Activist: It’s now up to the people to bring about change


PUTRAJAYA: A defiant Haris Ibrahim said political reform now has to come from the people as public institutions could not be relied on to bring about change.

“Each time you rely on the institutions, it is another nail in the coffin,” the former lawyer turned activist told reporters.

Earlier, the Court of Appeal, in dismissing Haris’s appeal for more information on the on-going redelineation exercise, said the Election Commission (EC) was legally not entitled to meet the demands of voters.

Haris said he would speak at public forums to educate and create awareness among the people of their rights.

“This Friday I will speak at the Rafizi initiated Invoke event in Johor Baru,” he said in reference Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli who has started the civil society group to bring about change in public policies by mobilising public support.

Haris said he would not describe today’s verdict as dissapointing and would seek the advice of lawyers whether to take the case up to the Federal Court,” he said.

Haris, who is a voter in the parliamentary constituency of Petaling Jaya Selatan and the Bukit Gasing state seat in Selangor, said he sought more information from the EC to decide if he should file objections in the on-going public inquiry.

“But I will not be able to do so if I am handicapped by the lack of information,” he said.

He said his parliametary constituency previously had about 79,000 voters but under the plan forwarded by the EC, it has 150,000 voters, adding voters from other neighbouring constituencies have been brought in.

“It is truly troubling that in the 21st century, the EC can shove anything in our throat and we are expected to remain silent,” he said.

Haris said constituencies were drawn unfairly and a foreign media had reported Barisan Nasional was returned to power after the last general election due to gerrymandering although the opposition had secured 52% of the popular vote.

Meanwhile, lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, said today’s ruling would have some impact on the suits filed by the Selangor government and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar against the EC.

Both have, among others, asked the EC to supply more information on it’s rationale for redrawing election boundaries in Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.