Azmin: EC redelineation threatens Selangor’s multiculturalism

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

SHAH ALAM, Oct 18 — The Selangor government will file an application for judicial review against the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation exercise, claiming it will disrupt the peace between the state’s multiracial voters.

At a press conference, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said the state government wants the EC’s proposal to be stopped until the matter is heard in court, as it “demonstrated” instances of gerrymandering and malapportionment.

“Selangor is a multicultural and multireligious society. The EC is trying to break this by pushing one race to one particular area and to push other races to another area.

“As chief minister, me and my excos believe that the exercise taken by EC has violated the multiculturalism in Selangor,” he told reporters.

Azmin accused the EC of abdicating its constitutional duty in its latest electoral boundary redrawing exercise by creating malapportioned seats, and that the commission had gone against Clause 2(c) and (d) of the Federal Constitution’s Thirteenth Schedule, which calls for more requal resizing of voters in an area within a state in the delimitation of constituencies.

“State government will file an application for judicial review by this afternoon or tomorrow,” added Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president.

The team of lawyers appointed to handle the application for judicial review will be led by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Datuk Cyril Dass.

Last month, in an 18-page notice in national daily New Straits Times, the EC announced a name change for 12 parliamentary seats and 34 state seats nationwide without adding or subtracting any constituencies.

The federal seats affected include one in Kedah, three seats in Perak, five in Selangor, one in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, one in Negri Sembilan and one in Johor.

The five affected parliamentary seats in Selangor and the sole Kuala Lumpur seat are currently held by the federal Opposition.

Opposition MPs have noted, however, that the exercise also involves a massive transferring of voters, with Petaling Jaya Utara — that will be renamed Damansara — going from around 85,000 voters from 2013 to over 150,000 voters under the change.

Comparatively, Putrajaya, which is held by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, has around 18,000 voters, or just 12 per cent of what the Damansara seat would have.