PETALING JAYA: With objections to the Election Commission’s (EC) proposed recommendations for the redelineation exercise ending tomorrow (Friday), many wonder what the next steps are for the process to go through.
According to Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Jay Jay Denis, the EC is expected to hold public inquiries with the objectors to determine the reasons and feedback from the proposal.
“Once the EC collects all the objections, under provisions stated in Schedule 13 of the Federal Constitution, they hold a public inquiry at state level to hear the grouses of those objecting the proposal.
“During the hearing, three constituents who had objected to the proposal will be summoned to give their feedback while up to 20 constituents may attend the hearing,” he told theSun yesterday.
He said the EC will then take into account all objections before publishing another gazette similar to the one published on Sept 14.
“Therefore the process repeats itself twice. However should the second gazette receive similar objections, the EC will then conduct a similar inquiry and following feedback from constituents who object, they will then submit their draft proposal to the Prime Minister for further action,” he said.
Under Section 8 in Schedule 13 of the Federal Constitution, he said the Prime Minister may table the a draft proposal to Parliament for approval via simple majority.
“A simple majority is only required when the number of parliament and state seats remain unchanged. If there is a change in the number of seats, it requires a two-thirds majority to be passed through.
“In EC’s proposal for Sabah which contains 13 new state seats, it need a two-thirds majority by the state assembly before it goes to the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.
When asked if the proposal was initially rejected by Parliament, Jay Jay said Section 11 of the same provision allows the Prime Minister to amend the draft following consultation with the EC for re-submission.
“Upon majority approval, the draft proposal will be passed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before coming into force only after Parliament or state assembly is dissolved,” he said.
The EC has until Sept 14, 2018 to enforce its redelineation exercise or risk waiting another eight years before it could initiate the exercise again.
The EC’s proposed recommendations for the Redelineation of Electoral Boundaries for Federal and State Constituencies in the States of Malaya are currently up for public display, from Sept 15 to Oct 14.
In Sabah, the EC has also posted notices of 13 proposed new state constituencies.
Both BN and opposition parties have hit out at the proposed redelineation, claiming that it could create racial imbalance in some electoral constituencies.
Objections to the recommendations, however, can only be made by the state government, local authorities partly or partially included in the redelineation exercise, or a group of no less than 100 registered voters of a affected constituency.
“All objections must be submitted in writing and addressed to the state election director before Oct 14,” he added.