Tindak Malaysia's P.Y. Wong

All eyes on redrawing of electoral boundaries

By Pauline Wong and Tan Jee Yee

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014, 05:35 PM

All eyes are on the Election Commission for the upcoming re-delineation exercise, which must be completed in two years. After all, it has been more than 10 years since the electoral boundaries were drawn – something which in itself has attracted criticism.

Re-delineation (or delimitation) is the redrawing of electoral boundaries, and is supposed to be done every eight years or more. The purpose of redrawing boundaries is to equally distribute the electorate which will have changed over time.

It must be completed within two years once it starts (that means, after the EC has announced it), and the constituencies, where possible, must have an equal number of voters according to category (urban and rural).

Seems simple enough, but the lines are unfortunately not quite so clear-cut as accusations of bias in drawing the lines to favour the ruling coalition have marred the integrity of the process.

The recent admission by a former EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, who had led the past four delineations, that past re-delineation exercises were designed to keep certain parties in power has made the situation all the more dire.

Find out what civil society can do to ensure our electoral boundaries are redrawn fairly on page 6-9 of The Heat.