Electoral boundary amendments: DAP to protest against the unusual phenomenon

Press Statement
by Kerk Kim Hock

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): It has been a traditional trend in the past electoral constituency delineation exercises that the original proposals made by the Election Commission would basically remain intact.

In the past, after the holding of local enquiries, the revised changes would usually involve minor changes like the changes of names of constituencies or minor transferring of polling districts.

The reason cited for such trend in the past is that the Election Commission had taken into all considerations before coming up with its proposals and that was why it would always stand by its original proposals, unless there were very valid and justifiable grounds.

However, from the preliminary reports which I have received, I have noted an unusual phenomenon in this year’s revised electoral boundary proposals, that is, the fresh proposals involve substantial changes in the form of transfers of polling districts involving thousands of voters.

In its original proposals this year, the Election Commission has proposed that Malim and Taman Asean areas which were previously in the Batu Berendam parliamentary constituency be included in the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency. The existing Duyong area was also taken out.

Such original proposals have definitely strengthened the DAP’s chances in retaining the Kota Melaka seat, judging by the voting tendencies of the newly added and removed polling districts.

However, in the revised proposals, the Election Commission has not only taken out the Malim and Taman Asean areas and put back the Duyung area, it has also included the Limbongan area. thus reducing our chances of retaining the DAP seat which has always been won by the DAP since 1969.

In addition , the Election Commission‘s proposal has caused the total number of voters in the parliamentary constituency to exceed 80,000 voters, thus further violating the principle of one-man one vote.

I have been informed by Sdr Fong Kui Lun ( DAP MP fro Bukit Bintang ) that in his constituency, the Election Commission has also, in its fresh proposal, recommended that the DAP ‘s strongholds of Medan Imbi and Kg Loke Yuen areas be taken out, while our weak area Sam Peng Flats have been added.

The Election Commission of course has the power to make any proposals which it deems suitable. However, the important question that arises now is that for the Kota Melaka and Bukit Bintang parliamentary constituencies, why has the Election Commission decided to abandon all its ground, justification, basis and rationale for its initial proposals, especially when in the past, appeals have always not been accepted on the ground that the Election Commission has taken the fullest consideration in drawing up the electoral boundary changes.

DAP will ask the Election Commission to justify what public feedback has it obtained for it to completely abandon its ground for the earlier proposals made for the Kota Melaka and Bukit Bintang constituencies.


* Kerk Kim Hock, DAP Secretary General and MP for Kota Melaka