The DAP MP for Serdang, Dr. Ong Kian Ming’s repartee to the denial by the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Mohd Hashim Abdullah that the constituency redelineation exercise is being carried out for the benefit of certain parties is a gem: “Yeah right, and I’m sure that Jho Low had nothing to do with 1MDB either…”
Can Mohd Hashim explain why he had jettisoned his precedessor, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof’s redelineation plan to abide by the Constitution and the democratic principle of “one man, one vote” by ensuring that there will be no super-size parliamentary constituencies exceeding 100,000 votes?
Abdul Aziz had gone on public record to say that in the new constituency redelineation to be proposed by the Election Commission, “a constituency with a large number of votes, more than 100,000, has to be divided into two, so that the constituents could obtain good service from the elected representatives”.
Why did Mohd Hashim abandon this important Constitutional and democratic principle in the final proposal of the Election Commission for the redelineation of electoral constituencies?
Is this at the behest of the powers-that-be in UMNO?
In fact, the Election Commission’s constituency redelineation is downright unconstitutional, as it violates the important principle laid down in the Thirteenth Schedule of the Constitution which stipulates that in any constituency redelineation, “the number of electors within each constituency in a State ought to be approximately equal except that, having regard to the greater difficulty of reaching electors in the country districts and the other disadvantages facing rural constituencies, a measure of weightage for area ought to be given to such constituencies”.
The Thirteenth Schedule provides for weightage for rural areas, but this voter disparity or weightage for urban-rural constituencies should constantly be closed and not widened, as is the case with the proposed redelineation.
In Selangor, for instance, the voter disparity had been widened from the previous 15,187 voters (Sungai Air Tawar)- 61,688 (Subang Jaya) gap during the 13th General Elections to 15,033 (Sungai Air Tawar)-66,059 (Subang Jaya) in the proposed redelineation.
Why is the Election Commission widening instead of narrowing the voter disparity in the state constituencies in Selangor, if there is no ulterior agenda to redelineate the electoral constituencies to benefit UMNO?