Court allows 7 Melaka voters to challenge redelineation

Several of the Melaka voters challenging the EC over the redrawing of electoral boundaries, together with their lawyers.

PETALING JAYA: The Melaka High Court today granted leave for judicial review on the redrawing of electoral boundaries following the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation report passed by Parliament and gazetted last month.

In the case filed by seven voters from Melaka to challenge the report, the judge ruled that there was prima facie evidence showing malapportionment which contravened the Federal Constitution.

However, no stay was granted against using the new map in the May 9 election.

Lim Wei Jiet, the lead counsel for the case, said the EC should respect the judicial process and use the old boundaries until the legitimacy of the current boundaries was established.

He added however that the court decision today was only a preliminary view that the electoral boundaries were malapportioned and unconstitutional, and had no practical effect on the coming election.

The seven voters – Chan Tsu Chong, Neo Lih Xin, Azura Talib, Lim Kah Seng, Norhizam Hassan Baktee, Amir Khairudin and Amran Atan – had challenged the EC in April last year over the then proposed redelineation exercise.

However, the Court of Appeal, in allowing the EC’s appeal against a lower court order, denied them leave to commence judicial review against the commission.

The Federal Court upheld the decision in February.

In their judicial review filed on April 7, the Kota Melaka parliamentary constituents claimed that the redelineation exercise violated the Federal Constitution as it created “oversized” parliamentary constituencies, contributing to malapportionment.

They said the EC had completed the final report without hearing objections from 107 citizens, representing more than 10,000 registered voters in Selangor, over the redelineation exercise in the state.

“It was premature to submit the report to Prime Minister (Najib Razak) when the exercise was not completed,” they said.

The report was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on March 28 and gazetted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the next day.

Kota Melaka voters try again to quash redelineation report