‘Rethink redelineation exercise’

Source: The Star Online

Merdeka Centre director Ibrahim Suffian (left), and  South-East Asia political analyst Dr Bridget Welsh. Pic taken from The Star Online.

Merdeka Centre director Ibrahim Suffian (left), and South-East Asia political analyst Dr Bridget Welsh. Pic taken from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: There is a need to review how electoral boundaries are redelineated to prevent further divisive segregation of voters along ethnic lines, according to analysts.

Responding to the Election Commission’s proposal to alter the electoral boundaries of 113 parliamentary seats in the peninsula which has drawn wide criticism for creating fewer mixed seats and reinforcing mono-ethnic ones, Merdeka Centre director Ibrahim Suffian said the proposed boundaries could further entrench racial politics and discourse.

“Given that redelineation is an exercise that takes place every 10 years or so, this means the next decade will continue to see the continued trajectory along current trends.

“This is because elected representatives will be more attuned to their monoglot constituencies compared to the mixed ones of the past,” he said.

Political parties from Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan along with NGOs and voters have stated that they will file objections against the EC’s proposal.

The EC will be holding a local inquiry after Oct 14 – when the one-month period to display the proposed re-delineation ends – in order to hear the objections.

Ibrahim said any redelineation along ethnic lines could hamper the move towards a shared Malaysian identity and be counterproductive to national interest.

A better option would be to draw constituency boundaries to reflect the communal mix in a state, he added. Read more