Redrawing election boundaries need two-third ‘yes’ in Parliament, deputy minister says

Azril Annuar
Mohamed Hanipa Maidin says two-thirds support is needed in the Dewan Rakyat to amend Articles 46 and 113 of the Federal Constitution if it is to conduct a new election redelineation exercise. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 ― The government needs two-thirds support in the Dewan Rakyat to amend Articles 46 and 113 of the Federal Constitution if it is to conduct a new election redelineation exercise, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said today.

The deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of law pointed out that the next redelineation exercise is scheduled in 2023 for Sarawak, 2025 for Sabah and 2026 for peninsular Malaysia.

“If a review on redelineation is to be conducted before the next general election, the latest which is in 2023, the government needs to amend the laws under Article 113 of the Federal Constitution which touches upon the redelineation schedule, or amend Article 46 which is the composition of the House of Representatives.

“Both amendments to the law requires the support and agreement of two-thirds of the Dewan Rakyat. Therefore the government is still studying the best option regarding this matter. The Election Commission is also studying the current election system and other systems.

“The commission will cooperate with the Malaysian Election Reforms Committee to improve the election system,” Hanipa replied Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh in the Dewan Rakyat.

Wong asked if the government planned to revamp the existing electoral system and if it will implement the redelineation of existing electoral boundaries to ensure that it is in line with the principle of “One Man, One Vote, One Value”.

Hanipa explained that Malaysia’s redelineation process considers the topography and geography of a constituency in addition to the total number of voters.

As example, he said the Hulu Rajang constituency in Sarawak which covers  31,000 square km,  is almost the same size as the state of Pahang, which is roughly 33,000 square km.

In his supplementary question, Wong asked if the government will propose any amendments to allow a difference of only 15 per cent between neighbouring constituencies.

“At this moment in time there is no proposal,” said Hanipa.

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