http://dapmalaysia.org  

Delineation report: Call on the Parliament Speaker and the Acting Prime Minister not to table the EC delineation report for parliamentary debate until the issue of my challenge to EC is satisfactorily settled


Press Statement
by Kerk Kim Hock

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): I had, through an official letter presented to the EC Secretary on 6.3.2003, challenged all seven members of the Election Commission to have a meeting with me to justify their decisions on the delineation done to the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency.

I regret that till today, the EC has chosen to remain silent even though the EC Chairman and the six members of the EC know fully well that their silence will only strengthen the long-standing public doubt and allegations that EC is not an independent body that can act fairly.

It was in fact the EC Chairman Datuk Rashid who has, on 23.2.2003, first thrown the challenge to all political parties and NGOs to see him and argue their cases out with him if they question the independence and fairness of the EC.

I immediately took up the challenge and expressed my readiness to meet him over the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency but he has since chosen to keep silent over the challenge. I had no choice but to subsequently send an official letter to counter challenge all the members of the EC.

It will indeed be most shameful if there is any attempt by the EC to try to seek refuge under the majority of the BN MPs by hoping that they will approve a delineation exercise report that has been questioned without addressing the counter challenge which I have thrown against the EC.

I will therefore be writing to the Parliament Speaker and the Acting Prime Minister next week to call on them not to present the EC delineation exercise report for parliamentary debate until the EC has satisfactorily addressed the question of my counter challenge and the questions raised with regard to the delineation for the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency.

I do not see how the EC Chairman and the six members of the Commission can run away from a meeting to justify the EC s case unless they are prepared to admit that they just cannot defend the decisions the EC have made with regard to the delineation for the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency.

Given the long-standing public doubt and allegations against the EC on the questions of its true independence and fairness in exercising its functions and responsibilities, the EC must be prepared to rise to the challenge.

On the delineation exercise for the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency, the EC must satisfactorily answer the following:

  • What criteria and factors were used when the EC drew up its initial proposals?

  • What criteria and factors were used when the EC accepted the counter proposals from the Melaka state government and in a practice, which is a departure from past traditions, made extensive changes to its initial proposals?

  • Why has EC thought that the counter proposals by the Melaka state government were so good that it was prepared to amend its own initial proposals after the first display?

  • Why has it decided to keep to the Melaka state proposals despite receiving counter proposals from me and 113 registered voters of Kota Melaka constituency?

  • Why has the EC not held a local hearing when 113 registered voters from the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency have submitted their objections to the amended proposals which have incorporated the Melaka state government proposals that were seen as deliberately designed to weaken the DAP s electoral chances?

  • Why must the EC have prior discussions with Barisan Nasional leaders when carrying out the delineation exercise? Does not such discussions compromise the independence, objectivity and fairness of the EC?

(14/3/2003)


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