Redelineation: Voters led by Maria Chin accuse EC of fraud

Maria Chin Abdullah (right) with Bersih 2.0 acting chairman Shahrul Aman Mohd Shaari (left) and steering committee member Ivy Josiah after lodging a report against EC at the Petaling Jaya police station.

PETALING JAYA: A group of 107 voters has claimed that the Election Commission’s (EC) belated written replies rejecting their objections over the redelineation of electoral boundaries constitute an act of fraud.

In a police report lodged at the district police headquarters here, the voters, led by activist Maria Chin Abdullah, want EC’s officers to be investigated for allegedly fabricating evidence and practising forgery.

They said they only received EC’s letters in their mailboxes last Thursday (March 22) although the letters were dated March 5.

“We had written to EC on March 9 and demanded their replies on the holding of local inquiries (on the redelineation exercise) for us but they refused to respond,” Maria, a former chairman of electoral reform group Bersih 2.0, said after making the report.

“We then proceeded to file court cases against them,” she said.

Present at the police station were Bersih 2.0 acting chairman Shahrul Aman Mohd Shaari, who succeeded Maria after she resigned on March 5 to run in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14), and steering committee member Ivy Josiah.

Maria claimed that the late replies were an attempt to undermine the voters’ legal challenge to EC in the courts.

She said EC’s letters were sent last week as an “afterthought” as the final redelineation report was already submitted to Parliament and was now waiting to be debated this Wednesday.

“They did not respect our rights as citizens to be heard, and tricked the objectors by not holding inquiries and proceeded to finalise the report,” she alleged.

Maria also said the government should not table the report, claiming that it was damaging to voters and the redelineation exercise was in violation of the Federal Constitution.

The Dewan Rakyat is expected to pass the redelineated boundaries for states in Peninsular Malaysia next week before Parliament is dissolved to pave the way for GE14, which must be held by August.

EC chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah had previously said that if the redelineation motion is passed by the house, it would then be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for royal consent.

He said the motion was supposed to have been tabled two years ago but was delayed after opposition parties objected and took the matter to court.

Critics of the move have alleged that the exercise would favour the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

The EC had submitted its report to Prime Minister Najib Razak on March 9 while hearings for the objections to the changes had not been completed.

Bersih 2.0 said it would submit a memorandum to Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia on Wednesday, demanding that he not allow the report be tabled pending several lawsuits against EC on the matter.

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