Govt has no plans for redelineation exercise soon

The redelineation exercise can also be conducted if there are amendments in the Federal Constitution, says minister

pic by BERNAMA

THE government has no plans to conduct a study on redelineation exercise now as the Election Commission Malaysia (EC) can only conduct it once every eight years as stipulated in the Federal Constitution.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (picture) told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that matters relating to the redelineation exercise of parliamentary seats should be done in pursuant to Clause (2) Article 113 of the Federal Constitution.

Article 113 of the constitution empowers the EC to conduct a redelineration of electoral boundaries for each constituency in the country where the reviews are separated into three units namely for the states of Peninsular Malaysia (including Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan), Sabah and Sarawak.

“If it is in pursuant to Clause (2) Article 113 of the Federal Constitution, the EC can conduct the redelineation exercise once every eight years from the last date of completion of the previous exercise.

“So, the eight-year period for a redelineation exercise for Sarawak will end in 2023, for Sabah it will end in 2025 and for Peninsular Malaysia it will end in 2026,” he said.

Wan Junaidi was responding to a question from Rasah MP Cha Kee Chin who wanted to know if the government will conduct a redelineation exercise of the constituencies following the increase in number of voters in some constituencies that have led to uneven distribution of voters among parliamentary seats.

He added that the redelineation exercise can also be conducted if there are amendments in the Federal Constitution either due to the addition or reduction of parliamentary seats or the creation of a new federal territory.

Under such circumstances, the EC is required to conduct the redelineation of electoral boundaries within two years from the date of amendments.

“Principally, each voter will vote based on the constituency that has been designated for them.

“However, the number of voters in a constituency which is more or less the same also takes into account factors such as transportation, demographics, geography, as well as size of the area,” he added.

Wan Junaidi also said the EC has limited administrative power and is not allowed to add parliamentary seats to balance out the number of voters among the constituencies without amending the Federal Constitution.

He said amendments of Article 46 of the constitution is required for the addition of constituencies.

“In this matter, the EC does not have power beyond what has been stated in the Federal Constitution,” he said.

The redelineation exercise was last conducted in 2018 prior to the 14th General Election after the motion was passed in the Dewan Rakyat. The exercise saw electoral changes in 98 out of 165 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia.