GOOD news is at hand on electoral reforms. The Pakatan Harapan presidential council has agreed to automatic voter registration of citizens who reach 18 years of age and a Bill has been tabled in Parliament to lower the voting age to 18. That should be the way. Citizens aged 18 would also be allowed to stand as candidates for general elections.
To further enhance our electoral reforms, I would like to suggest a fair and equitable representation for each constituency. Every constituency could have 50,000 voters with a variation of 5% to10%. It matters not whether it is rural or urban; it is the fundamental principle of one man, one vote.
Gerrymandering is obscene, unfair, unjust and should be condemned. Look at the constituency strength in the last general election. Putrajaya, for example, had about 18,000 voters while Damansara had 150,000. This is highly disproportionate.
My suggestion is to enlarge the Putrajaya constituency to make it 50,000 voters and to downsize Damansara to 50,000 voters. The same exercise should be done throughout the nation.
Another suggestion is to use proportionate representation like in Australia. This will ensure a fair balance of voter preferences.
Singapore practises GRC (Group Representative Constituency), which ensures that the interests of the minorities are taken care of. It may have three, four or even five candidates in one group for each party. In a GRC, the winner takes all three seats.
Is Malaysia ready for this concept of representation? I don’t know. But please abolish gerrymandering at once!
S. H. HUANG