KUCHING: The Election Commission (EC) has received 13 objections against its redelineation proposals, says state director Datuk Takun Sungguh.
Takun said the objections involved voters from all over Sarawak, and that the 13 objections lodged so far had adhered to the 100 complainants each required. “The EC will decide on the the date (to hear the objections),” Takun said.
The objection period expires tomorrow. It seems PKR and DAP have assisted local voters to lodge most of the objections filed so far.
Interestingly, a Sarawak Barisan Nasional component party, SUPP, has also made known that it was helping voters lodge at least four objections.
Takun was speaking to reporters at Kuching High Court yesterday, where he was attending a leave application hearing on a judicial review filed by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and Ulu Baram voter Pauls Baya.
High Court judge Datuk Yew Jen Kie set Feb 17 to decide whether to grant the leave application. Further submissions have also been allowed today, with replies on Friday.
See, who is Sarawak PKR vice president, is applying for the judicial review to declare the EC’s delineation exercise null and void, as he alleged it was not done in compliance with the Federal Constitution’s Thirteenth Schedule.
See said notices published in newspapers were not circulated in the affected constituencies, among others.
Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan represented the Attorney General’s Chambers for the EC.
“We are saying it’s (the judicial review) premature. The EC’s notices have complied with the provisions of the law. As far as we are concerned, we are strictly sticking to what has been provided in the Constitution,” Shamsul said.
Former Sarawak attorney-general Datuk JC Fong held a watching brief for the state government and State Legislative Assembly. When approached by reporters, he declined to comment.
In the redelineation process, the EC is proposing an increase of 11 state constituencies for Sarawak, bringing the total to 82.
The proposals, which include redrawing existing seat boundaries, have received flak, including claims of gerrymandaring.
For instance, SUPP secretary general Datuk Sebastian Ting told reporters here last weekend that the EC must be pressured to reveal its methods and formulas for coming up with the new seats and redrawing of boundaries.
“What are their formulas? How did they end up with (rural) seats with five times fewer voters than urban seats?” Ting said.
National bodies like Bersih have complained that the EC had put up incomplete maps with only boundaries and without crucial information such as district polling stations.