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Thread: Delimitation: Sarawak proposes to increase DUN from 71 to 82 seats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Delimitation: Sarawak proposes to increase DUN from 71 to 82 seats

    Is Delimitation meant to serve the people or the politicians?

    Adenan has panacea to political impasse

    02/11/2014 - 11:00

    Jimmy Adit

    SARAWAK FOCUS: Perfect and timely, that’s how I see a State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Bill that’s expected to be tabled and debated during the DUN sitting starting Nov 10.

    With 11 new state seats at his disposal means state Barisan Nasional chairman, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, has the means to appease component members at loggerheads over seat allocation.

    Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), with three MPs and not a single assemblyman, after losing five state and one MP seat to Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras); and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), having lost four state seats to breakaway United People’s Party (UPP) and left with just one state assemblyman and an MP, could very well be compensated with some of the new seats.

    It will not be full compensation, that’s for sure, simply because SPDP and SUPP are not in any position to make demands. They have lost in the numbers game.

    The man who calls the shot will be Adenan, not only because he is the Sarawak BN big boss, but also because he heads the biggest and the strongest component member, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

    In Sarawak, they call PBB the state BN backbone party not for nothing. It is represented in 35 of the 71 state seats. As it stands now, the second biggest component member is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) with a mere eight, followed by SUPP with one and SPDP zero.

    When it comes to sharing out the pie, you can bet the biggest of the cuts will go to PBB, no matter what PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing says about wanting more seats for the Dayaks who form well over 44% of the population but have less than 40% of the seats.

    “Of the existing 71 state seats only 29 are Dayak, a shortfall of at least two seats. We understand that the number of state seats, 71 at present, would be increased …. We expect some of them to be allocated to us by Barisan Nasional Sarawak.”

    Being the No 2, and very stable now, PRS will get its share of the Dayak seats, which of course will be far from “fair”. PRS has to accept the fact that, like it, PBB also has as much right to the Dayak seats.

    You see, PBB is a union of two parties, Pesaka and Bumiputera. Pesaka is the Dayak wing and Bumiputera is the Malay/Melanau wing. From the day of its formation until now, PBB’s make-up has always reflected the sharing of power of these two components.
    While PBB’s Bumiputera kind of have sole rights to any Malay/Melanau seats, its Pesaka will be gunning for the Dayak seats. PRS will have to contend with Pesaka – and SPDP.

    Adenan will give PRS – that is in addition to Pelagus, which it lost to an independent in the 2011 state election. Still PRS will not be sufficiently appeased, but being a distant No 2 it really can’t argue.

    SPDP will also be given - a token at best. In other words, just slightly better than having none as is the case now. It also cannot hope to get back what it has lost to Teras. As the pie is being cut up, Teras will be stepping in through the BN’s door.

    And as far as sharing out the pie is concerned, SUPP will be getting all the Chinese-majority urban seats. In these seats it’s Hobson’s choice for Adenan. If he doesn’t give them to SUPP then to who else? Besides, those seats SUPP lost to UPP will be lost for good, except perhaps for one – Opar where two-term Ranum Mina looks fair material for offloading.

    Ranum, in his mid-60s and a former soldier with only a secondary education, does not look good for another term. If he was the best his Salako community could offer Opar, a newly-created seat in 2006 state election, eight years on he must be feeling the heat. There are close to 20,000 Salako Bidayuh today, among them are graduates and professionals who think that Opar deserves better.

    Ranum was Tanjung Datu assemblyman for a term (2001-2006) before the switch to Opar. Coincidentally, the switch was to make way for current chief minister Adenan.

    SUPP should have a name or two by now, meaning it’s Opar along with those new Chinese majority urban seats.

    But even as SUPP is handed those seats, UPP will also be stepping in through the BN’s door.

    In the case of SUPP and UPP, you can call that a win-win situation. Both parties will be happy.

    See? The coming of the new state seats is perfectly timed. They are Adenan’s answer to the current impasse faced by the state BN.

    .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .........................................

    Feedback not needed on boundary redrawing, elections chief tells Bersih

    Published: 18 December 2014 9:00 AM

    Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof says the commission is not going against the law if it refuses to meet civil society representatives. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 18, 2014.The Election Commission (EC) will go ahead with the redelineation of electoral boundaries without input from civil society and will only engage groups identified in the Federal Constitution, said its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.

    "We will stick to the provisions in the constitution on who we can meet in carrying out the task," he told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur recently.

    This means shutting the door on Bersih 2.0, the country's major civil society watchdog on polling and electoral reform, in favour of representatives from state governments and local authorities.

    As far as the public's voice is concerned, the EC is only required by law to engage at least 100 voters registered in a constituency to hear their objections on proposed changes to boundary delimitation or on any increase in the number of state and parliamentary seats.

    "We are not going against the law if we refuse to meet the civil society representatives," he said, in response to Bersih 2.0 chairman, Maria Chin Abdullah's call on the EC to obtain feedback from non-governmental organisations when conducting the exercise.

    Aziz reiterated the importance of the long-overdue exercise to proceed as planned at the end of this year because the last one was conducted in 2003.

    Usually held every eight years, the redelineation exercise should have been done in 2011 but it was deferred due to preparations for the 13th General Election held in May last year.

    The EC has two years to either redraw electoral boundaries, or add state and parliamentary seats before the next general election scheduled in 2018.

    Bersih has decried attempts by the EC to rationalise the need for more parliamentary and state seats, which critics see as an attempt to manipulate the next election in favour of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

    Malaysia practices a first-past-the-post system where the winner of the most seats in the Dewan Rakyat forms the government of the day.

