Replace The Election Commission Members Or Set Up A New Agency To Ensure That There Is No Gerrymandering In The Current Constituency Redelineation Exercise.(en/cn)

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 6.4.2014.

Whilst attention is focused on the Malaysian Government’s handling of the MH370 airplane that disappeared on 8 March 2014 and on the unfortunate kidnapping of 2 women from the Singamata Reef Resort, Sabah 2 days ago by armed Filipino terrorists, Malaysians should not forget the importance of the constituency redelineation exercise presently conducted by the Election Commission(EC). This exercise is important because it would determine not only the future of the country but also the fate of democracy, especially whether the principle of “one-person, one-vote, one-value” can be upheld.

The whole world can see for themselves the competency level of the Malaysian government from these two crisis, but only Malaysians shall determine whether it is fit enough to rule. If Malaysians want their vote to count and to bring about change, an independent, free and fair EC is critical to ensure there is no gerrymandering(the malapportionment of electoral boundaries) in the redelineation exercise.

Unfortunately, the present EC has a track record for blatant gerrymandering and trust deficit that is devoid of any shred of public credibility. This follows former EC chief Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman’s bold admission in November 2013 that the three redelineation exercises he did as EC Secretary from 1979-99 and as EC Chairman from 2000-8, were done in such a way to ensure Malays retained political power and that he did so “in a proper way, not illegally”.

Clearly Rashid, who has since joined the racist movement Perkasa, was gerrymandering the constituencies in favour of UMNO. Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming had said that Rashid had openly revealed that the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad instructed Rashid not to add any seats in the three northern states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah during the 2003 redelineation exercise and also to create more ethnically ‘mixed’ seats because UMNO had lost seats there to PAS in the 1999 general elections.

To-date, there is no denial by the BN Federal government of the gerrymandering masterminded by Tan Sri Abdul Rashid even though what Rashid had done is a clear violation of Schedule 13 of the Federal Constitution, which states that the number of voters in state and parliamentary seats must be approximately equal. A study on the integrity of elections across the globe has rated Malaysia near the bottom of the pile, with the country’s general election last year coming in 66th out of 73 elections surveyed, just above Zimbabwe.

The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University, released in February 2014 shows that Malaysia’s 13th general election ranked 66th out of 73 general elections surveyed, just above Zimbabwe. EIP perceived the 13th general elections as flawed due to low levels of integrity, due to problematic electoral boundaries and election laws. The EIP observed that BN enjoys greater access to the media and monopolises political funding.

The EIP attributed Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory to gerrymandering, pointing out that the Putrajaya federal constituency won by BN has just 15,791 eligible voters, compared to the Kapar constituency won by PR with 144,159 eligible voters. The EIP also noted that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact bagged just 89 federal seats, or 40 per cent, of the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat, despite winning 50.87 per cent of the popular vote.

If Malaysia is to improve on electoral integrity, public confidence must be restored by either the replacement of the entire EC with independent and neutral members, comprising of civil society, respected jurists and academics, that is acceptable to the opposition. Or else adopt the People’s Tribunal’s recommendation of establishing another agency similar to the UK Boundary Delimitation Commission to supervise the redelineation because the Election Commission (EC) lacks integrity and independence.

LIM GUAN ENG

—–Mandarin Version —-

民主行动党秘书长林冠英兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2014年4月6日在吉隆坡发表声明:

撤换选举委员会成员,或者设立一个全新的机构,以确保当局在目前的选区重新划分工作,没有为己党利益擅改选区。

当我们把焦点放在马来西亚政府如何处理MH370飞机在3月8日消失,以及两名妇女两天前在沙巴州度假村不幸被菲律宾恐怖分子掳走的事件。国民不应该忘了目前选举委员会正在进行选区重新划分。这项工作非常重要,因为它不只决定国家的未来,也决定民主的命运,特别是“一人、一票、一价”原则能否被捍卫。

整个世界可以看到马来西亚政府在处理两宗危机事件时的能力,但是只有马来西亚人民可以决定他们是否还有资格继续执政。如果马来西亚人要通过选票改朝换代,我们需要独立、自由及公平的选委会,以确保当局没有在目前的选区重新划分工作,当为己党利益擅改选区。

不幸的是,目前选委会有不良记录,他们公然为了己党利益擅改选区,信用破产,完全没有公信力可言。前任选委会主席丹斯里阿都拉昔在2013年11月曾经大胆承认,他在1979年至1999年期间担任选委会秘书及2000年至2008年担任选委会主席,进行三次选区划分工作,都是为了确保马来人能够保住政权,他用“正当的方式,不是非法的。”

很明显地,拉昔后来加入土权组织的种族主义活动,他为巫统的利益擅改选区。沙登区国会议员王建民也说,拉昔曾经揭露,在2003年选区重新划分时,当时的首相马哈迪指示拉昔别在北马三个州属:吉兰丹、登嘉楼及吉打增加任何议席,并且制造更多种族混合选区,因为巫统在1999年大选中败给伊斯兰党。

至今为止,国阵联邦政府也没有否认丹斯里阿都拉昔说他们是操纵选区划分主谋的声明,虽然拉昔的所作所为已经违反了联邦宪法第13条文,宪法阐明,州选区及国会选区的选民人数必须大致相同。一项针对全球选举廉正的报告将马来西亚评级排名到几乎是最后一名,我国去年的大选在73个大选中排名第66名,只是排在津巴布韦前面而已。

澳洲悉尼及哈佛大学的选举廉正工程(EIP)在2014年2月公布的报告显示,马来西亚第13届大选在73项选举中排名66,排在津巴布韦而已。上述工程察觉到到第13届大选因为选区界限及选举法令的问题欠缺廉正度。他们也观察到国阵享有更多媒体空间,同时垄断政治资金。

选举廉正工程把国阵的胜利归功于选举操控,它也指出,在布城国会选区,国阵赢得1万5791张选票而胜出,民联的加埔国会选区却是赢得14万4159张选票而胜出。选举廉正工程也注意到,尽管民联赢得50.87%的选票,却只赢得89个国会议员,即222个国会议席的40%.

有鉴于选委会不廉正、不独立如果马来西亚要改善选举廉正问题,我们必须要撤换全体选举委员会成员,由公民社会、法学者及学术人员取代。或者采纳人民法庭的建议,设立一个全新的机构,就像英国边界划分委员会那样,以监督选区划分,恢复公众信心。

林冠英

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