Dr M fears cut in Malay power if election seats redrawn

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad has expressed fears of an impending government push for changes in electoral boundaries that could result in the number of Malay-majority seats being reduced.

Mahathir said he was afraid of such a possibility as Anwar Ibrahim’s ruling coalition holds a two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

“And if there are fewer Malay-majority areas, there is a chance for others to exert influence on the government,” he said at a press conference here.

Last year, the Election Commission said the Federal Constitution provided for redelineation of electoral boundaries every eight years. The next redelineation would be due in 2026.

Any change in the constitution must be passed by the Dewan Rakyat with the agreement of two-thirds of MPs.

Separately, Mahathir said he could not understand why some blamed him for sparking a political crisis that led to the fall of the 22-month old Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, by stepping down as prime minister.

He said the culprits were those who did not back his view that Bersatu should postpone its decision to withdraw from PH in February 2020.

Mahathir was then prime minister of the PH government and chairman of Bersatu, while party president Muhyiddin Yassin and allies had demanded the party quit PH immediately. The party later joined forces with Barisan Nasional to form a new government.

“So I felt that they rejected me (as the prime minister).”

Bersatu withdrew from PH, shortly after Mahathir resigned as prime minister. His resignation caused the collapse of the PH government, which had won power in the 2018 general election.