GEORGE TOWN, Sept 22 — Penang is not considering early elections for now, state Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
Instead, he said the state government, the local council and 100 voters from each affected constituency will file objections against the Election Commission’s (EC) controversial proposed redelineation exercise, which he asserted to be in violation of the one man-one vote rule.
“For now, we have not discussed the possibility of calling for snap polls,” he said when asked if the state will consider calling for snap polls in Penang before the EC completes its redelineation exercise.
The Penang lawmaker said the state believed it could consider snap polls as an option later as the redelineation issue takes more time.
He also accused the EC of shifting the voters to favour the Barisan Nasional (BN) so as to ensure “easy wins” for the ruling coalition.
Lim said he had received complaints from his constituents that they have been shifted to another constituency, Kebun Bunga, without being notified.
“My voters have been reduced by 1,091 and by 26 per cent in the Race Course voting district.
“We will definitely object this, MBPP will object, I will object as a state assemblyman, 100 voters in my constituency will object, I want my voters to be returned to my constituency,” the Air Putih assemblyman said.
He claimed the shifting of voters were in violation of the Federal Constitution that stated the number of voters in each constituency must be about the same except for cases where voters had difficulties due to the distance of their residence, particularly in rural areas.
He also claimed the EC’s redelineation exercise, which saw shifting of voters in about 12 constituencies in Penang, is a violation of the one person, one vote principle.
But Lim who is also Bagan MP claimed the shifting of voters and redrawing of boundaries in Penang was not as bad as in Selangor.
“Here, it only involved a few seats and it may make the elections more competitive by making it a 50-50 for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan while in Selangor, it will be 60 for Barisan and 40 for Pakatan,” he said.
The EC has been heavily criticised over the redelineation exercise with Pakatan Harapan leaders accusing them of using it to help BN recapture some of its seats.
The EC has since denied the exercise was meant to benefit certain parties.
Objections to the EC recommendations can only be made by state governments, local authorities who are partly or partially included in the redelineation exercise, or a group of no less than 100 registered voters of an affected constituency.
The EC in an 18-page notice had reportedly proposed to alter the electoral boundaries of several parliamentary and state constituencies in all states bar Perlis, Labuan and Putrajaya.
The proposed amendments could see 12 parliamentary and 34 state constituencies in the peninsula undergo a name change while it also listed 13 proposed new state constituencies for Sabah, increasing the number of the state seats to 73.