Selangor lists six ‘supersized’ seats as examples of EC’s alleged gerrymandering

A motorist passes a row of Barisan Nasional and PAS flags during the run up to the Sungai Limau by-election at Sungai Kering in Sungai Limau, Kedah, October 31, 2013. — Picture by KE Ooi
A motorist passes a row of Barisan Nasional and PAS flags during the run up to the Sungai Limau by-election at Sungai Kering in Sungai Limau, Kedah, October 31, 2013. — Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — The Selangor government claimed it is the most affected state by the Election Commission’s (EC) proposed redelineation, listing six constituencies that it said have been “supersized” in attempted gerrymandering and malapportionment.

In a judicial review today, Selangor government’s lead counsel Datuk Cyrus Das named Petaling Jaya Utara, Serdang, Klang, Petaling Jaya Selatan, Kelana Jaya, and Kota Raja as the seats affected.

He claimed the redrawn boundaries violate Section 2(c), Part 1 of the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution, which stipulates the need for constituencies to have “approximately equal” number of voter distribution.

“It is not so much about the number of votes but how it is distributed to ensure proper element of representation.

“So when the Election Commission carries out this mapping exercise, drawing or redrawing electoral boundaries, if the results are a dilution of the vote, it affects the right to vote,” Cyrus said.

Clauses 2(c) and 2(d) of the 13th Schedule call for approximately equal number of voters in constituencies, as well as consideration of maintenance of local ties and inconveniences caused to voters when voting boundaries are altered.

Cyrus said the Petaling Jaya Utara seat, renamed Damansara will have its voters increased from 84,000 to 150,000; while Serdang, renamed Bangi, will see its 139,000 voters rise to 146,000;

Other seats include Klang from 98,000 to 141,000; Petaling Jaya Selatan 78,000 to 129,000; Kelana Jaya 110,000 to 128,000; and Kota Raja 110,00 to 121,000.

Judicial Commisioner Azizul Azmi Adnan presided over the matter today. The next hearing for the submission is fixed for January 24.

The Selangor government, in October last year, asked the courts to quash the EC’s allegedly “unconstitutional” redelineation exercise and to temporarily freeze any EC inquiry hearings on the exercise.

The High Court last month stayed the EC inquiries on its proposed redelineation in Selangor pending the hearing of the Selangor state government’s judicial review today.

In challenging the EC’s proposed redelineation exercise, the Selangor government urged the High Court to declare the voting regulator’s bid to redraw the boundaries of electoral constituencies in Peninsular Malaysia as “invalid”.

The judicial review application was filed by the Selangor state government against the EC, the EC chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah and EC secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh.

In a 58-page court document filed in support of the Selangor state government’s lawsuit, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali had highlighted various failures on the part of the EC, claiming that the voting regulator had engaged in gerrymandering and malapportionment.