    In the general election last year, however, BN only won 47% of the popular vote even though it managed to form the government. Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition, won 52% of the popular vote.

    On Monday, Bersih said it would take the EC to court if it tabled a proposal to increase the number of constituencies without first amending the Federal Constitution.

    The poll watchdog raised concerns that the EC would be acting unconstitutionally if it decided to push ahead with a seat increase without a prior amendment to Article 46, which stipulates the composition of the Dewan Rakyat or the number of parliamentary constituencies in each state. It would have to be amended if the EC were to increase the number of seats in a redelineation exercise.

    Aziz, meanwhile, told The Malaysian Insider that the EC had the support of elected representatives and the public to create more seats to cater to development and a growing number of

    He said Bersih was entitled to its opinion to maintain the status quo of 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.

    Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah says an increase in the number of seats does not guarantee the people will be better served. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 18, 2014.
    But Maria had said that an increase in the number of parliamentary and state constituencies was no guarantee that people would be better served.

    It would be better instead if existing elected representatives were empowered with support staff and financial allocations to perform their tasks, she had said.

    Aziz was coy when asked whether the EC would indeed propose a seat increase in the Dewan Rakyat.

    "Probably there will be and it all depends on the MPs," he said.

    A two-thirds majority vote is needed in Parliament to amend Article 46 and approve any increase in the number of seats. Only a simple majority is required, however, to alter electoral boundaries.

    With 134 seats currently, the ruling BN does not have the required number and would need the support from some of Pakatan Rakyat's 87 MPs to approve the exercise. One more MP, from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is an independent but aligned to Pakatan.

    Aziz said the EC would inform the Dewan Rakyat Speaker when it was about to carry out the exercise to redraw boundaries and add parliamentary seats.

    "We will go though the proper procedures, which includes displaying the new electoral map and holding inquiry if there are objections," he said.

    He said the EC would finally prepare a report for the prime minister to table amendments in the Dewan Rakyat.

    Bersih, however, yesterday said the EC was not being transparent enough in announcing when the redelineation exercise would begin.

    The electoral reform group is concerned that the EC would begin the process without a public announcement, thus narrowing the window of time for civil society to study the proposed boundary changes to make objections. The objection period is only 30 days. – December 18, 2014.

    Last edited by pywong; 4th February 2015 at 10:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Mon 05 Jan 2015: EC Gazettes start of Delimitation for Sarawak


    This format of presentation by the EC is totally inadequate. Without Daerah Mengundi (DM) maps, a voter has no way of assessing the EC's proposals properly.

    Be an Objector.

    Download the forms from here.

    Background information on Delimitation Redistricting here.
    Last edited by pywong; 8th January 2015 at 12:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Bersih slams EC’s boundary redrawing for Sarawak

    Published: 6 January 2015

    Wong Chin Huat is a political scientist who is actively involved with the coalition for electoral reform.Bersih 2.0. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 6, 2015.The Election Commission's (EC) proposal to redraw electoral boundaries in Sarawak and raise the number of seats by 11 has caused inequalities in the constituency sizes, polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 said today.

    The EC's maps on the proposed new boundaries are also incomplete and the commission also lacks transparency in engaging the public over the redelineation exercise, it added.

    Elections analyst and Bersih spokesperson Dr Wong Chin Huat said the EC had issued incomplete maps of the 11 proposed new state seats in Sarawak, which would increase the number of seats from 71 to 82.

    "We found that the EC did not produce complete electoral maps and that the distribution of voters was uneven," said Wong at a press conference today.

    He said this was a violation of Schedule 13 in the Federal Constitution, which required the EC to disclose its proposals on redelineation to the public for feedback and objections.

    Wong also questioned why the EC was placing restrictions on the public in making objections to the proposed redelineation in Sarawak.

    He said the EC has only allowed each group making objections to be represented by three people without the presence of a lawyer, and only for a limited time of 30 minutes.

    The law provides for an objection period of one month in a redelineation exercise.

    Wong said the EC's handling of Sarawak's redelineation was unconstitutional and Bersih was strongly opposed to it.

    "We are ready to bring the matter to court," he said.

    The EC yesterday put on public display its recommendations for an increase of 11 seats to Sarawak's legislative assembly. The proposal, however, was not put up online, which Wong also took issue with.

    The EC has proposed the 11 new seats as N13 Batu Kitang, N17 Stakan, N18 Serembu, N23 Triboh, N26 Gedong, N40 Kabong, N57 Telian, N63
    Selirik, N66 Murum, N70 Samalaju and N78 Long Lama.

    Besides the new seats, the EC has also recommended a change of name for one parliamentary and four state constituencies.

    It has proposed that the parliamentary constituency of P198 Mambong be renamed P198 Puncak Borneo and the state constituencies of N19 Bengoh, N34 Batang Air, N41 Belawai and N68 Kidurong be renamed N19 Mambong, N34 Batang Ai, N41 Kuala Rajang and N68 Tanjong Batu respectively.

    The proposed increase in seats is believed to be a move done now because of impending state elections, which must be held by April 2016. There is also speculation that a snap poll could be held this year.

    Bersih and the EC have been at loggerheads over an upcoming nationwide redelineation exercise, with the civil society group warning the commission not to increase the number of parliamentary seats and to conduct the process transparently.

    A national redelineation exercise is overdue since the last one held in 2003. The exercise to redraw electoral boundaries is supposed to be done once every eight years to cater to development and the increase in the number of voters.

