going to rural areas, to Felda, we don’t want to scare the people with large crowds,” she said.
She accused Umno leaders of joining the anti-Bersih Red Shirt movement led by the party’s Sungai Besar division chief Datuk Jamal Yunos, and behaving like gangsters when encountering Bersih 2.0 participants on the road.
“They kicked one of our participants, that’s a serious incident, that’s gangsterism but we are peaceful. That’s our SOP, we are not going to fight back, we will still be peaceful, they are the gangsters, we are not the gangsters.
“What is Umno doing, is Umno breeding gangsters,” she said.
Last week, the Red Shirts clashed with Bersih 2.0 convoys at Teluk Intan where a fight broke out between a group of Red Shirts and Bersih participants.
The convoys are awareness programmes leading up to the main Bersih 5 rally on November 19.