Agong consents to EC’s redelineation report, new voting boundaries take effect today


Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysian electoral votes being taken for counting — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The Election Commission’s (EC) proposed new voting boundaries and renaming of seats will be implemented from today.

This is after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong gave his royal assent to the redelineation recommendations.

In an order gazetted today by the federal government, it was stated that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had exercised his powers under the Federal Constitution’s Thirteenth Schedule’s Section 9 to make the order for the EC’s proposals to be implemented from today.

“This order comes into operation on March 29, 2018.

“The recommendations contained in the report of the Election Commission dated March 6, 2018 shall have effect from the date of the coming into operation of this Order,” the order dated March 28 said.

The order signed off by Cabinet secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa is also known as the Federal Constitution (Delimitation of Constituencies) (States of Malaya) Order 2018.

This means that the new voting boundaries can now be used for the 14th general election, which must be held by this August but can be called earlier.

Critics have said the EC’s recommendations would give an unfair advantage to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, but the EC has denied such claims.

The EC had, on March 9, announced that it had submitted its final redelineation report to the prime minister, with the report then presented to Members of Parliament last Thursday.

Yesterday, the prime minister tabled the EC’s final redelineation report, which was then passed in Parliament with 129 votes against 80 votes.

A simple majority of 112 votes was required for the Dewan Rakyat to approve the redelineation report, which then required royal assent to take effect.

The tabling of the EC’s final redelineation report took place despite three ongoing court cases by the Selangor government, the Penang government and 107 Selangor voters.

Today, the Court of Appeal dismissed the Selangor government’s bid to challenge the EC’s redelineation exercise, while the High Court today fixed April 11 to decide on the 107 Selangor voters’ court challenge over the EC’s failure to hold public hearings for their objections to the redelineation exercise.