    Bersih and other critics, however, fear that the ruling Barisan Nasional government would use the exercise as a tool to redraw boundaries or increase the number of seats in its favour.

    Malaysia practices a first-past-the-post system in elections where the winner takes all and forms the government of the day by having the most number of seats in parliament, notwithstanding its share of the popular vote. – January 6, 2015.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Penang seeks urgent meet with polls body over boundary redrawing

    Published: 7 January 2015

    The Penang government wants to meet with the Election Commission to iron out issue regarding the boundary redrawing exercise. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 7, 2015.The Penang government, worried that the Election Commission (EC) may "do a Sarawak" in its delineation review on state seats, is seeking an urgent meeting with the election body.

    The state government's representative committee on electoral delineation said it would immediately seek a meeting with the state EC to gather feedback to prevent some seats from having too few or too many voters.

    "It is a mess in Sarawak and we don't want (the process in) Penang to be like this," said Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin.

    "We want the Penang EC to be better when it conducts the delineation exercise here," he told a press conference in Komtar today.

    On Monday, EC proposed to increase the number of state seats in Sarawak by 11 seats, from the current 71 to 82.

    The proposed seats are Batu Kitang (designated as N13), Stakan (N17), Serembu (N1, Triboh (N23), Gedong (N26), Kabong (N40), Telian (N57), Selirik (N63) Murum (N66), Samalaju (N70), and Long Lama (N7.

    Gedong will have an electorate of 6,340 voters, while Batu Kitang will have 20,107 voters.

    Sim said the difference between the number of voters in the two new seats was 215%.

    "The difference is too huge... with this kind of delineation process, our confidence (in the EC) is shaken.

    "If you want to conduct a delineation exercise, do it properly and not have seats with an outrageous voting population difference of 215%," he said.

    Sim said the delineation process so far had not been transparent and urged the EC to explain how it had come up with its proposal for the new seats.

    Sim also said having too many voters in a single state constituency was not good for the people.

    The assemblyman would have difficulty serving his electorates and due to limited time and resources, many in the constituency would end up not getting representation, he said.

    Sim also illustrated his point by comparing the Sarawak's Mas Gading parliamentary seat and his seat in Bayan Baru.

    He said if Mas Gading with its electorate of just 26,171 voters has one MP, Bayan Baru – one of the largest parliamentary seats in the country with over 80,000 voters – should have four MPs.

    "This is why civil society and Pakatan Rakyat parties have long argued that we should revert to the principle of “one person, one vote, one value” so there will be more balance between the numbers of voters in the different seats," he said.

    Penang has 40 state seats in 13 parliamentary constituencies. Out of the total, only 10 are held by BN through Umno.

    It was reported that the EC was exhibiting the proposal for the constituency delineation review for Sarawak for a period of one month from January 5 (Monday) until February 4 (Wednesday) at specified places in the boundary reconstruction notice.

    It was reported that the Sarawak state assembly approved a Bill to increase the number of members of the assembly from the current 71 to 82.

    Following the announcement by the EC, opposition lawmakers reacted angrily to the proposed redelineation of state seats.

    Sarawak PKR is now also threatening to file for a court injunction to stop the exercise.

    State PKR chief Baru Bian said the EC has seven days to provide full and detailed disclosure on its proposal and the list of voters affected by the exercise.

    “We are of the view that the details that are disclosed are not sufficient for voters to raise any objection,” he reportedly said yesterday.

    Baru noted that the proposed new seats were all in the semi-urban/rural areas and in areas – with the exception of Batu Kitang – with largely Bumiputera voters.

    He said he would tend to agree “if someone suggests there was an attempt at gerrymandering to strengthen the Barisan Nasional's grip in the rural areas”. – January 7, 2014.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    SPR ada maklumat lengkap 11 kerusi DUN baru

    William Mangor
    | January 6, 2015

    11 kerusi baru bertepatan dengan pindaan Perlembagaan Negeri pada 5 Disember tahun lepas.

    KUCHING: Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) telah mencadangkan kerusi dewan undangan negeri yang baru antaranya Batu Kitang, Stakan, Serembu, Triboh, Gedong, Kabong, Tellian, Selirik, Murum, Samalaju dan Long Lama.

    Cadangan untuk meningkatkan kerusi negeri dari 71 sekarang kepada 82 bertepatan dengan pindaan Perlembagaan Negeri pada 5 Disember tahun lepas.

    SPR juga mencadangkan penukaran nama Wilayah Parlimen untuk Mambong kepada Puncak Borneo. Terdapat penukaran empat kerusi negeri antaranya, Bengoh kepada Mambong, Batang Air kepada Batang Ai, Belawai kepada Kuala Rajang dan Kidurong kepada Tanjung Batu.

    Setelah kemasukan Batu Kitang ke dalam kawasan Parlimen Stampin, SPR cadangkan untuk memindah Batu Lintang, sebelum ini di bawah kawasan Parlimen Stampin, untuk berada di bawah kawasan Parlimen Bandar Kuching.

    Dengan perubahan ini, kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri di bawah Stampin adalah Kota Sentosa, Batu Kitang dan Batu Kawah, dan kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri di bawah Bandar Kuching adalah Padungan, Pending dan Batu Lintang.

    Batu Kitang, dengan 20,107 pengundi, akan meliputi kawasan dari Arang ke Kitang.

    Stakan, dengan 12,761 pengundi, meliputi kawasan dari Merdang untuk Stakan. Kerusi itu datang di bawah Kota Samarahan kawasan Parlimen.

