PETALING JAYA: An Umno Youth leader has sought to ridicule a PKR official for what he said was a blundering political statement that criticised the redrawing of electoral boundaries in Sabah.
Hazali Abu Hassan, a member of the Umno Youth Executive Council, said PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin was displaying her ignorance when she attempted to justify the forthcoming Bersih rally by condemning the ongoing redelineation exercise, which the opposition sees as gerrymandering.
Citing news reports, Hazali said eight of the 12 opposition representatives in the Sabah assembly had agreed to the proposal to add 13 state seats to the current 60.
“She is ignorant of the fact that opposition assemblypersons, including those from her own party, supported increasing the number of state seats. This is laughable,” he said in an interview with FMT.
He said Zuraida had shown that opposition politicians were often unaware of what was going on in their own parties.
“It’s clear now that the opposition parties don’t even know what is and what is not supported by their own members.”
The Borneo Post in August reported that the delineation proposal received the thumbs up from 55 of the 60 Sabah state assembly members. There were three objections and one abstention. Another assemblyman was absent from the sitting.
Referrring to the Bersih rally planned for November, Hazali asked: “Does this mean that Pakatan will actually be rallying to protest against itself?”
In her statement, Zuraida said Barisan Nasional was indirectly selling Malaysia to foreigners who would be “bringing their Malaysian identification cards” on polling day.
She was alluding to claims of phantom voters being allowed to cast ballots.
To this, Hazali said the Ampang MP was merely trying to paint a negative image of BN. “It is obvious that she has run out of ideas, causing her to issue such insensitive statements, especially on the eve of Malaysia Day.”
Zuraidi responded to Hazali’s criticism in a subsequent interview with FMT. She said PKR was never against the redelineation exercise, but was protesting against the “haphazard” manner in which it was carried out.
“There is no proper formula provided, making it appear as if the Election Commission conducts the exercise at its whims and fancies,” she said.
“So what is the formula? Is it done according to the number of voters or the size of an area?
“If you see what has been announced, a lot of areas were carved out and this has changed the voter demographics. Chinese voters are placed in one area as BN knows they can’t get the Chinese votes while the Malays who still support Umno are placed in another area.
“It looks as if there are now fewer mixed areas.”