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‘It’s about EC’s independence, not taking away its powers’

What is important is to restore the independence of the Election Commission that has been destroyed by the ruling BN coalition, argued a number of analysts.

On Thursday, PKR parliamentarian Rafizi Ramli called on non-Malay BN parties to support his Private Member’s Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to strip away redelineation powers from the Election Commission (EC).

This is to pressure Umno, the dominant partner in BN, to move against the EC’s proposals on electoral constituency redelineation.

While this move has been lauded by some, a number of political analysts however say that taking redelineation powers away from the EC should not be the focus of electoral reforms.

A senior fellow at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (Ikmas) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Faisal S Hazis, stressed that there was a need to restore the independence of the EC.

“I understand why Rafizi is arguing this – the EC has been exploited by the BN government to remain in power – but taking power from the EC doesn’t solve the problem,” Faisal told Malaysiakini.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng is also of the opinion that the issue is not about whether the EC should or should not redelineate boundaries.

As the EC, overseeing the redelineation process should be among its tasks.

“The problem is that it is biased,” said Khoo...

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