    Serembu, di bawah Puncak Borneo, mempunyai 11,279 pengundi, dan ia meliputi kawasan dari Mambong ke Mengarat.

    Triboh, di bawah kawasan Parlimen Serian, mempunyai 13,160 pengundi, dan ia meliputi kawasan dari Sedihan ke Serian Hulu.

    Gedong, dengan 6,340 pengundi, bermula dari Ensengai untuk Keniong. Ia terletak di bawah kawasan Parlimen Batang Sadong.

    Kabong pula di bawah kawasan Parlimen Saratok, meliputi kawasan dari Nyabor untuk Selalang. Ia mempunyai 9,759 pengundi.

    Tellian, yang meliputi kawasan dari Penat ke Tellian Laut, mempunyai 9,858 pengundi. Ia berada di bawah kawasan Parlimen Mukah.

    Selirik, yang meliputi kawasan dari Kapit untuk Entangai, mempunyai 10,560 pengundi. Ia di bawah kawasan Parlimen Kapit.

    Murum (dari Long Murum untuk Subis Satu) adalah di bawah Hulu Rajang kawasan Parlimen. Ia mempunyai 12,798 pengundi.

    Samalaju (dari Sibiew Similajau untuk LKTS Suai) adalah di bawah naungan kawasan Parlimen Bintulu. Ia mempunyai 12,927 pengundi.

    Long Lama (dari Tutoh ke Lellang) mempunyai 8,057 pengundi. Ia berada di bawah kawasan Parlimen Baram.
    Last edited by pywong; 4th February 2015 at 10:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sarawak redelineation exercise seriously stymied by incomplete maps and gross malapportionment

    BERSIH 2.0 JANUARY 7, 2015

    BERSIH 2.0 Press Statement (6 January 2015)

    The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) condemns the Election Commission (EC) for serious flaws in both the proposal and procedure in the constituency redelineation exercise for Sarawak hastily started yesterday.

    The EC must immediately rectify its errors in displaying incomplete maps and gross malapportionment. As our preliminary response on the exercise, we have five questions and one commendation for the EC.

    • Why are the maps incomplete?

    BERSIH 2.0 is shocked that the EC has provided incomplete maps in that polling district boundaries are not shown.

    • The normal electoral map consists of boundaries of parliamentary and state constituencies as well as polling districts, as in the sample of the Sibu parliamentary constituency map used in the 2013 General Election (left).

    • In comparison, the EC has only released a state-wide map for all constituencies this time round (see right).
    • Even in the enlarged box B (scale 1: 80,000), the polling districts are not shown.

    • At the first glance, polling districts are sub-divisions within parliamentary and state constituencies; hence, their disappearance does not affect voters in identifying their location. However, in practice, polling districts are the building blocks of parliamentary and state constituencies; hence, voters can mentally redraw the boundaries by including and excluding polling districts, if they were made visible to them.

    • By denying the voters the knowledge of polling district boundaries, the EC is undermining the people’s ability to meaningfully evaluate the EC’s recommendation and consider other possible combinations of polling districts. Hence, the EC maliciously violates the demand of Federal Constitution that “regard ought to be had … to the maintenance of local ties,” (italics ours) as per its Thirteenth Schedule, Part 1, Section 2(d).

    • Without the polling district boundaries, the voters also cannot evaluate whether their polling districts have “administrative facilities” to facilitate voting, as implied by Thirteenth Schedule, Part 1, Section 2(b).

    • Since such incomplete maps were never used in the past, the EC must answer if such maps denotes a new modus operandi for the entire nation, or it is deliberately discriminating against the Sarawakians.

    • We fully support the ultimatum posed by Mr Baru Bian, ADUN for Bakelalan and Sarawak PKR Chief for the EC to provide detailed constituency-level maps within seven days or be prepared for a judicial review hearing.

    • Why are the maps not displayed online?

    • BERSIH 2.0 cannot understand why the EC refuses to put all its maps online so that more people including out-of-town voters can assess the quality of the EC’s redelineation proposal and take part in the objection project.

    • Why does the EC insist on conducting its business in a pre-internet manner?

    • Why can’t the EC do what BERSIH 2.0’s DART (Delineation Action and Research Team) and Tindak Malaysia have been doing—sharing electoral information online? See

    • Will the inquiries be open to lawyers, media and all members of the public?

    • BERSIH 2.0 reiterates our call for the inquiries, which must be held in the event of valid objections after the one-month objection period, to be open to lawyers, media and all concerned members of the public.

    • The EC has told political parties in their briefing that every group of objectors is limited to three representatives without legal representation and a session of 30 minutes.

    • BERSIH 2.0 would like to remind the EC that it must act constitutionally in discharging its duty. It should aim to maximise public participation in the redelineation and minimise both malapportionment and gerrymandering.

    • BERSIH 2.0 vows to support legal actions by any citizen who has been unconstitutionally excluded or disadvantaged by the EC.

    • Why is intra-state malapportionment not reduced?

    • BERSIH 2.0 holds that the entire idea of redelineation is to reduce malapportionment and gerrymandering that have occurred since the last redelineation. On this yardstick, the EC has failed miserably.

    • The chart below shows that malapportionment of parliamentary constituencies that appeared in the 13th General Election has hardly been reduced in the proposed redelineation. (Between 2013 and 2014 on which the redelineation was based on, the electorate has grown insignificantly by 2.32% and does not invalidate the comparison.)

