PETALING JAYA: An election watchdog expects the Election Commission (EC) to conduct a redelineation exercise in Sarawak soon, with the last exercise carried out eight years ago.
Tindak Malaysia said Sarawak’s state constituencies are currently “grossly malapportioned” as a result of gerrymandering, citing the imbalanced number of voters in several areas.
“According to the EC’s electoral statistics for the 15th general election (GE15), the most populous state constituency is Senadin in Miri (68,564 voters) and the smallest constituency is Gedong (10,067 voters).
“This has created a massive urban-rural gap and constitutes a complete disregard for the principle of ‘One Person, One Vote, One Value’,” its director, Danesh Prakash Chacko, said in a statement today.
Danesh said the past national redelineation exercise was inadequate, with insufficient communication to inform voters, local authorities and state governments about the potential effects of the matter.
He also claimed the EC failed to consider voters’ views regarding the provisional constituencies.
With the future redelineation exercise in mind, he suggested that the EC restrict the size of state constituencies to within plus or minus 20% of the average state constituency size.
As part of preparing for this redelineation exercise, Danesh said, Tindak Malaysia has launched a portal to help voters, local authorities, political parties and even the EC in formulating fair electoral boundaries in Sarawak.
He said the EC’s officials have been provided the link to the portal, as well as an explanation on its proposals. The portal also provides a platform for voters to share their feedback following the redelineation.
Previously, the EC reportedly said a redelineation of electoral boundaries can only be done in 2026 since the constitution only allows this to take place once every eight years.
However, the redelineation of Sarawak’s electoral lines was conducted in 2015, with a motion on the matter passed by the Dewan Rakyat in December that year.