Malaysian electoral reform group Bersih to hand over memo on electoral map changes to Speaker, PM

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian electoral reform group Bersih will submit a memorandum on the Election Commission's (EC) redelineation report to the Speaker of Parliament and the Prime Minister on Wednesday (March 28) in a bid to prevent an "unfair delineation" without due process, it said.

The steering committee for Bersih, or the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, said the memorandum will present reasons why Parliament should not give effect to the recommendations contained in the redelineation report.

"Bersih urges all Malaysians to join us as at the gates of Parliament as we submit a memorandum to the Speaker of Parliament," it said in a press conference on Saturday (March 24).

On Thursday (March 22), House Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia announced that the motion on the redelineation would be tabled for its first reading at the Dewan Rakyat, the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday.

The motion on the proposed redelineation, once debated and passed with a simple majority of 111 lawmakers at the lower house, will be gazetted upon receiving Royal assent.

It does not need to be referred to the upper house, the Dewan Negara, for approval.

Bersih said there are currently cases pending in the courts with respect to the delineation process conducted by the EC.

 

"One of the cases has 107 plaintiffs representing 10,000 voters. The Election Commission has displayed extreme bad faith and lack of respect for voters and their rights by submitting the report to the Prime Minister while cases are pending before the courts," it said.

It said the EC has also failed to hear objections from the public, who had submitted objections in conformity with the Federal Constitution, before it presented the report to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Bersih added that the EC did not respect the Federal Constitution's stipulation that it requires a two year period from giving public notice of the proposed delineation before submitting a report to the Prime Minister.

"The Election Commission published the notice on Sept 15, 2016. Therefore, the Election Commission has about six more months to complete its work (until Sept 14, 2018)," it said.

Bersih said Tan Sri Pandikar Amin should not allow the tabling and debate of the report until all legal challenges are heard in court and decided by the judiciary.

"In view of the cases before the courts and the violation of voters' right to have their objections heard, the Prime Minister and the Speaker should immediately withdraw the Report from Parliament," it added.