    • P195 Bandar Kuching is larger than the state average by 119.11% points, P219 Miri (107.19%) – both are more than twice! They are followed by P212 Sibu (85.51%), P196 Stampin (70.48%), Bintulu (61.79%), Lanang (60.64%) and Petrajaya (45.30%).

    • The EC has completely ignored the requirement of the 13th Schedule, Part 1, 2(c) where constituencies within the same state are supposed to be “approximately equal” in size, with exceptions given to inland constituencies.

    • For BERSIH 2.0, normal constituencies should not be larger or smaller than the state average by 15%, which was the original standard set in the 1957 Federal Constitution and the exceptional constituencies should be as far as possible not smaller than the state average by 33%, which was the 1962 constitutional standard.
    • While this means some seats like Hulu Rejang or Baram can be much smaller than the state average, there are no grounds for outliers at the higher end, resulting in gross under-representation of urban voters.
    • Even amongst the inland constituencies, one may ask whether it is justified to have fewer voters in P206 Tanjong Manis (19,025) and P207 Igan (18,082), which are coastal and smaller in geographical spread, than P216 Hulu Rejang (23,637) and P220 Baram (31,476), which are Sarawak’s largest and second largest constituencies in land mass.
    • Overall, in the EC’s proposal, only six out of Sarawak’s 31 parliamentary constituencies meet the 1957 standard, nine more meet the 1962 standard and the remaining 16 fail even the 1962 standard. (See Appendix 1)
    • We urge the constituents in the 27 proposed state constituencies that are larger than the state average by 15% to object to their unconstitutional under-representation as a group of 100 or more affected voters in the one-month period ending February 4th.
    • Similarly, the state constituencies are severely malapportioned. While the average state constituency has 13,526 voters, the following constituencies are more than or nearly twice the average size (percentages show deviation from the state average):
    • N54 Pelawan 31,388 132.06%
      N10 Pending 30,881 128.31%
      N51 Bukit Asek 28,908 113.72%
      N52 Dudong 28,569 111.22%
      N74 Pujut 26,532 96.16%
      N75 Senadin 26,257 94.12%
      N11 Batu Lintang 24,640 82.17%
      Overall, in the EC proposal, only 12 out of Sarawak’s 82 state constituencies meet the 1957 standard, 24 more meet the 1962 standard and the remaining 46 fail even the 1962 standard. (See Appendix 2)

    • Again, while very small inland constituencies may be justified, outliers at the higher end are absolutely unconstitutional. The voters of the abovementioned constituencies and 20 others that are larger than the state average by 15% should object to their unconstitutional under-representation as a group of 100 or more affected voters in the one-month period ending on February 4th.

    • The most telling example of the EC’s deliberate crime of malapportionment is P200 Batang Sadong, a constituency which is 45 minutes away from Kuching and well connected by roads has only 20,977 voters, with three state constituencies, the smallest being N26 Gedong (6,340). This is in sharp contrast with P195 Bandar Kuching (78,394 voters) with three state constituencies, the largest of which being N10 Pending (30,881 voters).

    • How can the EC call 20,977 and 78,394, or 30,881 and 6,340 “approximately equal”?

    • We call upon the EC to recognise the unconstitutionality of its current proposal and make amends in the inquiry process. BERSIH 2.0 is ready to support any disempowered citizens to challenge the EC in the court of law.

    • Why the haste?

    • BERSIH 2.0 questions why the EC needs to commence the redelineation exercise in such haste while the nation’s attention is still on flood relief.
    • As the last redelineation exercise for Sarawak was completed within six months, and the Sarawak State Assembly’s term expires only by mid-2016, it should be possible for the redelineation exercise to be completed comfortably ahead of the next state election even if it starts a month or two later.
    • Is this a deliberate plot of the EC to prevent national attention and maximum public scrutiny on the redelineation exercise in Sarawak?
    • BERSIH 2.0 reiterates our position that must be heeded—the electoral roll must be cleaned before redelineation begins. The findings of the Sabah RCI on immigrants should serve as a constant reminder of how crucial this is.

    • No Seat Increase

    • BERSIH 2.0 nevertheless congratulates the EC for acting constitutionally by abiding by the number of parliamentary seats allocated for Sarawak as per Article 46 of the Federal Constitution.
    • This is the first time that redelineation involves seat increase only at the state level and not at the federal level. It shows the EC does heed the advice from civil society to not usurp the power of the Parliament and state legislatures to decide their sizes.
    • The EC should bear in mind that if the Parliament increases its seats for Sarawak in the near future, the EC will have to conduct another round of the redelineation exercise to implement the seat increase. It cannot simply relocate the state constituencies delineated in this exercise to the new number of parliamentary seats without public participation as per the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

    BERSIH 2.0 calls upon all Malaysians to pressure the EC to make the changes we are recommending as this will not only affect Sarawak for the next 10 years or so, but the same pattern will likely repeat for redelineation in West Malaysia and Sabah.

    Issued by,
    The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises -
    Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Deputy Chairperson: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Prof Madya Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusoff, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and New Sin Yew; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Excellent article.

    Redelineating Sarawak. The EC Disappoints. Again.

    Image credit:
    On 5th January the Election Commission (EC) gazetted a notice that in accordance with the Federal Constitution it has reviewed the division of Sarawak into Federal (Parliamentary) and State constituencies. In the notice the EC said it will be making four recommendations. The notice also said where the new constituency maps are on display, and described the parameters for registering objections to the recommendations.

    The first recommendation is “do not increase the number of Parliamentary seats for Sarawak.” This is odd, for the EC has no authority to recommend any change to the number of seats.

