PKR Baram alleges EC breaking its own regulations

MIRI: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Baram branch has claimed that the re-delineation of the Baram parliamentary constituency by the Election Commission (EC) to create the proposed Long Lama state constituency is against ECs own regulations.

However, PKR was not against the proposal to create Long Lama seat as it was relevant, but they were against the inclusion of five polling districts from Ba Kelalan state constituency, said its chief Roland Engan yesterday.

We fully support and welcome ECs proposal to create Long Lama constituency. This is wise as the Baram area and Baram parliamentary constituency is huge and it is time the area has more elected representatives to develop it.

However, we are not happy that five polling districts in Ba Kelalan will be included in the proposed Long Lama constituency, he said.

Based on ECs proposal, Roland said Long Lama will have nine polling districts with 8,057 registered voters, out of which four will be carved out from Telang Usan constituency and five from Ba Kelalan constituency.

The question is why EC wants to include five polling districts from Ba Kelalan constituency in Long Lama constituency, when in actual fact Ba Kelalan constituency is under Lawas parliamentary constituency, while Long Lama constituency is under Baram parliamentary constituency.

According to Roland, under Clause (2) of Article 113 of the Federal Constitution, re-delineation should only be carried out within a parliamentary area and should not involve other parliamentary areas.

If SPR includes the five polling districts in Long Lama constituency, this means that the Baram parliamentary constituency will be changed and get bigger, while Lawas parliamentary constituency gets smaller.

He also asked why the delineation exercise was only for state constituencies.

Unless if EC changes the parliamentary seats, but there was never any change to parliamentary seats, neither was the matter ever agreed in the Parliament.

Therefore, what we see here is EC going against its own regulations, by indirectly changing the parliamentary boundaries, he added.

Based on the number of voters without involving the five polling stations which were previously under Ba Kelalan constituency, he said Long Lama has 6,732 voters from four polling districts.

The second thing we want to protest is regarding the two polling districts under Marudi. Why does EC need to include two polling districts from Telang Usan constituency, namely Lubok Nibong and Poyut, into Marudi constituency and not into Long Lama, he added.

To me it will be more logical if EC includes the two polling districts along with Teruking polling district into Long Lama constituency. With this, the three state constituencies will have equal number of voters, he argued.

The re-delineation will also create five polling districts in Telang Usan constituency with 6,691 voters (after six other polling districts are taken out) while Marudi constituency will have nine polling districts (additional two) with 16,728 voters.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference here yesterday, Roland who is a lawyer by profession, said he would submit a protest regarding the two matters to EC as soon as possible.

Also present at the press conference were Miri MP and PKR Miri chief Dr Michael Teo, Pujut assemblyman Fong Pau Teck and PKR Baram secretary Dennis Along.