Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem has been urged to raise his voice and that of the state government to reject the Election Commission’s proposals on the delineation of state constituencies in Sarawak.
This will show that Adenan is a principled leader who cares for the constitutional rights and interests of all Sarawakians, Sarawak PKR said in a statement today.
“The chief minister should be particularly concerned with theincrease of state seats by 11, without any increase in the number of parliamentary seats for Sarawak, and with the re-delineation exercises for Sarawak and the rest of Malaysia being carried out at different times,” Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said.
“In principle, we are objecting to any increase in the number of state or parliamentary seats, but we are agreeable with the re-delineation of constituencies throughout the country.
“This is to ensure that voting is a more equitable and a fairer reflection of the basic tenet of parliamentary democracy of ‘one person, one vote’ while giving due consideration to rural and regional needs.
“This has to be seen from a national perspective,” See (left) said in the statement.
He said Adenan should therefore question the EC as to whether there would be any increase in the number of seats in Parliament and whether the EC would ensure that the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak would have one-third of the total seats in Parliament, as was guaranteed before the formation of Malaysia.
Combined, Sarawak and Sabah have 56 parliamentary seats (Sarawak 31 and Sabah 25), while Peninsular Malaysia has 166 parliamentary seats.
See said Adenan should not be contented with the proposed delineation, which obviously is to benefit the state BN, and particularly PBB.
However, he warned that the weightage of East Malaysian representation in Parliament would be watered down by the on-going delineation exercise, which would affect the number of parliamentary seats in the whole country.
'Serious violation of EC’s constitutional duty'
“Adenan must also play the role as the top leader of Sarawak to remind the EC that he is serious about restoring and instituting principles of good governance in Sarawak, and that this would not in any way be compromised,” he said.
On the current display of the proposed re-delineation proposals, See, who is the Batu Lintang assemblyperson said the lack of information on the proposed re-delineation, which would affect the majority of the state constituencies, was a serious violation of the EC’s constitutional duty and obligation to all Sarawakians.
“The mal-apportionment and gerrymandering hidden under the delineation process, which is completely devoid of accountability and transparency, are an affront to the values of good governance,” he said.
He pointed out that the re-delineation involving the Batang Sadong parliamentary constituency, which has two state seats and 20,977 voters in all now proposes three state constituencies, with the new seat proposed, Gedong, having merely 6,340 voters.
This was completely nonsensical and if this EC proposal was approved, the chief minister and his party, PBB, would be heavily criticised for having a hand in a re-delineation process infested with mal-apportionment and gerrymandering.
Adenan should therefore show his leadership by voicing out and registering his concerns and objection to the proposed electoral delineation affecting Sarawak, See stressed.
“I would even urge him to support concerned Sarawakians to take legal proceedings to ensure that the constitutional rights and interests of Sarawakians are safeguarded, by not publishing the re-delineation proposals for Sarawak until the national delimitation and re-delineation proposal for the country is completed,” he added.