‘Next election would be stolen if EC creates new seats’


Bersih want amendments done to the Constitution before EC’s redelineation exercise begins.

K. Pragalath, FMT

The Election Commission (EC) is scheduled to begin the redelineation exercise in March and election reform watchdog, Bersih 2.0 fears that it will be a one-sided affair again.

Bersih is against the redelinenation exercise being conducted without the amending of Article 46 of the 13th schedule in the Federal Constitution, which determines the number of parliamentary seats.

“If the EC starts the redelineation exercise without amending Article 46, Bersih will file a court injunction to stop the exercise. We will hold them accountable,” said former Bersih steering committee member, Wong Chin Huat.

He said this in reaction to EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof’s statement that the EC is planning to split parliamentary constituencies to ensure that there would only be 100,000 voters for each constituency, as reported in the Chinese newspaper, Sin Chew Daily on Jan 7, 2014.

“Bersih would object to any attempts to increase the number of seats since more seats only benefit BN and Umno.

“The increase would be important to maintain BN’s dominance. Of the 22 new seats in the last exercise 13 were taken by Umno,” said Wong.

He added that in the 13th general election, Umno and PBB jointly held 32% of votes but held 46% seats.

On that note he also warned Pakatan Rakyat not to be taken in by calls to increase the number of seats.

“Colluding with Umno for new seats is equivalent to allowing the next general election to be stolen,” Wong said.

He said that increasing the number seats only served to allow BN component leaders to contest for more seats.

“It is a waste of money. More seats means less time for MP’s to speak in Parliament. In 2012, an MP spoke for an average of 2 hours and 32 minutes only,” he added.

Wong was speaking at the government’s legal suit against Bersih for organising Bersih 3.0 rally in April 2012, being heard in the Kuala Lumpur High Court, today.