A week ago, in my “The 52% strike back : No Seat Increase” post, I wrote of how the Election Commission is intent on increasing, via the imminent delimitation exercise, our parliamentary seats from the present 222.
I also wrote that BN cannot push this increase through Parliament on their own strength as any such increase requires a 2/3 majority approval in Parliament.
They would need the support of at least 14 opposition MPs to see the increase through, and we hear that some opposition MPs are ‘talking’ and inclined to horse trade.
Against this backdrop, I announced that ABU would be launching a campaign to ensure there is no seat increase.
Actually, the campaign has several phases, and will include a concerted effort to equalise the existing constituencies.
More on the later phases at the appropriate time.
Let me just say now that ABU cannot go anywhere with this campaign without the optimum involvement of the 52% who voted for change at the last GE.
People are the BOSS.
How often I have heard Anwar Ibrahim use the first phrase in reference to us, the Rakyat.
How often I have heard the Pakatan MPs say that we, the Rakyat, are the BOSS.
So let’s act like Bosses.
ABU intends to send a memorandum to the leadership of the 3 Pakatan Rakyat parties to state our case as to why they should not lend their support to any move to increase the seats in Parliament.
Such a memorandum would be on behalf of the 52% who voted the opposition MPs into Parliament.
To hold out that we represent the Rakyat in submitting the memorandum, we must be seen to have been mandated by you.
I ask you to now mandate ABU to act on your behalf.
This morning I wrote to my MP, Yang Berkhidmat Hee Loy Sian of PJ Selatan, to tell him I did not wish to see a seat increase, and to direct him to vote down any Bill that proposes such an increase and to also work with civil society initiatives that are opposed to the proposed seat increase.
That letter has been copied to an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, created to collect copies of all such letters so that ABU can keep track of the MPs who have been written to and to assess if we have received adequate support in order to enable us to make appointments to deliver the memorandum to the Pakatan leaders.
My letter to YB Hee Loy Sian is reproduced below, together with a translation in Bahasa Malaysia, as a template that you can use to write to your own MP.
The email address of your opposition MP can be found in one of the 4 PDF links below.
A reminder : please c.c your letter to email@example.com
My post mentioned above was carried on my Facebook page. It garnered 1,099 likes and 509 shares.
Would it be too much to hope that those likes and shares will now be translated into active participation in this campaign, to mandate ABU?
24th November, 2014
Yang Berkhidmat Hee Loy Sian
Objecting the Proposed Seat Increase by the EC
My name is Haris Fathillah bin Mohamed Ibrahim (NRID: 590404-08-5067), and I am a voter in the parliamentary constituency of P105 Petaling Jaya Selatan. I am writing to you with regard to the proposed redelineation exercise that is to be carried out by the Election Commission.
I have come to learn that the EC is planning on increasing the number of Parliamentary seats from the current 222. Such an increase would require the approval of two thirds of Parliament.
But seeing as Barisan Nasional fall short of the required 148 seats to make up two thirds of Parliament, they would logically require some of the opposition MPs to make up this number.
There are rumours that some opposition MPs are already in negotiations with BN and the EC to ‘share’ these additional seats. I feel that this would be tantamount to a betrayal of Pakatan Rakyat’s election pledges—the coalition that 52 percent of Malaysians voted for.
Therefore, I am directing that you, as my elected representative from PR, do your utmost to preserve the sanctity of the democratic process, and object to the proposed seat increase.
I am also directing that you lend your support to the civil society organisations who are opposing this proposed seat increase, and who are attempting to ensure the fair distribution of voters across constituencies.
In Bahasa Malaysia
Yang Berkhidmat Hee Loy Sian
Bantahan Cadangan Pertambahan Kerusi Parlimen oleh SPR
Seperti yang tertera di atas, saya, Haris Fathillah bin Mohamed Ibrahim (NRID: 590404-08-5067), seorang pengundi dari kawasan P105 Petaling Jaya Selatan, menulis kepada tuan berkenaan dengan urusan persempadanan semula yang akan dijalankan oleh Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) dalam masa akan datang.
Saya telah difahamkan bahawa SPR sedang merancang untuk menambahkan kerusi Parlimen dari angka 222 yang sedia ada. Pertambahan ini akan memerlukan sokongan dua pertiga Dewan Rakyat.
Tetapi Barisan Nasional tidak mempunyai kerusi yang cukup untuk membentuk majoriti dua pertiga ini (148 kerusi). Secara logik, jika inginkan bilangan kerusi parlimen ditambah, mereka akan memerlukan kerjasama dari pihak pembangkang.
Terdapat khabar yang mengatakan bahawa sesetengah ahli Parlimen dari pihak pembangkang sudahpun dalam perbincangan dengan BN dan SPR untuk meluluskan pertambahan ini dan ‘berkongsi’ kerusi Parlimen yang baru. Jika khabar ini benar, ini akan bermakna Pakatan Rakyat sudah mungkir janji dan memperdaya 52% peratus rakyat yang mengundi untuk kamu.
Oleh itu, saya mengarahkan tuan sebagai wakil rakyat kawasan P105 Petaling Jaya Selatan di Dewan Rakyat untuk memastikan keutuhan proses demokrasi di Malaysia terpelihara, dan membantah apa-apa cadangan atau tindakan yang akan membawa kepada penambahan kerusi Parlimen.
Saya juga mengarahkan tuan untuk memberi sokongan kepada organisasi masyarakat sivil yang membantah pertambahan ini, dan juga mereka yang sedang bekerja keras untuk memastikan pengagihan pengundi yang adil dalam urusan persempadanan semula.
Sekian, terima kasih.