EC’s redelineation exercise promotes racial politics, says group

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

Voters queueing at polling streams for their turn to cast their votes — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The Election Commission’s (EC) admission that its redelineation proposal drew constituency boundaries along racial lines is proof that it practises racial politics, a group said today.

In a press statement today, human rights group Pusat Komas said it was “astounded” and disappointed by EC Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah’s admission.

“Pusat Komas views that the delimitation has not only done injustice to the people’s vote, but also has the long-term effect of imperilling national harmony and the unity of Malaysians.

“The election, which is supposed to be a festivity for the people of a democratic country, now seems to be a tragedy waiting to happen where Malaysians are made to go against each other.

“This is a direct implication of the divide and rule activities conducted by the EC that draws electoral constituencies according to ethnic lines,” the statement read.

It cited parliamentary seat P74 Lumut as an example where the delimitation has caused a spike in Malay voters from 51 per cent to 71 per cent, which means the constituency is no longer a mixed-race seat.

It also pointed to the same practice which occurred, among others, for P107 Sungai Buloh, P109 Kapar and P124 Bandar Tun Razak.

Pusat Komas added that the new electoral map segregating the population along ethnic lines will result in a more pronounced racial and religious divide among Malaysians.

“Pusat Komas is indeed saddened by the EC’s actions, who is supposed to be the one that ensures the upcoming election is run in a smooth and peaceful manner; however, it has intentionally decided to place Malaysians in a position against each other,” it said.

“Pusat Komas also would like to call Malaysians to actively participate in the PEMANTAU campaign that was launched by Bersih 2.0, in which Pusat Komas will also collaborate to observe issues of racial politics and racial discrimination during the election.”