Minister-In-Charge of the Election Commission, Shahidan Kassim, should resign over his proposal for electoral apartheid failing which Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should ask for his resignation

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, 31st of March, 2014

This morning, during the parliamentary question and answer session, MP for Seremban, Anthony Loke, asked the Minister in charge of the Election Commission, Shahidan Kassim, a question regarding the extent of the implementation of the one-man-one-vote principle in the upcoming delimitation exercise as per the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform. Instead of answering this question, the Minister went on to propose his own proposal that was based on racial voting and racial representation. He went on to give the example that since Bumiputeras form 67% of the population, Bumiputeras should vote in 67% of Bumiputera candidates into parliament and since Chinese form 23% of the population, Chinese should vote in 23% of Chinese candidates into parliament and since Indians form 8% of the population, Indians should vote in 8% of Indian candidates into parliament. He entitled his proposal ‘One Vote, One Person, Based on Race” – “Satu Undi, Satu Manusia, Berdasarkan Kaum”.[1]

I call for the Minister in charge of the Election Commission to immediately resign as he has shown that he is not fit to be a Minister, especially the Minister in charge of the Election Commission which will undertake the upcoming delimitation exercise. The Minister should resign for the following three reasons.

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Call for an Independent Committee to handle the upcoming constituency delimitation as the integrity and independent of the Election Commission is highly questionable

Media Statement by the Pakatan Rakyat Committee on the Constituency Delimitation Exercise on the 26th of March 2014

In presenting the findings of the People’s Tribunal on the 13th General Election, the same tribunal recommended the establishment of a new and independent federal authority to handle the upcoming constituency delimitation exercise.

The Pakatan Rakyat Committee on the Constituency Delimitation exercise supports this recommendation on the premise that the current Election Commission’s integrity and independence is highly questionable. The fact that the former Chairman of the Election Commission, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman admitted that he conducted previous constituency delimitation exercises to maintain Malay power rather than to keep to constitutional principles confirms that the EC cannot be relied upon to conduct an impartial and fair constituency delimitation exercise.

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The non-renewal of assistant registrars by the Election Commission has significantly reduced the number of new voter registrations since the 13th General Elections

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 2nd of February, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur

Starting in Quarter 4 of 2013, the assistant registrars in political parties appointed by the Election Commission to help register voters have not had their terms renewed. This has reduced the number of voter registration exercises which political parties can conduct. As a result, the number of newly registered voters as well as the nett increase in the number of voters after the 13th General Election has been significantly reduced.

For example, in Quarter 1 2013, the total number of newly registered voters was 104,959. This was reduced to 49,789 in Quarter 2 2013 probably as a result of the election campaign activities. This number was reduced to 18,693 and 21,754 in Quarter 3 and 4 2013, respectively (Table 1 below). While part of the reason why new registrations may have fallen is because eligible voters do not see the need to register after the conclusion of the 13th General Election, it cannot be denied that the non-renewal of the assistant registrars in political parties has also reduced voter registration by the political parties.

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