One Person, One Vote, One Value within the same State

Trainer’s Document for the TM Delimitation Voter Education Campaign

1. Purpose of this document
The purpose is to brief trainers for the TM Delimitation Voter Education campaign

2. What is the role of the Trainers?

To provide voter education on delimitation

To explain TM’s Projek Persempadanan Rakyat & prepare for EC’s Delimitation Proposals.

To invite voters to sign up as scrutineers, to examine and, with guidance from the trainers, improve upon TM’s map proposals. Once the scrutineers in a State has agreed on a final Constituency layout for whole state, this is used as the template to evaluate the EC’s Delimitation Proposals.

3. Background Information

TM’s has spent more than 2 years to get our own Delimitation proposals ready even before the EC announce the start of the Delimitation Exercise. This is to cater for the very short lead-time provided for in the Constitution for the public to make representations to the EC’s proposals.

The last delimitation exercise carried out by the EC was in Mar 2003. The present constituency boundaries are based on the delimitation exercised carried out by EC in Mar 2003. Under Article 113 (2) (ii) of the Federal Constitution (FC), there has to be an interval of not less than 8 years between the date of completion of one review and the date of commencement of the next review.

Clause 113 (2) (iii) states that this review shall be completed within 2 years.
Clause 113 (3A) & (3N) further states that if there is a change in the number of constituencies under Article 46 or the State Assembly changes the number of State Constituencies, a review of the constituencies shall be carried out.

Under the current delimitation exercise, there are many examples of constituencies that are very large or very small, and the disproportionate sizes of the constituencies (in other words “malapportionment”) contribute to election results that are not representative of the votes cast during election.

There is concern about the allegations that have been made against the EC, especially on issues such as mal-apportionment and gerrymandering. 

To illustrate:

During GE-13:

· BN had 47.38% of the vote and obtained 59.91% of the seats.
· PKR had 20.39% of the vote and obtained 13.15% of the seats
· DAP had 15.71% of the vote and obtained 17.12% of the seats
· PAS had 14.77% of the vote and obtained 9.46% of the seats

We believe that the EC has members who wish to prepare fair constituency boundaries but they may be under political pressure to act otherwise. The public and civil society has an important role to encourage and help the EC to delimit fairly and transparently.

After all, Elections are:

For the People,
Of the People and
By the People.

4. What happens when EC presents its delimitation proposal?

There are 2 stages:

Stage 1 Pre-EC Announcement Stage,
Stage 2 Post-EC Announcement Stage.

Stage 1 Pre-EC Announcement:
Even before the EC announces the commencement of the Delimitation Exercise, TM will be going on a nation-wide road show to conduct voter education and to prepare the public for the coming Delimitation Exercise.

Voters are invited to sign up as scrutineer/objectors, to scrutinize and, with guidance from the trainers, improve upon TM’s map proposals. When the scrutineers in a State have agreed on a final layout of the constituencies for the whole State, this will be used as a template to evaluate the EC’s Delimitation Proposals.

Stage 2 Post-EC Announcement:

Once the EC announces its delimitation proposal, there is a 1 month period for objectors to submit/file their objections or application to scrutinize the EC’s Delimitation Proposals in a public hearing.

To qualify as a stake-holding in the public hearing, at least 100 objectors from voters of a particular constituency have to sign up. The EC is then required to hold an inquiry to receive representations from the objectors of that constituency. These objectors could be scrutineers (from Item 2) who sign up in order to qualify to scrutinize the EC’s Delimitation Proposals or they could be other voters who had no previous involvement as scrutineers.

5. When is EC expected to announce its delimitation proposal?

The EC could announce the commencement of the Delimitation Exercise any time after Mar 2011 and this could be as early as the next Parliament sitting (10 Mar - 10 April 2014).

Under the FC, EC is required to carry out delimitation under the Thirteenth Schedule.

6. How do the objectors participate in the ‘objection’ process?

There are 2 stages as described in item 4. TM’s Projek Persempadanan Rakyat team has completed a delimitation exercise and produced maps to show the constituency boundaries drawn based on the provisions in the FC and guided by international best practices with a focus of ensuring that all constituencies are as equal in terms of voter population so that we can achieve: “One Person, One Vote, One value within the same State.”

