GEORGE TOWN, March 30 ― Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng accused today the Election Commission (EC) of having failed in its duty by leaving out the island state from its newly gazetted redelineation exercise.
Lim who is also DAP secretary-general asserted that some of the electoral constituencies in Penang were disproportionate in size and needed correcting, but which the EC had ignored.
“There was no redelineation at all in Penang except for minor changes in Balik Pulau that does not affect voters and Kepala Batas that affects only 100 to 200 voters,” he told a news conference at his office here.
The redelineation report was tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the Dewan Rakyat two days ago and passed the same day. It was gazetted yesterday, after the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong gave his royal assent.
“It is compulsory for the EC to conduct redelineation exercise for all constituencies and yet this was done for Penang so EC did not do its job,” Lim said.
The Air Putih assemblyman said that his state constituency used to have about 14,000 voters, but the recent electoral roll showed a drop in numbers to 12,752.
“My voters have reduced despite [an] increase in residents, while in the next constituency, Paya Terubong, it has over 41,000 voters which is disproportionate to my constituency,” he said, adding that it went against the value concept of one voter, one vote.
Lim who is also Bagan MP said the redelineation report is racially divisive, which he claimed to be against the idea of a multiracial society in Malaysia.
“If we look at the recommendations in the report, non-Malay voters are grouped in one constituency while Malay voters are grouped in another constituency,” he said.
He insisted that the divisions were to reduce the chances of Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidates winning some seats.
“We will see if their plan to reduce PH’s number of seats will happen in the elections,” he said.
Lim also demanded explanations from MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong for supporting the motion to table the redelineation report.
“They had verbally opposed the redelineation report and yet when the time comes in Dewan Rakyat, they raised their hands to support,” he said.
The motion on the redelineation was passed with a 129 votes for and 80 votes against.
Several states such as Selangor, Perak and Johor, were affected by the redelineation.