Source: The Malaysian Insight
Ambiga Sreenevasan speaks during a public forum on examining issues relating to malapportionment, gerrymandering and electoral fraud in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Farhan Nazmi, February 20, 2018.
OPPOSITION parties should train lawyers to be their polling agents as they are well-versed with the law and could be “tough enough” to stand up for their candidates, said Ambiga Sreenevasan.
The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) chairperson spoke of her experience running an election watchdog in the 2013 general election, and said lawyers as polling agents would be able to detect fraud.
“I strongly urge all candidates to get good, tough election agents because they are the ones who make a difference,” she told a forum in Kuala Lumpur today.
She said the opposition lost a lot of ground in GE13 because the polling agents, counting agents and election agents were not tough enough or did not know enough.
“Some of the seats were lost because they were not asserting the rights of their candidates,” said Ambiga, who was former co-chairperson of Bersih, a civil society group advocating for free and fair elections. Read more
Source: FMT News
Retired Federal Court judge and lawyer Gopal Sri Ram in an October 30, 2014 picture by Najjua Zulkefli
PETALING JAYA: The year saw superior courts – the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court – delivering numerous judgments that touched on the basic constitutional rights of citizens.
The most significant were legal challenges mounted by voters and the PKR-led state government in Selangor against the Election Commission (EC) for its alleged failure to follow procedures and demarcate election boundaries as required under the Federal Constitution. Read more
Source: FMT News
Paragraph 1 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 gives judges the additional power to remedy a wrong, especially on fundamental rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution, says Sri Ram. Pic taken from FMT News.
PETALING JAYA: The courts have additional powers to check on illegality and correct any injustice with regard to complaints against the Election Commission (EC) in carrying out the redelineation exercise, a retired judge said.
Gopal Sri Ram said judges could then issue the appropriate order to compel the EC to act in accordance with the law.
“The law is that if the EC acts contrary to the Federal Constitution in the exercise of its powers, then the court can examine the legality of the conduct.
“If there is either illegality in the way in which the power is exercised or any injustice has resulted because of the exercise of its powers, the court can issue the appropriate order to compel the EC to act in accordance with the law,” he told FMT. Read more
In mid-September, the Election Commission issued a notice that they would propose recommendations for a redelineation of constituency boundaries. How would the implementation of those recommendations influence Malaysia?
By organizing a series of #UndiMsia! chats, we want to find answers and unpack the issues of gerrymandering (Session 1), constituent delineation (Session 2) and discuss electoral reforms (Session 3).
On our first session, on 7th November, the discussion panel features Ong Kian Ming, member of the Democratic Action Party and MP for Serdang.
He will shed light on the phenomenon of gerrymandering and malapportionment. Together, you will find out where it comes from and why it is done. He will be assisted by a group of young lawyers which will make the topic more lively by facilitating a Gerrymandering game that you can join in!
If you want to know more about the topic, keep your calendars free for Sessions 2 (21st November) and 3 (28th November). More details will be announced shortly.
Admission is free and open to everyone.
BY ONG KIAN MING
A Creative Commons image
Two weeks after the national redelineation exercise since 13 years was announced, the Election Commission (EC) has come under fire for malapportionment.
Malapportionment entails having vast differences between the number of voters from one constituency to another.
This is unfair because it dilutes the value of votes in larger constituencies compared to smaller constituencies.
For example, after the redelineation, the parliamentary seat of Damansara (formerly Petaling Jaya Utara) which has 150,439 voters will only get to elect one MP to Parliament whereas Putrajaya, which only has 17,627 voters, will also get one MP.
While this example has been repeated often, it does not reflect the overall malapportionment as it is only a comparison between two extreme cases in a total of 222 parliamentary seats.
However, there is a formula that can explain the overall severity of malapportionment with a single value.
The higher this value is, the worse the malapportionment. The lower the value, the more equal the respective parliamentary seats are. Read more
BY ONG KIAN MING
It has been two weeks since the controversial release by the Election Commission (EC) of the 2016 delimitation (redelineation) exercise.
Many individuals, political parties (including BN component parties) and NGOs have criticised the unfairness of this delimitation exercise on a number of grounds, including worsening the gap between the largest and smallest parliamentary seats and gerrymandering boundaries in order to help Umno win back marginal seats.
I have spent all my time analysing the detailed political impact of this delimitation exercise on each state and parliament seat in peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.
It is my intention to share my analysis to the public in a systematic manner so that public awareness on this delimitation exercise can be raised.
At the same time, I hope that this series of articles on the 2016 delimitation exercise can be used as reference material for academics and researchers, not just in Malaysia but also from abroad, who are interested in electoral gerrymandering and malapportionment.
In addition, I hope that some of this analysis can be referred to if anyone decides to take up a legal challenge against this delimitation exercise. Read more
Source: The Malay Mail Online
PUTRAJAYA, Feb 27 ― The redelineation of electoral boundaries for the entire country can be completed before the next general election due in 2018 if there are no legal challenges to the exercise, the Election Commission (EC) has said.
New EC chairman Datuk Seri Hashim Abdullah confirmed that the redelineation exercise for Sabah will take place after this year’s Sarawak state election, followed by peninsular Malaysia.
“We will have to look and assess the situation in every state, there is no guarantee that all states (in Malaysia) need to undergo a redelineation exercise.
“We can complete it before the election comes in 2018, provided there are no disruptions like legal challenges in court,” he told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview, referring to an application filed last year to challenge the EC’s redelineation exercise in Sarawak. Read more