Independent committee should define electoral boundaries: MARUAH

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
In its position paper on electoral boundaries presented on 9 Oct, MARUAH cited the example of Kaki Bukit, which was split between Aljunied and Eunos GRCs in 1988, but became part of the East Coast GRC in 1997.

Set up an independent committee to review electoral boundaries to boost confidence in election results, local human rights group MARUAH urged the government.
 
In a position paper presented during a media briefing on Thursday, the group pointed out that the current process of determining electoral boundaries is not transparent and that there are “frequent unexplained changes” in electoral boundaries.
 
Furthermore, the current Electoral Boundary Review Committee (EBRC) is “made wholly of civil servants who report directly or indirectly to the Prime Minister”, an arrangement that potentially undermines the legitimacy of its recommendations, said MARUAH. 



The group added that the current EBRC does not provide explanations for their decisions, and that there is “no public consultation in the boundary delimitation process in Singapore”.
 
They cited the example of Kaki Bukit, which was split between Aljunied and Eunos GRCs in 1988, but became part of the East Coast GRC in 1997.

In order to avoid the appearance of gerrymandering and to build the public’s confidence in electoral outcomes, MARUAH recommended that the EBRC members should be drawn from both the public and private sector.
 
The group also suggested that public consultations be held during the redistricting process before the EBRC submits its recommendations to Parliament.
 
Finally, it also recommended that electoral boundaries be aligned to URA planning areas because these planning areas form natural communities with shared interests.