The latest figures from the electoral roll show just how badly the Election Commission has failed in the delimitation exercise that was bulldozed through parliament last month

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Assistant National Director for Political Education for the DAP and Pakatan Harapan candidate for the parliament seat of P102 Bangi, on the 24th of April 2018

According to the figures from the electoral roll which will be used in the upcoming 14th general elections (which was gazetted by the Election Commission on the 16th of April), the largest parliamentary constituency in Malaysia in terms of the number of voters is P102 Bangi (formerly Serdang) with 178,790 voters. The number of voters in P102 Bangi is more than 4 times the number of voters of P92 Sabak Bernam (40,863 voters) (also in the state of Selangor) which is also the 10th smallest parliamentary constituency in Peninsular Malaysia. P102 Bangi, which I have been nominated as the Pakatan Harapan candidate for, has overtaken P109 Kapar as the largest parliament seat in Malaysia (P109 Kapar was the largest parliament seat in GE2013).

The top 10 largest parliament seats in Malaysia (all of which are in Peninsular Malaysia) were all won by opposition parties in GE2013. Five were won by the DAP, 4 by PKR and 1 by PAS (See Table 1 below).

Table 1: Top 10 Parliament Constituencies (By the number of Voters) for GE14


Source: Electoral roll gazetted by the Election Commission on the 16th of April, 2018

Some of the seats in the Top 10 list above are Malay majority seats (Kapar and Gombak) while others are ethnically ‘mixed’ or heterogeneous seats (Kota Raja and Bangi).

In contrast, the bottom 10 parliament seats in Peninsular Malaysia (in terms of the number of voters) were all won by the BN in GE2013 – 8 by UMNO, 1 by MIC and 1 by MCA (See Table 2 below). (I did not include the parliament seats from Sabah and Sarawak because of the much larger land area in both states. I also did not include the Federal Territory seats of Labuan and Putrajaya because these territories must have at least one parliament seat regardless of the number of voters.)

Table 2: Bottom 10 Parliament Constituencies (By the number of Voters) in Peninsular Malaysia for GE14


Source: Electoral roll gazetted by the Election Commission on the 16th of April, 2018

It is clear from these figures that the Election Commission has failed in its constitutional responsibility of adhering to the one-person one-vote principle with a fair and reasonable urban-rural weightage. While all of the top 10 parliament seats highlighted in Table 1 are in urban areas, there are many other more rural parliament seats with a large number of voters. For example, P19 Tumpat (110,924 voters), P40 Kemaman (107,593 voters), P16 Baling (107,213 voters) and P37 Marang (104,898 voters) are all Malay majority and largely rural parliament seats with more than 100,000 voters.

This clearly shows that voters from all races and from both urban and rural areas have seen the value of their vote diluted under the delimitation exercise that was bulldozed through in parliament last month.

We can only have a fair and transparent delimitation exercise if we have an independent Election Commission and this can only happen if Pakatan Harapan wins power in the upcoming 14th general election. A delimitation exercise, done by an independent Election Commission, according to an unbiased interpretation of the procedures and principles outlined in the Federal Constitution, will narrow the large discrepancies in the number of voters between the seats and will result in a fairer electoral system in Malaysia.

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