KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) can only conduct a redelineation exercise for parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia in the next five years, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
“For example, the next time the EC will be able to conduct a redelineation exercise in Sarawak will be in 2023, 2025 for Sabah and 2026 for states in the peninsula.
“Article 113 of the Federal Constitution empowers the EC to conduct a redelineation exercise once every eight years from the last date of completion of the previous one,” the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said when responding to a question raised by Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Cha wanted to know if a redelineation exercise would be conducted in light of the vast disparity in the distribution of voters among parliamentary seats.
He cited the Bangi (Selangor) parliamentary seat with over 300,000 voters and Rasah (Negri Sembilan) with some 150,000 voters, as examples where redelineation was necessary.
Wan Junaidi said they were bound by this eight-year period and had no other choice but to follow it.
“So the question of whether a redelineation exercise will be done has been answered,” he added.
He noted that the redelineation exercise, if conducted, would be in respect of the electorate boundaries within a parliamentary constituency.
He said the study by the EC would take into account several factors such as geography, demographics and availability of facilities and public transportation.
However, he noted that Article 46 of the Federal Constitution allowed for the creation or removal of a parliamentary seat.
“In such an event, the EC will have to implement the changes two years from the date of amendments to the Constitution.”
The current electoral boundaries were approved in Parliament in March 2018, two months before the 14th general election.