Sunday, March 9, 2014

'If redelineation grouses ignored, Bersih 4.0 is on'

Polls reform group Bersih 2.0 said it will hit the streets with yet another mammoth rally if the Election Commission does not heed demands on the redelineation process expected to be launched in Parliament next year.

Until then, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah (left) said, the coalition's Delineation Action and Research Team (Dart) will be spearhead objections at each constituency while the coalition will continue to pressure the EC via the media.

“If all this fails, and they (EC) really don't want to listen to us because they have a different agenda, then (Bersih 4.0 rally) is inevitable,” she told Malaysiakiniafter Dart's national launch today.

“If they don't listen to the people, what other choice do we have (but go down to the streets)?”

The EC is expected to the table the new electoral boundaries at the Dewan Rakyat session today for debate, as the last redelineation process was conducted more than 10 years ago.

According to the federal constitution, redelineation needs to be done every eight to 10 years. The last time redelineation was conducted was in 2003, ahead of the 2004 general election.

The 13th schedule in the constitution provides that a group representing at least 100 affected voters, has the right to object to boundaries proposed by the EC.

Bersih 2.0 is capitalising on this to ensure fairer electoral boundaries.

Bersih 2.0 vice-president Thomas Fann said that the coalition will go on a nationwide campaign to ensure a core group of five to 10 volunteers be trained to be part of the Dart team.

Former Bersih 2.0 committee member Wong Chin Huat meanwhile explained how there lopsided boundaries can can give an edge to certain parties and negates the concept of “one person one vote”.

“The 2013 general election is the fairest in history but we see that two votes for PAS has the same value as a vote for Umno. Before this, 40 votes for PAS equaled a vote for Umno, but this wasn't the worst.

“In 1955, Parti Negara had a ratio of infinti when they obtained a large amount of votes and yet failed to win a single seat due to electoral boundaries,” he said.

Parti Negara was a multiracial party formed by Umno founder Onn Jaafar, who left Umno after his proposal to open the Malay-only Umno to members of all races was not well-received.
~ Malaysiakini

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