Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PKR hits out at EC over second notice on Sarawak redelineation exercise


BY DESMOND DAVIDSON


PKR has slammed the Election Commission (EC) for going ahead with the publication of the second notice to publicise its revised recommendations over the redrawing of electoral boundaries in Sarawak.
Describing the EC's move as "being disrespectful of the rule of law and the judiciary", Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How said the EC should withdraw the second notice and put the review process on hold pending a decision from the Kuching High Court over the party's application for judicial review to challenge an earlier notice.
The court is scheduled to deliver its decision on either May 15 or May 25.
See and a voter from Ulu Baram, Pauls Baya, had filed an application for leave for a judicial review on the boundary redrawing exercise on February 2 and were granted leave by the High Court on February 17.
Both of them in their affidavit said the publication, or notification, of the EC to review the delineation was not in compliance with the provisions contained in the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution and are seeking court orders to declare the exercise "null and void and of no effect".
See had argued that the EC failed to publish the January 5 notice in a newspaper that was widely circulated in the constituencies affected.
“It is (therefore) illogical for the EC to issue the second notice… (as) parties are now in the process of preparing and submitting their legal arguments to the High Court.
“We do not want to speculate on the outcome of the court’s decision, but it is prudent and reasonable for the EC to temporarily put on hold the second notice and subsequent boundary review proceedings pending the outcome of the court’s decision,” See said in response to the publication of the notice in The Borneo Post.
See, the assemblyman for the Kuching urban seat of Batu Lintang, said the EC should be reminded of the court’s decision in granting leave for the judicial review, that their notices and their decisions, actions or omissions are questionable by judicial review.
“In the event that the first notice is adjudged to be wrongful and void, much valuable public funds and human resources expended into the delineation review exercise will be wasted,” he said.
“By ignoring the proceedings of the judicial review in the High Court and in persisting to publish the second notice on their revised recommendations for the electoral boundary delineation, the Election Commission is only showing itself to be aloof and pompous,” See added.
Sarawak DAP on the other hand announced on March 9 that it would also take the polls watchdogs to court for refusing to grant a public hearing on two objections it had filed over the redrawing of Bandar Kuching parliamentary constituency's border.
Its state chairman Chong Chieng Jen said apart from applying for leave for a judicial review, DAP would also apply for a stay of the entire redelineation process.
The EC raised DAP's ire for refusing to hear its objection to the increase of nearly 28,000 voters into the Bandar Kuching constituency with the shifting of the PKR-held state constituency of Batu Lintang into it.
Prior to the delineation, the Chinese-majority seat of which Chong is elected representative was made up of Pending and Padungan, and Batu Lintang was formerly under another DAP-held seat, Stampin.
The “new” voters from Batu Lintang would push the total number of voters in Bandar Kuching to nearly 80,000. – March 31, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pkr-hits-out-at-ec-over-second-notice-on-sarawak-redelineation-exercise#sthash.7N39lwGp.dpuf

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