Redelineation: BERSIH proposes that the Election Commission expands engagements with stakeholders and expedite electoral reform efforts

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) proposes that the Election Commission (EC) engage with all stakeholders in discussions and engagements to obtain their full views and concerns with respect to the redelineation process before the redelineation process actually begins.

This is critical to provide clarity and alleviate concerns about the potential for redelineation that may benefit only certain parties. These engagements and discussions enable the EC to hear the views of various interested parties all at once, ensuring that the redelineation process is conducted smoothly, fairly and equitably.

At the same time, the expressed concerns call for the need to declassify the report of proposals by the Electoral Reform Committee so that it is open for public scrutiny, debate and phased implementation.

The declassification also calls on the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSC) for Human Rights, Election and Institutional Reforms to refine said report to ensure the prompt implementation of the agenda for electoral and institutional reforms.

BERSIH understands the current circumstances necessitating the redelineation of electoral constituencies, particularly for Sarawak (due to an eight-year gap since its previous redelineation in 2015). For Sabah, redelineation could take place from 2025, and from 2026 for Peninsular Malaysia. Additionally, BERSIH is also aware that since the implementation of the Automatic Voter Registration and Undi18 (late 2021), almost six million new voters have been registered.

This has led to a notable
malapportionment in the distribution of the number of voters in parliamentary constituencies such as Bangi and Sabak Bernam, with 311,469 and 51,842 voters respectively (2023).

This substantial difference does not align with the spirit underlying Part 1 Section 2(c) of Schedule 13 of the Federal Constitution which provides that the number of voters in each electoral constituency in the same state must be “approximately equal” subject to certain exceptions.

The redelineation process for future elections therefore needs to be implemented based on principles outlined in the Federal Constitution as well as principles of fair and equitable electoral boundaries to uphold justice and a balanced distribution of voting power, especially for voters in heavily populated electoral constituencies.

Released by:
BERSIH Steering Committee

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