    The second recommendation is that the number of state constituencies be increased by eleven. This too is odd, for the EC is simply implementing what the Sarawak state assembly decided in November 2014.

    The state assembly frivolously increased the number of representatives. But, the EC is obliged to implement the decision. I am curious to know what the EC says is the basis for its second recommendation. My guess is “we did as instructed.” So is it a recommendation?

    I'll not comment on the third and fourth recommendations as these are changes to the names of constituencies. I’ll highlight three problems with the EC’s recommendations and explain why we should be alarmed.

    Problem # 1: The recommended changes are not adequately described

    Generally, every time we recommend change, we recall the current state and we describe the recommended future state. Six Sigma practitioners - people who implement change professionally - often speak of the “As-Is” and the “To-Be” states.

    The EC hasn’t bothered to describe the changes, though it’s not hard to do so.

    The As-Is state is depicted in the GE13 constituency maps. These maps include three levels of detail: boundaries for the parliamentary constituencies, state constituencies and polling districts.

    Isn’t it obvious that the maps for the recommended constituencies should also contain three levels of detail? Not to the EC!

    The EC has only displayed maps with two levels of detail. Has the EC omitted showing the third level in order to make it harder for us to evaluate whether our constitutional rights are being respected?

    I suggest the EC has deliberately “omitted showing” the third level because the Constitution requires the EC to take account of local ties, convenience in going to polling stations, availability of administrative facilities, etc. when drawing the boundaries. This means the EC must at least use the third level to check their work. So, omitting to show the third level is a deliberate decision.

    In the state-wide displays (which are not in places frequented by the public), the old maps are not shown. How then are voters to evaluate the change? If you don’t have a confirmed As-Is, how do you evaluate the To-Be?

    Problem # 2: The goals and achievements of the delineation are not clearly stated

    Changes should bring improvement. What improvements does the EC seek to achieve through the recommendations?

    Thousands have protested about the election process in Malaysia. There’s even been a people’s tribunal on GE13, with well documented evidences of failures. Issues raised have included irregularities in the electoral roll, malapportionment, gerrymandering and the EC accepting “corrections” proposed by persons or groups without Constitutional standing.

    At the very least the EC should have goals for “approximately equal” sizes of constituencies, as required by the Federal Constitution. Operationally, the goal could be stated like this: “Eighty percent of the constituencies should be within plus or minus fifteen percent of the average constituency size in the state.” (I selected 15% because that’s the figure in the 1957 Constitution; I selected eighty percent because the Statistics Department says that’s the current level of urbanization in Malaysia.)

    The EC should have computed the compliance percentage (goal: 80%) for the As-Is state and the corresponding percentage for the To-Be state. That’s the primary goal of re-delineation – bring more and more constituencies closer to the average size. What was the EC’s goal?

    The new constituencies range in size from 6,340 voters (Gedong-N26; this is the smallest of the 82 proposed constituencies) to 20,107 voters (Batu Kitang-N13; there are 12 constituencies with more voters). What goal is the EC trying to achieve? Has the EC succeeded?

    Another goal the EC should have had is to correct wrongs done in previous delineations, based on feedback received from the public. This is just like companies using customer feedback to improve the design of their products. The EC has been silent about this. Why?

    Problem # 3: Selective avoidance of use of information technology

    The EC has used computer technology to generate its maps.

    The EC knows that groups like Tindak Malaysia and DART (Bersih 2.0) have used technology to create alternative maps. The EC knows that hordes of citizens nationwide have used technology participatively to create constituency maps as alternatives to the maps malapportioned and gerrymandered by the EC previously.

    The EC knows those citizens have made their maps available online. Yet the EC refuses to display its maps online. The EC will not even sell the maps to the public. The EC is conscious of its horrid history of malpractices. Yet the EC refuses to be transparent. Why?

    Why is all this important?

    As stated in the gazetted notice, those who wish to object to the new boundaries must do so within 30 days. Only 3 parties are allowed to object: the State government, affected local authorities and bodies of one hundred or more voters from the constituencies in question.

    Objections will only be entertained on a per-constituency basis. Also, the EC restricts objections to individual constituencies, not the overall schema I have outlined above.

    Without the relevant information, how can we evaluate the EC’s recommendations responsibly?

    I conclude that the EC, which is supposed to be the guardian and instrument of democracy in the nation, is declaring that it will work as it always has, and doesn’t care what citizens think. Sarawak now. The rest of Malaysia next. Expect lawsuits!

    Posted Yesterday by Ramanathan

    Labels: Bersih Change Management continuous improvement Delineation Elections Commission MalapportionmentSarawak Six Sigma Tindak Malaysia

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    MEDIA STATEMENT (8 January 2015)

    Omission of polling district boundaries in EC's maps makes farce of public participation in redelineation

    The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) is pleased that the Election Commission (EC) chairperson has responded, albeit in the media, to our first comments on the EC’s redelineation announcements for Sarawak, though his remarks still leave a lot to be desired.

    He did not appear to understand our major contention that the maps did not feature boundaries of polling districts (or Daerah Mengundi), an essential piece of information that can help voters ascertain whether there is gerrymandering (and we are certain, based on the EC’s record, that there would be plenty of that monkey business in its proposed electoral boundaries for Sarawak).

    His claim that all details are in a booklet made available where the new electoral maps are being displayed is another deflection, for the details are not in the form of maps that show the boundaries of polling districts, but merely a list of polling districts in each constituency and the number of electors in them. This still doesn't help a potential objector identify where these polling districts are located with a constituency, to make a meaningful objection.

    Hence, by hiding the polling district boundaries from the public, the EC is making a farce of our constitutional right as voters to participate in the redelineation exercise, which can affect electoral outcomes.

    As for our other insistence that the maps should be made available online, while we are happy to hear that the chairperson reportedly said they will be uploaded onto the EC’s website soon, again, however, we ask: how useful are such maps that do not show the polling district boundaries? Also, in only undertaking to do it now, when it should have been done on the same day of the Gazetted Notice, precious time has been taken out of the 30-day period of objection.

    This is the first time BERSIH 2.0 is mounting a public challenge to the process, through our DART (Delineation Action & Research Team) project. We are urging voters to organsise themselves into groups of at least 100 in their own constituencies to become objectors.

    The previous delineation exercise was held more than 10 years ago. At that time the public was ignorant about what the Federal Constitution expects of the EC and ignorant about how to evaluate the work of the EC. In the intervening years, the public is much less ignorant, thanks to advances in communication technology and the rise of civil society organisations. The public expects the EC to change, to execute its responsibilities consistent with the aspiration to be a developed nation by 2020.

    So, for the EC chairperson to say that this is the way it has always been done is essentially to say they don’t care to be better. Or, worse, “we fooled you before, we’ll fool you again.” Shame on you.

    Issued by,

    The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises -

    Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Deputy Chairperson: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Prof Madya Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusoff, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and New Sin Yew; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).


    KENYATAAN MEDIA (8 Januari 2015)

    Ketiadaan sempadan daerah mengundi dalam peta SPR menjadikan penyertaan pengundi dalam persempadanan semula sekadar sandiwara

    Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (BERSIH 2.0) menyambut baik hakikat bahawa Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) telah membalas komen pertama kami tentang persempadanan semula di negeri Sarawak. Namun balasan beliau langsung tidak memuaskan.

    Beliau seolah-olah tidak memahami bahasan kami bahawa peta-peta tersebut tidak memaparkan sempadan daerah mengundi, yang merupakan maklumat yang amat penting bagi pengundi untuk mengenal pasti sama ada sempadan kawasan pilihan raya telah dimanipulasikan bagi manfaat parti politik tertentu (dan berdasarkan rekod SPR sepanjang masa ini, kami pasti ‘gerrymandering’ wujud dalam cadangan persempadanan semulanya bagi negeri Sarawak).

    Kenyataan beliau bahawa maklumat terperinci telah disenaraikan di dalam sebuah buku kecil yang boleh didapati di tempat pemaparan peta cadangan SPR tidak tepat kerana maklumat tersebut tidak menunjukkan sempadan daerah mengundi. Sebaliknya, ia menunjukkan senarai daerah mengundi di setiap kawasan pilihan raya dan juga jumlah pengundi. Maklumat sebegini tidak akan membantu pengundi untuk mengenal pasti lokasi daerah mengundi dalam sebuah kawasam pilihan raya supaya bantahan yang berasas kukuh dapat dikemukakan.

    Dengan melenyapkan sempadan daerah mengundi dalam peta cadangan persempadanan semula SPR, penyertaan pengundi dalam aktiviti persempadanan semula, yang berupaya mempengaruhi keputusan pilihan raya, sudah dijadikannya sekadar sandiwara sahaja.

    Berkenaan desakan kami supaya peta-peta dipaparkan online, kami juga menyambut baik kenyataan Pengerusi SPR yang dilaporkan bahawa peta-peta tersebut akan dipaparkan di laman sesawang SPR. Namun, kami ingin menyoal, betapa bergunakah peta tersebut sekiranya mereka tidak menunjukkan sempadan daerah mengundi? Selain itu, SPR seharusnya berbuat demikian pada hari Notis Warta Kerajaan diberi. Sekarang, masa yang berharga telah dibazirkan daripada jangka masa 30 hari yang telah ditetapkan untuk mengemukakan bantahan.

    Inilah kali pertama BERSIH 2.0 mencabar proses persempadanan semula melalui projek DART kami yang menggesa pengundi untuk bergabung dalam kumpulan yang terdiri daripada sekurang-kurangnya 100 pengundi dari kawasan pilihan raya mereka untuk bertindak sebagai pembantah.

    Aktiviti persempadanan semula sebelum ini diadakan 10 tahun yang lepas. Pada masa itu, orang awam tidak tahu apa yang harus dibuat oleh SPR mengikut lunas-lunas Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Rakyat biasa juga tidak tahu cara menilai mutu kerja SPR. Dalam tahun-tahun sejak itu, kita sudah menimba ilmu akibat perkembangan teknologi dan pertumbuhan badan masyarakat sivil. Sekarang, orang awam meletakkan harapan pada SPR utuk membuat perubahan ke arah yang lebih baik, dan menjalankan tugasnya seiring dengan aspirasi untuk menjadi negara maju pada tahun 2020.

    Oleh itu, apabila pengerui SPR menyatakan bahawa inilah proses persempadanan semula yang telah dijalankan sejak dahulu, maksud mereka adalah mereka tidak berniat untuk meningkatkan mutu kerja mereka. Atau yang lebih teruk, "kami berjaya menipu anda dulu, dan kami akan menipu anda sekali lagi." Sungguh keji.

