Without the consent of Members of Parliament from Pakatan Rakyat, there is no way that the Election Commissions (EC) can re-delineate the State and Parliamentary constituencies, and there is no way that Sarawak will have any new State constituencies.
I am referring to the recent statement issued by the Sarawak EC that the EC is planning to create 9 new State constituencies in Sarawak. Coincidentally, currently, there are 9 ADUNs who have quitted SUPP and SPDP and now in UPP and TERAS. These BN-plus ADUNs seem to have no seat to contest in the coming State Elections given that SUPP and SPDP objected strongly against them.
It seems that the creation of these 9 seats are tailor-made for these 9 ADUNs. As a matter of principle, such intention in constituency re-delineation is WRONG. This is using tax-payer’s money to solve the internal squabble of BarisanNasional.
In reality, these 9 ADUNs or anyone harbouring such hope of having 9 new seats to be divided among these 9 ADUNs are in for a big disappointment.
To increase the number of State or Parliamentary constituencies, the EC needs to get the support of no less than 2/3 Members of Parliament in DewanRaykat (the Lower House). At present, there are 222 MPs in the House, out of which 86 are Pakatan Rakyat MPs, 135 BN MPs and 1 Independent MP.
If there were to be any constituency re-delineation, BN will need to have at least 148 MPs supporting such motion in the Parliament. With its present 135 members and 1 Independent, it is still 12 short. In the last Parliament when the Pakatan Rakyat only had 79 MPs, BN was 5 short and yet it could not get that crucial 5 votes. What more to say, now that it is 12 short?
In fact, according to our Constitution, there should be constituency re-delineation every 8 years. The last re-delineation exercise for Parliamentary seats was carried out in year 2003 and as for Sarawak state constituencies, it was done in year 2005.
As such, it is overdue for another constituency re-delineation exercise, but BN will not do it because without the 2/3rd majority support in Parliament, BN could not engage in its gerrymandering to enhance its winning chances.
I wish to reiterate, DAP will not agree (and I am sure neither PKR nor PAS will agree) with the lop-sided constituency delineation whereby the number of voters in urban seats are several times more than the number of voters in rural seats. Unless the EC will put in practice the principle of ONE PERSON ONE VOTE ONE VALUE in the upcoming constituency re-delineation exercise, there is no way that there will be any re-delineation or increase in State seats or Parliament seats.
Ultimately, being what SUPP and SPDP have always been, they will just cow-tow to the wishes of the PBB and the Chief Minister of the day. As such, I foresee these two parties compromising their stand in the allocation of seats. Say what they like, they will ultimately give up some of their seats to UPP and TERAS.
Such subservience and total submission to the powers that be is the main reason for the downfall of SUPP and rendered them a redundant party which is powerless to fight for the people’s rights.
Chong Chieng Jen
Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching
ADUN for Kota Sentosa, SarawakDAP Sarawak State Chairman, National Vice Chairman