PUTRAJAYA, Sept 4 — The recent Sarawak electoral re-delineation exercise was gazetted on Aug 21 and has also been submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said today.
The report is now parliamentary approval, he added, saying it was up to Putrajaya on whether to accept the proposals made by the EC to increase state seats in Sarawak.
“The EC has already submitted a report on the redelination process in Sarawak to the PM. We have submitted the report and our duty is complete.
“It is up to him (Najib) , when he is going to present in Dewan Rakyat to be discussed and agreed on. EC’s suggestions are based on amendments made by Sarawak State Assembly to increase the seats from 72 to 81,” he told reporters after launching EC’s 58th anniversary.
Abdul Aziz however acknowledged that the commission had received objections on the redelineation process due to various reasons, including inadequate information on the process.
“We received around 86 objections in total but took into account 64 of those. It is the highest so far in the history of redelineations,” he added.
Once the Sarawak state elections is completed, Abdul Aziz explained that EC would be looking to have a similar redelineation process in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.
“As for Sabah and Tanah Melayu, as per federal constitution. We will do it after the Sarawak elections.
“More seats are expected but need to get two-thirds majority approval from state assemblies and Parliament. It will be easy for states like Selangor, Penang, Kelantan and Johor which has majority but not so easy in Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu,” he explained.
The Sarawak redelineation process has come under the scrutiny of many especially the opposition and polls reform group, Bersih 2.0 which alleged that it was done to protect Barisan Nasional’s vote bank.
The EC’s redelineation exercise in Sarawak was completed several months ago and the state elections is expected to be held before June next year.