No favouritism

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE - HAIKAL JALIL

PETALING JAYA: In the face of crit­i­cism by var­i­ous quar­ters, t he Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) has de­nied t hat t he r e c e nt l y pro­posed re­de­lin­eation ex­er­cise is aimed at favour­ing cer­tain quar­ters in the next elec­tion.

“We are aware of the re­ac­tions from var­i­ous quar­ters de­mand­ing ex­pla­na­tions from us, but it is pre­ma­ture for us to make any pub­lic com­ments on the al­le­ga­tions against the com­mis­sion at this junc­ture,” EC chair­man Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Ab­dul­lah said i n a state­ment yes­ter­day.

“This is be­cause the pub­lic dis­play process of the pro­posed de­lin­eation is un­der­way (Sept 15-Oct 14) and the Lo­cal In­quiry process to hear and eval­u­ate ob­jec­tions is to be done soon.

F o l l o wi n g the no­tice of re­de­lin­eation ex­er­cise be­ing posted i n the l ocal media on Sept 15, dis­sat­is­fied par­ties (state g o v e r n me n t s a n d g r o u p s com­pris­ing at least 100 vot­ers) can reg­is­ter their com­plaints with the EC dur­ing the in­spec­tion pe­riod which ends on Oct 14.

“The dis­played rec­om­men­da­tions are an ini­tial pro­posal and is not fi­nal as it has to go through the process of l ocal i nquiry and needs to be ap­proved by the De­wan Rakyat be­fore it can be en­forced,” he stressed, adding that the EC is car­ry­ing out its re­spon­si­bil­ity as pro­vided f or i n t he Fed­eral Con­sti­tu­tion.

“The power to ap­prove the pro­pos­als lie with the De­wan Rakyat, and ev­ery mem­ber of Par­lia­ment can de­bate it when it is tabled,” he added.

Mohd Hashim said groups that have grouses against the ex­er­cise should file their ob­jec­tions through the of­fi­cial chan­nel within the given pe­riod to par­tic­i­pate in the leg­is­la­tion process, in­stead of hurl­ing wild al­le­ga­tions at the com­mis­sion.

“The EC wel­comes ev­ery ob­jec­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tion, but it must be pre­sented of­fi­cially through the pro­vided chan­nel.”

Ob­jec­tions to the pro­pos­als must be made to the EC in writ­ing, ad­dressed to the re­spec­tive state elec­tion of­fi­cers, he added.

The EC had last Thurs­day posted the pro­posed rec­om­men­da­tions for fed­eral and state con­stituen­cies in Penin­su­lar Malaysia and Sabah, which would af­fect the bound­aries of more than 100 out of the 222 par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies.

The pro­pos­als, how­ever, met with crit­i­cism from sev­eral po­lit­i­cal par­ties, in­clud­ing the MCA, Ger­akan and the Op­po­si­tion.

Among the is­sues raised were on racially po­larised seats and ac­cu­sa­tions of ger­ry­man­der­ing to pro­mote a Barisan Na­sional vic­tory in the next gen­eral elec­tion.

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