Public hearings being conducted behind closed doors in Kuching, Sibu and Miri


By YU JISHARON LING

Election Commission Sarawak director Datuk Takun Sunggah (middle, wearing white) talking to Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How (wearing blue), who is PKR Sarawak deputy chief, during recess from the commissions public complaints hearing in Kuching yesterday. The closed door hearing was regarding the on-going redelineation exercise. ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / THE STARSWKSPR

KUCHING: The Election Commission’s (EC) hearings on public objections to its redelineation proposals should be completed in two weeks.

State EC director Datuk Takun Sunggah said the result of the hearings would be published in the “second display” of the redelineation proposals, which were first announced in January.

“The hearings will take about two weeks,” Takun said here on Monday, after the first day of hearing. Asked when might the second display be, he declined to comment.

“EC will decide. No PC (press conference) today. Sorry,” he said.

The public hearing was conducted behind closed doors at the Kuching South City Council’s community hall.

On Tuesday, hearings were conducted at Serian’s community hall.

Hearings will also be held in Sibu and Miri. Only complainants who have submitted written objections are allowed in.

Meanwhile, Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How announced he was willing to retract an application for a judicial hearing challenging the EC’s proposals if new notices containing “sufficient information” were published.

The Batu Lintang assemblyman, who is leading the judicial review at the High Court, called on the EC to inform voters on how boundaries are redrawn, criteria for shifting of voters, explain the formula used to create new seats, reveal weightage given to rural voters and how the EC tried to ensure the “one person, one vote, one value” democratic principle.

See said this was part of electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0’s suggestions too.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen criticised the EC for giving extremely short notice to objectors from Batu Lintang constituency to attend the public inquiry.

He said the notice was served last Wednesday for the hearing scheduled at 8.30am on Monday, the first working day after the festive holidays.

“This is less than one working day’s notice. It is grossly insufficient and inadequate, bearing in mind that the holidays in between the notice and the hearing are for the Chinese New Year celebration.

“What is the rush for the EC? Is it trying to rush the matter so that the new areas will be in time for the next state election?” he queried.

Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP, also said DAP had obtained more than 100 voters in the Batu Lintang state constituency to make several counter-proposals, including creating a new state seat to be called Tabuan Jaya and a new parliamentary seat to be called Sungai Maong.

He said the aim of the counter-proposals was to more or less equalise the number of voters in parliamentary and state constituencies.

“In Sarawak, the average number of voters for each parliamentary constituency is 36,700. But according to the EC’s proposals, the Bandar Kuching parliamentary constituency will have 78,000 voters, more than double the average and more than triple the number of voters for those constituencies with fewer than 20,000 voters.

“Such unfair electoral delineation is totally against the principle of one person, one vote, one value,” Chong said.

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Politics , East Malaysia , ec

   

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