The Election Commission (EC) has officially published its proposed redelineation of electoral boundaries today. As highlighted previously, there will be no increase in parliamentary seats for the whole country, and no increase in state seats for Peninsula Malaysia.
A simple cursory review of the proposals will confirm the fears of all Malaysians that the EC has made it its primary objective to ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) victory for the Federal Government.
In the proposal, my constituency, “Petaling Jaya Utara (PJU)”, to be renamed as “Damansara”, will become the single largest constituency in Malaysia with 150,439 voters, an increase of 76.2% from the 85,401 registered voters as at the 2013 General Election.
Damansara will displace Kapar as the single largest constituency, with the latter’s number of voters reduced from 144,159 to 100,456, a reduction of 30.3%.
The discretionary treatment in the two seats epitomises the completely arbitrary and brazen gerrymandering exercise the EC is carrying out to the advantage of BN.
How can the EC justify or rationalise the increase of 76.2% of voters in my constituency, making it the largest in the country while at the same time reducing the existing largest constituency by 30%?
EC has increased the size of Damansara mainly by appending 54,902 voters from Bukit Lanjan state assembly seat, previously part of Subang (now renamed “Sungai Buloh”) parliament. As a result, the number of voters in Subang/Sungai Buloh is also reduced from 128,543 (2013) to 73,448.
There is only one reason one can deduce from the EC actions. It was to add to the majority in the seats BN is deemed unlikely to win, while reducing the majorities for seats where BN sees the opportunity to re-capture.
PJU had the 2nd highest majority of 44,672 in the 2013 general election and is in all probability deemed unwinnable by BN.
Bukit Lanjan on the other hand contributed a 17,200 vote majority to the Subang parliament overall winning majority of 26,719 by Sivarasa Rasiah of PKR in 2013.
With the proposed redelineation, Subang/Sungai Buloh will be left with a much reduced estimated majority of only 9,519 votes.
By shifting Bukit Lanjan to Damansara, the EC has made Subang a much more winnable seat for BN, despite increasing the potential majority for Damansara to a whopping 61,872 (based on 2013 results)!
The similar situation applies to Kapar, when its state seat with the largest majority, Sg Pinang (renamed “Bandar Baru Klang”) is shifted to the Klang parliamentary seat which faced an increase of voters from 97,073 (2013) to 141,025.
In doing so, Kapar, which is currently held by Manivanan Gowin of PKR becomes much more vulnerable. It’s 2013 winning majority of 23,790 is approximately halved as a result of the proposed redelineation.
The absurdity of creating a monster Damansara seat with more than 150,000 voters is even more outrageous when contrasted with other seats in Peninsula Malaysia with only a fraction of the voters.
Putrajaya remained the smallest constituency in the country with only 17,627 voters (11.7% of Damansara). Perak remains the state with the highest number of low voter seats with Lenggong at 28,078 (18.7% of Damansara), Padang Rengas at 28,727 (19.1%), Kuala Kangsar at 33,113 (22.0%), Parit at 33,638 (22.4%) and Gerik at 33,832 (22.5%).
Even within Selangor, which has 2.08 million voters and 22 parliamentary seats, the disparity is unjustifiably huge, with the smallest constituency of Sabak Bernam having only 37,126 voters (24.7% of Damansara). The discrepancy in the number of voters for constituencies within Selangor itself is repugnant, when the average number of voters per seat should be approximately 94,500.
Effectively, a vote in the redelineated Damanasara is not worth even a quarter of a vote in the above gerrymandered seats designed to give the advantage to BN.
We call upon all voters in Damansara, as well as all other affected voters in Malaysia to protest vehemently at the proposed election rigging exercise by the EC which deny them of their equal rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.