BERSIH 2.0’s delineation project turns a new page in collaboration with Tindak Malaysia

MEDIA RELEASE (22 July 2014) 

The Delineation Action and Research Team (DART) joint project between the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) and ENGAGE is set to gain further traction with the support of Tindak Malaysia following a meeting between all parties last week in Kuala Lumpur.

DART leader Thomas Fann, who is also BERSIH 2.0 South Peninsula Vice-chairperson and ENGAGE chairperson, said: “We look forward to sharing our resources and knowledge with each other regarding delineation.”

DART leader Thomas Fann (far left) and Tindak Malaysia founder PY Wong (far right) with other DART volunteers.
DART leader Thomas Fann (far left) and Tindak Malaysia founder PY Wong (far right) with other DART volunteers.

On 19 July 2014, Fann briefed Tindak Malaysia volunteers on the DART approach to preparing ordinary voters to judge for themselves whether their constituencies will be fairly drawn by the Election Commission (EC) in the upcoming redelineation exercise. DART also shared with Tindak their files of Google Earth maps of electoral boundaries, which were painstakingly gathered, scanned and digitised by a score of dedicated volunteers.

The DART approach consists of teaching people to look at the maps of their own own constituencies and determine, using constitutional provisions, whether all the populated areas within it should fall under the same constituency, while also adhering to fair apportionment of voters.

“The extent of malapportionment and gerrymandering in Malaysia must be stopped now. It has been going on because the EC’s delineation has never been challenged correctly en masse. DART aims to be the game changer,” said Fann.

Tindak founder PY Wong said, “We have been working on the Delimitation Project since 2011 and has always put priority to working with BERSIH 2.0 on electoral reform. We are very pleased to collaborate with DART towards our common goal of free and fair elections of which fairly-drawn constituency boundaries is a critical component.”

BERSIH 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah welcomed this collaboration with Tindak, saying the move will boost the coalition’s efforts on the ground to get more voters to participate in the delineation process.

“We should make full use of the constitutional provision for this…if anyone is unhappy with the EC’s delineation of their particular constituency, they can make a representation of 100 voters from that constituency to contest the EC’s redelineation.

“Following the BERSIH rallies, Malaysians are no strangers to people power. Now we must apply it to the EC’s redelineation and have a hand in the making of our own constituencies,” said Maria.