Selangor government is not dismissing the possibility of increasing the number of state seats to accommodate the increase in eligible voters once the voting age is lowered to 18.
State local government, public transportation and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han said the constitutional amendment to lower the minimum voting age from 21 to 18 along with automatic registration would add new voters to the state’s electoral roll.
The state government would also have to take into account the population increase due to movement of Malaysians from other states to Selangor.
“However, we must also focus on the aspect of equality in the number of voters in the state between one constituency and another, and avoid ‘malapportionment’ or inequality that will result in the value of votes in one constituency not being comparable to another,” he said.
He was replying on behalf of Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari to a question by Lim Yi Wei (PH-Kampung Tunku) on the state’s plan to manage the increase in would-be voters in Selangor.
Ng said the number of state seats was last increased in 2003 from 48 to 56 during the redelineation exercise before the 2004 general election.
The number of seats remained during the 2018 redelineation exercise, he said.
“Article 113 (2) (of the Federal Constitution) stipulates that each review of a constituency shall be conducted no less than eight years between the date of completion of one review and the date of commencement of subsequent reviews.
“Each study conducted must also be completed within a period of no more than two years from the date of commencement of the study,” he highlighted.
In a supplementary question, Elizabeth Wong (PH-Bukit Lanjan) asked for his opinion on whether it was fair for any state seat to have more than 100,000 eligible voters.
“This is a good question as even my own area of Bandar Kinrara and others like Bukit Lanjan, Kajang and Subang Jaya have more than 100,000 voters,” said Ng.
“In some cases, the number of voters for a state seat in Selangor exceeds those for a parliamentary seat in the country.
“This is not fair to voters as we want each vote to be equal.
“It is time to study the need to increase the number of state seats in Selangor,” he replied.
In 2019, Parliament unanimously approved the constitutional amendment to lower the minimum voting age from 21 to 18 along with the accompanying automatic registration of voters.
The implementation of Undi18 and automatic voter registration had been gazetted and will take effect on Dec 15.