The matter on constituency or parliamentary delineations is such a hard word to swallow, especially when seats won over time, is under scrutiny and to a re-delineation exercise by the Election Commission of Malaysia (SPR).
The voting patterns over the past general elections and ramifications of the 2002 re-delineation exercise are marked by ethnocentric of the electoral logic that overall imbalance the constituency size. The Malay rural dominated constituencies tends to vote strongly for the Barisan Nasional led government (BN) spearheaded by United Malays Nation Organization (UMNO) while the large Chinese dominated urban voted more for the Opposition (PR) majority led by the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
One needs to comprehend what is ‘delineation’ and the authority impart by the Federal Constitution (FC) 1963.
What is Constituency delineation/delimitation? It is the drawing of boundaries in the context of elections in order to prevent imbalance of voting population across polling districts. Who is responsible for constituency re-delineation in Malaysia? The EC is responsible as provided for in Article 113, Section 2(i) of the Federal Constitution (FC). How often must re-delineation carried out? From the last re-delineation, it should be carried out no less than 8 years after the last exercise as per the FC/Article 113/2(ii).
When was the last re-delineation exercise? For Peninsula Malaysia and Sabah, it was carried out in 2003 and in Sarawak in the year 2005. How do we know when the re-delineation exercise will start? It will start when the EC publishes in the Gazette and newspaper(s) where their proposed boundaries may be viewed in each of the affected constituencies. Before that the EC will inform the Prime Minister and Speaker of Dewan Rakyat of their intention to start the process; FC/13th Schedule/Part 2/ 4(a).
While all efforts by the EC assisted by the Department of Survey and Mapping and the Attorney General’s office in the re-delineation exercise, DAP state assemblymen from Sarawak and Sabah are adamant and insisted, the entire re-delineation exercise is a 'robbery' by Barisan Nasional to avoid defeat in the coming 14th General Election (GE).
In view of the window closing in for a delineation, the Penang and Selangor state government had intended to carry out a snap election which will usurp the exercise or somewhat will affect the EC exercise in both states. Why such arm twisting acts?
The reason is purely simple and obvious. The constituencies in both states; majority of the seats contested in the previous two GE are won by DAP, thus they hold the ‘Ace’ in the states’ administration. The urban constituencies dominated by the Chinese are thick with ‘pride’ and ‘arrogance’ underneath their insecurities in the diverse ethnicity.
A classic example, the Selangor Menteri Besar; Azmin Ali (Parti Keadilan Rakyat; PKR) did not heed Lim Kit Siang’s (DAP Senior Advisor) proposal for the state assembly to dissolve. Tony Pua (Selangor MP, DAP) came with ‘loaded guns’ bearing on Azmin for his refusal and labelled as ‘STUPID’.
DAP’s intentions are clear. Should a snap election materialise, the present constituency may and will grow in numbers, thus handing them more controlling powers. Power brings authority to determine the delineation process through dispute-and-receive without interference from any party; especially from UMNO and Partai Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).
An ‘Aye’ or a “Nay” for re-delineation requires a two third (2/3) majority in the legislative house. There are 56 state assembly seats in Selangor; DAP leads with 14 seats followed by PKR at 13 seats. When PAS has a fall out with PR, their two seats were ‘coerced’ to join Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) to maintain the newly formed coalition of DAP, PKR and PAN named Pakatan Harapan (PH) stronghold in Selangor. UMNO/BN meanwhile retains 12 state assembly seats.
Similarly in Penang, where 40 state assembly seats comprised of DAP heads the number at 19, followed by PKR at 10, PAS with 1 seat and finally UMNO/BN with 10 seats. DAP has envisioned to be the supremo party in the coalition, should the snap election is in their favour, despite being heckled with unresolved local issues.
DAP is overly concerned particularly downplaying their hypocrisy of the Malays. Such exercise by the EC is deemed ‘unwarranted’ by the party as it present a threat to their political struggle and power. Hence, the re-delineation is observed to shrink their foothold and disengaged from the momentum to widen their authority in the country.
Once, the biometrics facilities and capabilities proposed by the EC to clamp down any possibilities and existence of imposter, posing as registered voter in a constituent in the General election. The exercise of the biometrics during an election would weed out ‘impersonator/s’, simultaneously, through direct access to the National Registration Department database, the Department of Immigration could apprehend and prove existence of forged identity card holders enjoying the facilities as Malaysians.
However, too much dismay DAP fired salvo in organizing mass protests throughout the nation against such exercise that would unveil their true intentions. As a ‘solution’ away from their hidden agenda, PR prompted the use of indelible ink, much to their favour to keep harping on the legitimacy of voters in probable losing constituencies.
The same can be expected of DAP leading the PR coalition to hamper the delineation exercise and rock ‘democracy’ to their advantage in false pretenses…?