On 13 October 2016, I represented a group of 148 fellow voters of the P.048 Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency to file objections against the Election Commission’s (EC) constituency re-delineation proposals for Penang, which had been published on 15 September 2016.
My objections were rejected by the EC on 17 October 2016 on the grounds that I have no cause to object because there had been no recommended changes to the seats within my parliamentary constituency.
Following on from this, on 23 February 2017, I submitted a judicial review application in order to establish the constitutional parameters and scope of the EC’s duties and powers. If leave is granted, the judicial review will help ascertain the law and establish a proper framework of governance on a critical and controversial aspect of our democracy, the electoral re-delineation exercise.
In filing for a judicial review, I am inviting the court to consider the constitutional duty of the EC under Part VIII of the Federal Constitution to evaluate and provide for the re-delineation of constituencies given the disproportionate distribution of voters in highly urbanised Penang, and indeed in the rest of Malaysia. After all, it is the hope of all voters that their constitutional right to the democratic principle of one man, one vote, one value is fulfilled.
The submissions were made to the Penang High Court where a decision will be made on 13 March 2017 on whether leave will be granted for full arguments to be heard as to the merits of my application.
Zairil Khir Johari
Member of Parliament for Bukit Bendera
DAP Penang Vice-Chairman
DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary
NB: This press statement was released on 10 March 2017 in George Town.