Once again, 116 voters from P196 Stampin being dissatisfied with the SPR’s work of delineating the electoral boundaries of the state of Sarawak, submitted their objections at the close of the period designated for objections to SPR’s revised recommendations in the ‘2nd display’ on the 30th March 2015. Amongst the objections of the 116 registered voters were:
1. Although the proposed size of the Parliament of Stampin has decreased to 58,111 electors from 84732 during GE13, it is still 162.42% larger than the state’s average of 35,779 voters (known as the electoral quotient – EQ) This decrease was at the expense of the neighbouring constituency of P195 Bandar Kuching whose total electorate has now grown from the already large 78,394 ( in SPR’s first recommendation) to a whopping 81,992 (ie. 229% bigger than the EQ or 2.3 times the size of the ideal average constituency). This was due almost entirely to the proposed shifting of almost all of the polling districts under the state constituency of N11 Batu Lintang to Bandar Kuching. Hence the value of urban votes in Bandar Kuching as well as Stampin has been eroded by such a proposal. Bandar Kuching is now 4.53 times the size of the smallest parliamentary seat of P.207 Igan! Other large urban constituencies like Lanang, Sibu and Miri and Petra Jaya also did not get ‘redrawn’ in accordance to the criteria for delimitation of boundaries stated in the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution. As for state seats, N54 Pelawan is 4.67 times the size of the smallest state seat of N26. Gedong (new seat). Through these revised proposals, the SPR has further violated the universal democratic principle of ONE MAN ONE VOTE ONE VALUE.
2. Instead of alleviating the current levels of malapportionment the SPR’s revised proposals has drastically aggravated it. An analysis of the state and parliamentary constituencies and its voter population as proposed by SPR arranged by size resulted in the following conclusion. One-third (1/3rd) of the voter population of Sarawak will be able to vote in 50% of ADUNs in the next state elections! Likewise, a mere 34% of the voters in Sarawak can vote in or elect 52% of the wakil rakyat and hence determine the outcome of the elections in the state. The bar charts below illustrates these points. According to SPR’s recommendations 35 state seats (out of 82) whose voter population has an EQ deviation of -25% or more; illustrated by the short bars on the left side of the chart. Suffice to say that the rural votes are the kingmakers in the past elections and the ones to come if SPR continues to conduct the delimitation of boundaries according to its own standards and not following the rules set down in our constitution. See attached bar-graphs
3. The letter of objection also includes an alternative proposal for delineating Sarawak based on equalisation principles, for consideration by SPR. As it is not possible to implement ‘equalisation” principles in isolated constituencies like Stampin, this alternative proposal is intended to be an alternative proposal for all Parliamentary and State constituencies in the entire State of Sarawak. All seats are kept within a +/-25% band about the Electoral Quotient (EQ) for Parliament (PAR) and for State (DUN) Constituency. (Note: 100% = EQ. Electoral Quotient (EQ) refers to the value arrived at when the total number of voters in a state is divided by the number of constituencies for the state). It also takes into consideration administrative boundaries as well as physical and geographical features. The new parliamentary seat for Stampin would only have 43,688 voters.
Those who wish to view the letter of objection and recommendations can view it online at Rise of Sarawak Efforts (R.O.S.E.) website by clicking the following link http://sarawakrose.org/ Ultimately, the voters of P196 Stampin and Sarawak want free and fair elections. In this ongoing exercise of delimitation it is incumbent upon SPR to fulfill its role as an impartial election commission of Malaysia by following the principles set forth in the constitution and other internationally-recognised practices and norms. —- Ann Teo