Knowing what we know now, how can we not fight the EC?

Posted on September 25, 2016


many-colours-one-dream923089_576322912401152_1069880995_nThis needs re-visiting.

13th GE, UMNO/BN took about 47% of the popular vote.

That means the majority of registered voters who voted, voted for a change of government.

With a minority of the popular votes cast, UMNO/BN took the majority of seats in Parliament.

In fact, as my dear friend Jaya reminds me ever so often, UMNO/BN took 112 seats, the barest minimum necessary to form a simple majority government, with slightly less than 20% of the votes cast!

How the hell did they pull this off?

What I said in a recent post warrants repeating here.

“Najib leads a government that gained power through a gerrymander”Canberra Times, on 26th May, 2013, reporting on the outcome of our 13th GE outcome.

“…It is hard to see how having one constituency nine times the size of another in terms of electorate can be described as ‘approximately equal’. The EC failed to implement the principle of equal representation in apportionment and districting…there is considerable evidence that these anomalies work in one direction only : to the benefit of the ruling coalition” the People’s Tribunal on Malaysia’s 13th GE, at page 59.

What is it that the EC has failed to implement, according to the People’s Tribunal report, that has led to anomalies that work to the benefit of UMNO/BN?

Article 113(2) (i) of the Federal Constitution stipulates, amongst other things, that the   “Election Commission shall, from time to time, as they deem necessary, review the division of the Federation and the States into constituencies and recommend such changes therein as they may think necessary in order to comply with the provisions contained in the Thirteenth Schedule…”.

In other words, undertake a redelineation exercise which complies with the 13th Schedule of the Constitution.

Para 2 (c) of the 13th Schedule stipulates that the EC, in undertaking a redelineation exercise, shall take into account that “the number of electors within each constituency in a State ought to be approximately equal except that, having regard to the greater difficulty of reaching electors in the country districts and the other disadvantages facing rural constituencies, a measure of weightage for area ought to be given to such constituencies”.

How did the earlier redelineations lead to a point where UMNO/BN could win the 13th GE with just 47% of the votes cast and the same go unnoticed and unchecked?

In my view, the blame must lie with a media that failed to critically report on how previous redelineation exercises were going to impact on the ‘one man, one vote, all equal’ principle.

The last redelineation, if I am not mistaken, was in 2003.

By then, mainstream media had long been muzzled by UMNO/BN.

Alternative news reporting through the internet was then in its infancy.

Our forefathers could not really be blamed if they did not then know how past redelineations were going to impact on their voting power, or that they actually had constitutional rights to object to the redelineation process.

Can we tell our children the same, if proffering reasons for our inaction in the face of the present redelineation exercise?

My friend, Wong Chin Huat, in a publication in Malaysiakini entitled “Can four be ‘approximately equal’ to one?”, challenges each of us when he says that “Decent Malaysians are angry over the unscrupulous redelineation proposal unveiled by the Election Commission (EC) on Sept 15. However, anger without action does not lead to anywhere. And if the EC proposal is passed – which takes only a simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat to do so – the outcomes of the next two to three general elections are more or less determined. Then there is a good chance you may still call Najib Abdul Razak your prime minister at 2020.”

To PJ Selatanites, I will share with you in my next post what I learnt in our meeting with YB Hee Loy Sien yesterday.

UMNO/BN want the Selangor government in the next election.

EC is facilitating this through this redelineation.

Our votes are going to be diluted.

More gerrymandering.

More malapportionment.

Do we give EC a blank cheque to do what they will  with our votes?

Or can we rise together to fight this immoral abuse of power conferred that was meant to serve us?