Azmin: Embargo on EC report a ‘terrible betrayal’ of Malaysians

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PETALING JAYA: Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali today called the Dewan Rakyat speaker’s decision to embargo the Election Commission’s (EC) final redelineation report a “terrible betrayal of Malaysians and parliamentary democracy”.

“It should be condemned everywhere in the country,” he said in a statement.

Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had distributed copies of the report to MPs yesterday but ordered them not to reveal its contents until it is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat next week.

Although he initially barred MPs from taking home the copies of the report, Pandikar later allowed them to do so on condition that they abide by the embargo.

However, within hours, a website called The Other published what it claimed was the redelineation report.

The Dewan Rakyat is expected to approve the redelineation of electoral boundaries next week before Parliament is dissolved for the 14th general election.

Azmin said the EC’s recommendations on boundary changes had been displayed to the public in various versions since 18 months ago.

“The speaker has no reasonable excuse to withhold the final report for public viewing as it affects the democratic right of the people in choosing their representatives to Parliament.

“The action of the speaker clearly shows his unfairness,” he said.

He said as an MP, he and his voters as well as all voters in the country had the right to know whether their polling district had been changed as this would have an impact on the identity and direction of politics.

The matter was a violation of their rights guaranteed by the constitution, he added.

He said the EC had aggressively presented its recommendations which would change the racial and ethnic character of polling districts.

“This has directly jeopardised interracial harmony which is part of the identity of Malaysia.

“The EC should not become a political tool, what more (promote) politics based on race. It had pledged to uphold a democratic and harmonious Malaysia.

“This is among the failures of the EC which the Selangor state government is attempting to challenge in court. In fact, we are still challenging the EC in court to this day.”