ERC to propose special commission for electoral boundaries’ redelineation

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) will propose to the government, the setting up of a special commission to carry out redelineation of electoral boundaries in this country.

Its chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman (picture) said the move is aimed at reducing the workload of the Election Commission of Malaysia (EC), thus enabling it to focus on its main role of conducting the elections.

“This has been implemented in many developed countries, while it could also avoid the EC from being accused of carrying out redelineation of electoral boundaries to enable certain political parties to win the elections.

“Canada, for example, has a boundary commission which is responsible for carrying out the redelineation exercise after a certain period and this measure is seen to be fairer for the EC and contesting political parties,” he said at a news conference in Alor Setar, Kedah, yesterday.

Earlier, Abdul Rashid attended the Kedah state-level open engagement programme on Reformation of the General Election System and Law.

He said currently, the ERC was studying the models used in a number of countries including Canada, England and New Zealand, and to find a suitable one for Malaysia.

He explained that the special commission could be formed every eight years at least, to carry out the redelineation exercise and its membership would be determined by the parliamentary Select Committee.

“This commission is not permanent, perhaps set up every eight years to carry out redelineation of the electoral boundaries. After that, it is disbanded,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rashid said the ERC also proposed to introduce a “cooling off period” after the election campaign period and before polling day.

He said Malaysia currently had no such “cooling off period”, hence causing the EC officers and staff — the contesting political parties’ machinery and others involved — to suffer from fatigue by the time the election campaign ends.

“We will study a suitable ‘cooling off period’ for our elections, as implemented in other countries. Perhaps, duration of three days is suitable, so everyone will have enough rest before polling day.

“During the ‘cooling off period’, the election campaign posters can also be removed. Hence, voters will be fresher before casting their votes and have had enough time to make their decision,” he added.