EC redelineation in Melaka halted pending judicial review

In a statement, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 welcomed the decision, but said the suspension should not be limited to the state. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
In a statement, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 welcomed the decision, but said the suspension should not be limited to the state. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — The High Court today suspended the Election Commission’s (EC) electoral boundary redrawing in Melaka until the judicial review filed against the exercise there is completed.

High Court judge Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera then set June 14 for the judicial review.

Leave for the review was granted on May 3. The application was filed by seven voters represented by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

In a statement, electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 welcomed the decision, but said the suspension should not be limited to the state.

“However, as much as Bersih 2.0 rejoices at the court decision in Melaka today, we had hoped that the court would grant the seven plaintiffs a stay of the proceedings for the entire country as it is unprecedented for the EC to move on to the second, revised proposal without Selangor, which has obtained a stay order on local inquiry proceedings after the first proposal and where a judicial review is ongoing,” its steering committee said.

It also said the EC violated the Federal Constitution by going ahead with the redelineation without Selangor, as all states in Malaysia should be seen as “a unit” in such an exercise.

It also said that the court’s decision shows that there is merit to concerns regarding the EC’s exercise.

“Nevertheless, the stay order granted for the Selangor and Melaka redelineation proposals shows there are serious issues with them that merit the consideration of the courts,” it said.

Last October, the Selangor government filed its lawsuit against the EC, the EC chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah and EC secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh over the alleged unconstitutional redelineation exercise.

In March, the EC proceeded with the notice for the second display of its redelineation exercise, but omitted Selangor unlike its first public display last September, believed to be in response to the Selangor action.

Lawyers have said that proceeding with the redelineation before the disposal of the Selangor lawsuit could jeopardise the entire process if the state government succeeds.