Wednesday, January 28, 2015

S'wak PKR files judicial review to stop redelineation

3:28PM Jan 28, 2015
By Joseph Tawie
A Sarawak PKR assemblyperson filed a judicial review application in the Kuching High Court this morning to compel the Election Commission (EC) to review its “unconstitutional” redelineation exercise.

Naming the EC as the sole respondent, Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How wants the current EC redelineation exercise for parliamentary and state seats to be declared null and void.

See is seeking several declarations to be made by the Kuching High Court which, among others, include:
  • The publication and notification of the EC to review the redelineation of the Sarawak state constituencies to fill the Sarawak legislative assembly is not in compliance with the provisions contained in the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution, and hence should be declared null, void and of no effect; and/or alternatively,
     
  • The proposed recommendations of the EC to review the division of the Sarawak into federal or parliamentary constituencies, for the purpose of elections to the Dewan Rakyat as unconstitutional and is null, void and of no effect;
     
  • That there is serious and considerably lacking detailed particulars of the proposed recommendations and the draft constituency plan, which are opened for inspection from Jan 5 up to Feb 4;
     
  • A mandamus order to compel the EC to republish a notice of its proposed recommendations to review the division of Sarawak into constituencies for the purpose of elections to the state legislative assembly, in full compliance with the provisions contained in the 13th Schedule.
The 13th Schedule concerns the procedures to be abided to in a redelineation exercise.

Speaking at a news conference this morning, See - who is also Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson - said he is making the application against the EC because it has abridged, restricted and impaired the applicants’ rights to have a notice of the effect of EC’s proposed recommendations.

'Voters were not properly notified'

See noted that a copy of the proposed recommendations were supposed to be opened for inspection at a specified place within the constituencies; and that representations - with respect to the proposed recommendations - might be made to the EC within one month after the publication of such notice.

However, he said, the EC only published the notice in the sister papers of The New Sarawak Tribune and Utusan Sarawak, which have limited circulation in the state - and in the PKR affidavit filed, these papers were shown to have no circulation in various rural centres whose voters are affected.

See also stressed that there is "serious and considerably lacking" information in the proposed recommendations of the EC.

As an example, See pointed out that the EC did not publish electoral rolls at the centres displaying the proposed recommendations.

Instead, he said, voters have to pay RM4,531.20 in order to obtain a copy of an electoral roll.

The electoral roll - contained in a compact disk - lists a total of 1,111,939 voters. However, the purported detailed particulars of the EC's proposed recommendations show that there are 1,109,134 voters.

There is a difference of 2,259 voters, he noted, adding that this would confuse voters as to how they might be affected by the proposed delimitation and review exercise.
~ Malaysiakini

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