News Malaysiakini

EC can't fix gerrymandering now unless gov't can change constitution

Published:  |  Modified:

The disproportionate constituency sizes, that resulted from previous gerrymandering exercises, are an obvious mockery of the democratic process, but the Election Commission cannot do anything about it because of the Federal Constitution.

"There is a transgression of our democratic process, to be quite frank, and it makes a mockery of the one man, one vote policy," EC chief Azhar Azizan Harun said in an interview with business radio station BFM yesterday.

"Having said so, unfortunately, under the Federal Consitution, the redelineation exercise can only be carried out once in every eight years. So we are stuck with that.

"So any exercise for redelineation, for which I may want to carry out now, is arguably and quite clearly unconstitutional," he said.

Read more: Why isn't every vote equal in Malaysia?

However, Azhar pointed out, a law made by men can be changed by men, and there is a way to untie the hands of the EC so that it can right the wrongs of the gerrymandering.

It would require the ruling government to obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament so that it could pass a resolution to amend the constitution, allowing the EC to rework the redelineation exercise. 

The government would also have to get all the states to pass the same resolution in their state legislative assemblies, Azhar (below) added.

Currently, Pakatan Harapan and its ally Warisan have a total of 134 seats in the Dewan Rakyat. They are 14 seats shy of a two-thirds majority needed to pass constitutional amendments.

Malaysiakini's tracker: On the trail of defectors post-GE14

Collectively, BN and PAS currently have 59 seats. The second-largest opposition block is GPS, with 19 MPs, followed by GBS with three MPs.

Additionally, four independent MPs who were formerly with Sabah BN have said that they are supportive of Harapan. Upko is also in alliance with Warisan.

Share this story


Welcome back,

Your subscription expires on

Your subscription will expire soon, kindly renew before

Your subscription is expired
  Click here to renew

You are not subscribed to any subscription package
  Click here to subscribe now

Any questions?
  Email: [email protected]
  Call: +603-777-00000