Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang and Deputy Political Education Director for the DAP, on the 20th of December 2017
The Election Commission should redo the entire constituency delimitation exercise to add parliament seats in Selangor to reduce the discrepancy in the number of voters per seat
With the Court of Appeal’s rejection of the stay application by the Selangor government in its case against the Election Commission’s constituency delimitation exercise, this means that the first round of public hearings in Selangor can begin. Rather than starting these public hearings, the Election Commission should redo the entire constituency delimitation exercise and increase the number of parliament seats in Selangor.
According to the electoral roll updated till the 2nd quarter of 2017, the number of voters in Selangor stood at 2.33 million, which is by far the highest in the country (See Figure 1 below).
Figure 1: Total number of voters in the states in Peninsular Malaysia (2nd Quarter 2017)
At the same time, the average number of voters per seat in Selangor has increased to 105,937 as of the 2nd quarter of 2017, which is by far the highest in the country (See Figure 2 below).
Figure 2: Number of voters per seat by state in Peninsular Malaysia (2nd Quarter 2017)
Within Selangor, there are now 12 seats with more than 100,000 voters (See Figure 3 below).
Figure 3: Total Voters by Parliament Seat in Selangor (2nd Quarter 2017)
The number of voters in the largest seat – P109 Kapar with 164,177 voters – is 4 times that of the smallest seat – P92 Sabak Bernam with 40,164 voters.
The proposed delimitation plan by the Election Commission will do nothing to decrease these discrepancies in Selangor. In fact, my own parliament seat of Serdang, which will be renamed into Bangi, will likely have more than 165,000 voters using the new boundaries.
This is a clear violation of the one-man-one-vote principle WITHIN the state of Selangor and this is one of the main reasons why the Selangor state government took up the court case against this blatantly unfair delimitation exercise.
Any reasonable person would be able to see how unfair this proposed delimitation plan is. Instead of continuing with the public hearings, the Election Commission should go back to the drawing board and begin the exercise anew but this time, with the addition of parliament seats in the state of Selangor.
(I will deal with the issue of the state seats in a separate media statement.)