KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor DAP chief Tony Pua has called for snap elections in the state following the Election Commission’s (EC) recent redelineation proposals, which he claims was a “clear cut case” of racial electoral manipulation.
Alleging that the EC’s exercise aims to divide the country by race and strengthen the Barisan Nasional, Pua said that it would be even harder for Pakatan Harapan (PH) to notch victories if the redelineation is passed.
“We’ll (PH) be stupid if we only have elections after the redelineation is approved.
“We want to hold elections before that. We discussed this and had a meeting but the final decision will be made by the top leadership in PH,” the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said at a press conference today, adding that the Opposition coalition had the “power to call for state elections.”
Pua’s call for state elections to be held comes days after DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang made a similar suggestion in light of the redelineation exercise, which he described as having “butchered” the map of Selangor.
Lim had also claimed that the exercise was aimed at helping Umno regain Selangor from Federal Opposition parties – PKR, DAP, Amanah and PAS – which collectively hold the majority in the state government.
Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali has since poured cold water on the suggestion.
Pua, however, admitted that a state election was subject to approval by the Selangor Sultan and said it would respect the views of its partners in the Opposition coalition.
“If PH doesn’t agree, we just have to hope that the redelineation doesn’t make it worse for us,” he said.
Pua’s claim that the EC’s recent exercise had a racial twist also echoes PKR’s sentiments.
PKR Vice-President Nurul Izzah Anwar had a few days ago said the EC’s redelineation exercise would lead to racial polarisation.
“The new amendments show a huge number of Malay voters being shifted into traditional Umno seats and non-Malays being moved out and into Opposition seats,” she said.
Meanwhile, Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming, who was also present, explained that there were two ways the redelineation will favour BN – the shift of pro-opposition state seats to pro-opposition parliamentary seats to reduce the majority of marginal opposition seats in Selangor.
“For example, the Kajang state seat has been moved from the Hulu Langat parliament seat to the Bangi parliament seat resulting in the projected majority for Pakatan Harapan falling from 17,267 Proposal Representation (PR) Majority in 2013 to 1,046 in 2016.”
He added that “significant gerrymandering” had also taken place within state seats, with many pro-opposition polling districts being shifted from marginal PH seats into safe PH seats.
“This will increase the chance for BN to win back some of the marginal seats.
“Based on the 2013 General Election results, BN would win back seven state seats as a result of the redelineation exercise. At the same time, six state seats which were won by PH with more than 54 percent of the popular vote in GE13 have become marginal seats, which means the 54 percent will significantly decrease,” Ong said.
He also said that two marginal PH state seats – Gombak Setia and Hulu Kelang – are now even more marginal should the redelineation proposal be approved.