EC: New Sarawak boundaries can be used if passed

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 05 Sep 2015

PUTRAJAYA: The proposed new electoral boundaries for Sarawak can be used in the next state election provided Parliament approves it in time, said the Election Commission (EC).

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the commission had gazetted the re-delineation on Aug 21.

“On our part, our duty is complete.

“A report has been submitted to the Prime Minister. It is up to him to table it in the Dewan Rakyat for approval.

“If it is approved before the state election, then the new seats can be used,” Abdul Aziz told reporters at the EC’s 58th anniversary celebration at its headquarters here.

He said a simple majority in Parliament was needed to approve the re-delineation.

If approved, the Sarawak state legislative assembly will see an additional 11 seats, bringing the total to 82.

Abdul Aziz said the EC drew the recommended boundaries after the state assembly approved the increase of seats to 82.

“This exercise is based on the state assembly’s decision. EC only decides where the seats should be,” he said.

On Aug 7, the EC won its appeal to set aside a decision by the Kuching High Court to nullify its redelineation exercise for the state after it ruled that this was in accordance with the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

On another matter, Abdul Aziz lauded the new National Consultative Committee on Political Financing, which was set up by the Government to study the regulating of political funding.

“We were not invited to be part of the committee, but we are willing to be a part of it if invited.

“This will help prevent accusations against political parties. Sometimes the source of funds could be black money.

“So the committee will look into this and come up with the best way to legislate political funding,” he said.

On Bersih 2.0, Abdul Aziz said he was only willing to work with the group if they were “independent”, but the chairman expressed scepticism on its partiality.

“We have no problem working with them as long as they follow the law and can show that they are independent.

“But they say we (EC) are kotor (dirty). What does it actually mean? And they say they are Bersih (clean), are they really clean?

“Do you think they are independent? You can think for yourselves. Listen to what they say and watch how they behave,” he said.

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