    Dikeluarkan oleh,

    Jawatankuasa Pemandu BERSIH 2.0, yang terdiri daripada -

    Pengerusi: Maria Chin Abdullah; Timbalan Pengerusi: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Bendahari: Masjaliza Hamzah; wakil kebangsaan: Prof Madya Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusoff, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri dan New Sin Yew; naib pengerusi: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (Semenanjung Timur), Thomas Fann (Semenanjung Selatan), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Semenanjung Tengah) dan Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (Semenanjung Utara).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Opposition cries foul over Sarawak seat increase

    Joe Fernandez
    | January 8, 2015

    No parliament seats added because this would require a constitutional amendment at the parliamentary level where the BN does not have a two-thirds majority.

    KUALA LUMPUR: The Opposition has queried the rationale for increasing the number of state seats in Sarawak by 11 but not a single parliament seat was added.

    If an increase in the voting population is used to justify the increase in state seats, noted the Opposition, “why should that rationale not apply to parliament seats as well?”

    In the recently revealed Sarawak delineation exercise, a record number of new state seats were proposed by the Election Commission. This would increase the number of state seats in Sarawak from the current 71 to a proposed 82 state seats.

    “Did the Election Commission choose not to increase parliament seats in the Sarawak delineation to bulldoze the exercise in time for the next Sarawak state elections?” asked Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming.

    “One cannot help but suspect that the real reason why there was no parliament seats added is because this would require a constitutional amendment at the parliamentary level where the BN does not possess a two-thirds majority.”

    If new parliament seats were proposed, he added, then the whole Sarawak delineation exercise may be delayed because it may get stuck at the parliamentary level.

    He considers the recent Sarawak delineation exercise, which officially began on Monday 5 January, 2015, with a public display of the maps in Sarawak as “shocking” because for the first time in Sarawak’s history, state seats were added without a single increase in the number of parliament seats.

    “With the exception of the 1968 and 1977 delineation exercises where no parliament and state seats were added in Sarawak, in each of the past three delineation exercises in 1986, 1996 and 2005, both parliament and state seats were added in Sarawak.”

    The non-increase in the number of parliament seats while at the same time increasing state seats is a clear indication that the Election Commission, he continued, was not complying with democratic principles but is bowing down to political expediency in wanting to bulldoze the new Sarawak delineation exercise in time for the Sarawak state elections, due by 2016.

    “Once again, this shows the non-independence of the Election Commission and its failure to produce an independent, fair and transparent delineation exercise,” he said.

    “Political parties, civil society organizations and members of the public who are concerned about upholding free and fair elections must join together to reject this unfair and undemocratic Sarawak delineation exercise.”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Sarawak’s exhausted Assemblymen and Powerful Gedongites

    Image credit:
    A set of ‘reasons’ were presented by BN’s Sarawak State Assemblymen in November 2014 to commend the Bill which increased the number of Sarawak State Assemblymen from 71 to 82.

    In my previousarticle I presented their 3 key points, namely (1) they have the right to request it every 8 years, (2) the number of residents and of voters has grown in Sarawak and, (3) the additional seats should be in the rural and interior areas.

    The first two points indicate the Assemblymen are incapable of considering that options to consider every eight years include “change nothing” and “reduce seats,” e.g. due to improvements in technology, communication or reach and migration of people from rural to urban areas.

    The third point is especially bizarre: they want more seats in areas for which they do not offer evidence of growth in either residents or voters. They offer “we’re exhausted” as the reason for increasing seats in the rural and interior areas.

    They say the vastness of some constituencies and the distances between settlements means they have to travel by sampan, motorcycle and foot to “serve” their constituents.

    Dennis Ngau (Telang Usan-N67) said “I feel the pains in discharging my responsibility and part of it I believe is due to the huge size of my constituency where settlements are scattered all over. . . . I do not complain but instead up my energy to soldier on.”

    In the last election 57% of the 13,623 voters in Telang Usan – in Baram – cast their ballots.

    Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili-N2 said “The constituency of Belaga . . . is bigger than Singapore, but the region is hilly and mountainous and the people are scattered about. Hence, there is an urgent need for more Legislative Assembly members to look after the affairs of the people.”

    In the last election 70% of the 8,463 voters in Belaga cast their ballots.

    In the last election 73% of the 9,444 voters in Engkili, cast their ballots.

    (Incidentally Assemblyman Johnichal came closest to offering a rationale for why the number should increase by 11. He said “Let number 11 be the nombor keramat for Barisan Nasional. It will certainly bring back good luck to BN and the state.”)

    Abdullah Saidol (Semop-N36) said “sometimes for the whole day from morning . . . until midnight we try our best menggunakan perahu motosikal dan kadang-kadang berjalan kaki. . .

    In the last election 67% of the 8,891 voters in Semop cast their ballots.

    Voters in these vast constituencies with small, dispersed voters turned out and voted at the rate of 57%, 70% and 73% and 67%. Yet the Assemblymen complain it’s exhausting for them to meet their constituents. (How often have you met your Assemblyman?)

    So, considering what it costs to keep Assemblypersons in office, how many voters/constituency would Dennis Ngau, Johnichal Rayong and Abdullah Saidol recommend as a minimum for a constituency in Sarawak?

    I remind them that the smallest constituency is Gedong (N26-new) with 6,340 voters and the largest is Pelawan (N54) with 31,388 voters.

    A voter in the newly created constituency of Gedong has five times the power of a voter in Pelawan.

    34% of the voters of Sarawak control the majority (51%) of the seats in the state Assembly.

    Gedongites and their relatives are powerful. They can keep the "exhausted assemblymen" in office.

    Posted 10 hours ago by Ramanathan
    Labels: Delineation Elections Elections Commission Malapportionment Politics Sarawak SPR

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