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.