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DAP Youth chief calls Zahid's 'bluff' on alleged seat plot

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DAP Youth chief Howard Lee is calling off-duty Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's "bluff" on an alleged plot to amend the Federal Constitution so that DAP can have more seats.

Zahid yesterday claimed that the planned amendments would add the number of seats in both state assemblies and Parliament, mostly in urban areas where DAP would benefit.

While Parliament does have a say over the number of Dewan Rakyat seats, the number of state seats is governed by each state's own constitutions, which can only be amended by the respective state assemblies.

Lee said there were no such plans in Perak, where both he and Zahid are elected representatives.

"As far as I know as a state exco member, there is no motion to amend the state constitution (to add seats) suggested by the Election Commission or any Perak assemblypersons.

"Is the Bagan Datuk MP (Zahid) simply lying?" he asked in a statement today.

As for Parliament seats, Lee said any efforts to narrow the difference in voter margins is the duty of the Election Commission, which the Pakatan Harapan government welcomes.

"Today, the EC is not a lapdog to the ruling party as it was under BN rule.

"Studies to narrow the gap by international standards on the imbalance of voters in Parliament seats is being done by the EC. That is their true job, which Harapan supports," he said.

In March, the EC had said it was studying if Parliament could void the last redelineation exercise under the BN government, which was widely panned as gerrymandering.

EC chief Azhar Azizan Harun said an amendment to the Federal Constitution would then be necessary in order to hold a fresh redelineation exercise, as the current law only allows to be conducted once every eight years. 

Currently, 155 out of the 222 parliamentary seats are located in rural or semi-rural areas, and are mostly represented by Malay or bumiputera lawmakers. Of these seats, 117 are located in Peninsular Malaysia.

DAP currently holds 42 parliamentary seats.

Zahid said a new redelineation exercise would see only a minimal increase in Malay-majority constituencies.

At present, the balance of voters between rural and urban seats tends to be highly disproportionate, with rural voters being overrepresented and urban voters being underrepresented.

 

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