MALICIOUS: No changes have been made to boundaries of any constituency, says election commission
ALLEGATION 1: The Election Commission deliberately adjusts the boundaries of state and parliamentary constituencies without the approval of Parliament, with the intention of increasing the number of voters in a given constituency to enable Barisan Nasional to win in the 13th general election (GE-13).
This allegation is malicious and has no basis at all. The EC has never made any changes to the boundaries of state or parliamentary constituencies as such changes can only be made when there is a review of the constituency boundaries as provided for under Article 113 of the Federal Constitution.
The EC had already issued a statement to the effect that the review of electoral boundaries will only be undertaken after GE-13. The EC will issue an official statement as to when the review will commence at the appropriate time.
What the EC actually did was to correct the mistakes it made in placing the locality along with the voters in that locality in a wrong constituency. These mistakes had occurred in the past, possibly because the placement of localities in a constituency was done manually prior to 2004.
Thus, under sub-regulation 25(3), Election Regulations (Registration of Electors) 2002, the Chief Registrar is vested with the power to correct such mistakes. The Chief Registrar had, therefore, placed the locality along with the electors in that locality in the constituency where it rightfully should be.
Only after the EGIS system (Electoral Geographical Information System) was adopted in 2004 did the EC realise that several localities and the electors placed in these localities were in the wrong constituencies.
Using the powers vested under the Chief Registrar, the EC placed the localities in the constituencies where they should be rightfully. This exercise involved a total of 19,342 electors in several constituencies.
The localities, along with the electors, must be placed in the right constituencies as they exist in the field. It must be emphasised here that the placement of localities in the right constituencies does not involve changes to the boundaries of any constituency, be it state or parliamentary.
In fact, by placing the localities in the right constituencies, the electors will be able to vote in the right constituencies, both state and parliamentary, and in the right polling districts based on their respective addresses.
After these corrections were made, the EC officially informed through notification letters addressed to leaders of all political parties in the affected constituencies.
The EC assumed that the political parties, through their leaders at the polling districts and the state constituencies, were aware of the corrective actions taken by it and would, therefore, inform the affected electors in their respective constituencies. However, based on the feedback that the EC received from the electors, many were not aware of the corrective actions taken to place the locality they are in the right constituency.
As a result and in view of the approaching GE-13, the EC will write to all the affected electors throughout the country notifying them of the changes in their constituencies.
Thus, the EC would like to reiterate that the action taken to place the localities in the right constituencies based on the actual location of these localities on the ground, does not involve any changes to the boundaries of the constituencies, both state and federal. Those who need further clarification on this matter can get in touch with any of the EC offices.