BERSIH 2.0: The Constitution must be Paramount in Delineation
"BERSIH 2.0 Outreach" <outreach@bersih.org>: Nov 30 01:19PM +0800

*MEDIA STATEMENT (30 NOV 2014)*

*The Constitution must be Paramount in Delineation*



BERSIH 2.0 welcomes the recent statement by Pakatan Rakyat’s Committee on
the Delineation Exercise, which stressed they do not have an agreement with
the Election Commission (EC) on increasing the number of parliamentary
seats for the upcoming delineation exercise.



We further support their call for an Independent Boundaries Commission to
be formed, similar to those in the United Kingdom. As stated by the
People’s Tribunal Report on the 13th General Elections, the EC’s role
should focus on the conduct of elections, while a separate, independent and
expert body should be tasked with mapping the electoral boundaries.



However, BERSIH 2.0 is deeply concerned by two assertions in the statement
by Pakatan Rakyat.



*1. Pakatan Rakyat will wait for the EC’s public recommendations before
deciding on seat increase.*



We would like to call attention to Article 46, which states:



*46. (1) The House of Representatives shall consist of two hundred and
twenty-two elected members.*



Currently, the EC only has the power to propose delineation of the existing
222 seats. Any proposal that increases the number of seats in Parliament
would circumvent the Federal Constitution. If seats are to be increased, a
constitutional amendment is required before the EC can publish its
recommendations.



BERSIH 2.0 stresses the many efforts by civil society and the public to
participate in this process according to the clear instructions set out in
our Constitution. Likewise, we demand that the EC and all political parties
follow the Constitution in every stage of delineation.



*2. Pakatan Rakyat calls on the EC to ‘work with all political parties’,
not just UMNO.*


Delineation determines the people’s true voting power in electing their
representatives. As shown in GE13, unfair delineation can manipulate the
rakyat’s votes against the public interest. To prevent this, the EC should
consult with the public in open forums, where all citizens can put forward
recommendations. Closed-door meetings between the EC and political parties
give the perception the delineation exercise is being designed around the
wishes of politicians instead of the interests of the rakyat.

Issued by,

The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises -



*Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; 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).*


--

Mandeep Singh
Manager
BERSIH 2.0
Tel. No.: 03-7772 3275 / 019-4380428
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