7. Guidelines to determine the number of voters in electoral constituencies:

For the last delimitation exercise, the EC published 3 reports dated 2003

Laporan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia mengenai Kajian Semula Persempadanan Bahagian-Bahagian Pilihan Raya Parlimen dan Negeri bagi:
1. Negeri-Negeri Tanah Melayu, 2003
2. Negeri Sabah, 2003
3. Negeri Sarawak, 2005

States of Malaya: The EC criteria on constituency size is defined in Chapter B, Clause 14, page 19:

Area No. of voters
Category Area (sq. km)
14.1.1 City 8 - 26
14.1.2 Town/Urban Centres 27 - 49
14.1.3 Semi-urban 50 – 99
17.1.4 Semi-rural 100 – 150
Parliament State
70,000 – 90,000 30,000 – 49,000
50,000 – 69,000 25,000 – 29,000
40,000 – 49,000 15,000 – 24,000
30,000 – 35,000 10,000 – 14,000

Sabah: Clause 9.7 page 13

Size No. of voters
Category (sq. km)
9.7.1 City 8 - 60
17.1.2 Town/Urban Centres 61 - 500
17.1.3 Semi-urban 501 – 1000
17.1.4 Semi-rural 1001 – 1500
17.1.5 Rural or interior >1500
Parliament State
40,000 – 50,000 18,000 – 25,000
30,000 – 39,000 15,000 – 18,000
25,000 – 29,000 10,000 – 14,000
20,000 – 24,000 8,000 – 10,000
<20,000 <8,000

Sarawak: Clause 17 page 21

Size No. of voters
Category (sq. km)
17.1.1 City 11 - 26
17.1.2 Town/Urban Centres 27 - 49
17.1.3 Semi-urban 50 – 99
17.1.4 Semi-rural 100 – 250
17.1.5 Rural or interior >250
Parliament State
60,000 – 69,000 25,000 – 35,000
50,000 – 59,000 20,000 – 25,000
40,000 – 49,000 15,000 – 20,000
30,000 – 35,000 10,000 – 15,000
20,000 – 29,000 7,000 – 10,000
From our study of the FC Thirteenth Schedule, we believe that there is no justification for such criteria to be applied as it is in contradiction to Article 21 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights on universal suffrage which recommends One Person, One Vote, One Value.

8. Is it necessary for voters to submit a map or a delimitation proposal to support its objection?

The FC does not specify this but the submission of a map will enable the objectors to explain their case more clearly, more effectively and avoid the risk of the EC rejecting the objections due to the absence of a map.

9. How many scrutineers/objectors are required?

For Stage 1, our goal is 500 scrutineers per Parliamentary constituency, which totals 110,000. For Stage 2, we require minimum 100 objectors per constituency.

As there are approximately 576 State constituencies and 222 Federal constituencies in Malaysia (798 State and Federal), the number of objectors to be recruited is approximately 100,000 objectors (assuming separate objectors for State and Federal and allowing 20% margin for drop-outs).

10. Must voters choose/adopt TM’s delimitation proposal?

No, voters are free to choose any other maps/delimitation proposals. However, it is easier to visualize a proposal if it is presented in the form of a map that has analysed the whole State. International experts have advised that a comprehensive proposal should include all the constituencies in a State rather than a constituency considered in isolation.

The focus here is to enlighten the voter that they have options other than what is in the EC delimitation proposal.

11. What is Projek Persempadanan Rakyat (PPR)?

Refer to Delimitation FAQ

12. When did PPR start?

Projek Persempadanan Rakyat started in July 2011. Projek Persempadanan Rakyat is made up of a small group of volunteers undertaking the project with their own funding.

13. Where can I find basic information on delimitation?

Article 46 of the FC is the provision specifying the number of seats in Parliament and the seat allocation. The 13th Schedule of the FC contains the criteria for delimitation and the procedure. Cross reference is also made to Articles 113, 116 and 117.

For general information. You can check out this link for info on delimitation ""

Tindak Malaysia has a few simple videos to explain Delimitation pitfalls. You may find it at


For a deeper understanding of what Tindak Malaysia is trying to do, please watch our videos on the Forum on Towards A Fairer Electoral System on 15th & 16th Feb 2014:

It will explain to you what is the criteria for Fair Delimitation and for a Fair Electoral System.

14. Message to our Political Leaders:

In the coming delimitation exercise, don’t just negotiate based on your party’s short-term interests. Be aware you are subjected to psychological warfare and you will definitely lose if you negotiate based on greed and fear.