YOURSAY 'If this system is not reformed now, come GE14 the outcome will still be the same no matter how hard Pakatan fights.'
Gross distortions in Malaysia's voting system
Aries46: Thanks to Dato Ramesh Rajaratnam who has so succinctly analysed the wholesale manipulation of the electoral system vis-a-vis the hollow victory of PM Najib Razak and his attempt to demonise the Chinese community over his own dismal performance.
The gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries in the rural constituencies that favours BN is common knowledge and has been successfully implemented under successive BN governments with the connivance of the corrupt Election Commission (EC).
Malaysians in general have been powerless to halt this and other acts of electoral sabotage and fraud by the BN, due largely to its brute force and the underhand tactics it employs to preserve its excessive power.
The GE13 analysis by Ramesh points to this main flaw being the fundamental cause for the failed attempts at ‘change' by the opposition and it needs to prioritise its energies into addressing this malaise more than anything else.
Magnus: The ‘first past the post' (FPTP) system is not an archaic/outmoded system in my view. It is cost effective, simple to understand and administer, and is also based on the fundamental principle of "one person, one vote".
It actually works more efficiently than other voting systems as long as the constituencies are delineated correctly so the voter size in each constituency is more or less equal.
Hence, I suppose the need for the 20 percent variance check and balance originally included in the Constitution which the writer says has now been removed.
Like that other important check and balance (in Article 121 on the judiciary) - to enable separation of powers to keep the overall democratic system in a healthy state of balance.
KB Menon: And that is the reason why for the life of me I could not figure out why Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters were so confident that they could win this election. The system is flawed and something must be done to correct this gross injustice to the Malaysian electorate.
Quigonbond: Malaysians will eventually need to seriously consider whether they want a hybrid form of FPTP system and proportionate representation.
But for now, the first step must be to ensure the integrity of FPTP system. It's already compromised the day BN government voted in Parliament to remove the constitutional safeguard that population sizes for delineation exercises cannot exceed a certain band of difference.
Syam: Thank you Dato' for explaining it clearly to the rest of us. I doubted Pakatan would win GE13 for this simple reason alone. The average number of voters should be around 60,000 (13,268,002/222) per parliamentary seat, so Sabah and Sarawak should only have 34 seats instead of the 56 now.
Those who argued East Malaysia being promised one-third + 1 seats during the formation of Malaysia should know that it was supposed to include Singapore, which had a population of 1.7 million in 1963 compared to 1.1 million in Sabah and Sarawak in 1963.
The argument that we have to give rural weightage is also false. Kapar, Hulu Langat, Gombak are mostly rural areas yet they have more than 100,000 voters. Putrajaya which is an urban area has 16,000 voters.
Ultimately, if we want the country to be governed by the opinion of the majority of the population, we have to have a fairer distribution of voters. Or else the minority rules, like what we have now.
Alex Ng Wooi Keong: Ramesh, thank you. You have done a very clear and well-informed analysis of our electoral system. This is the most vital reason why Pakatan lost in GE13.
If this system is not reformed now, come GE14 the outcome will still be the same no matter how hard the Pakatan parties and supporters fight. Really, the future generation of Malaysians rests on the fate of this reform.
Cala: Dato Ramesh, what a marvelous piece of work. My congratulation to the editors of Malaysiakini for making this revelation available to the readers on time.
Once and for all, Ramesh has debunked, demolished, and destroyed any accusation of the ‘Chinese tsunami' theory of the BN as the latter seeks a scapegoat to account for their near Waterloo in the 13th general election.
On my own, and based on the figures from Nanyang Siang Pau on parliamentary seats, my estimate of the Chinese votes obtained by Pakatan is 44 percent. The balance of 56 percent were from the Malays, Indians and others.
Swipenter: Now the evil work of Dr Mahathir Mohamad/Umno is clear for all to see. He carried out his cheating through Project IC as well as gerrymandering. He talks so much about the will of the majority of the rakyat. Now where is he and his dangerous mouth?
Even if that is not enough, he and the right-wing Umnoputras play up racial and religious sentiments to bring the nation to the brink of racial riots to consolidate their divide-and-rule policies.
It is only the collective wisdom of the people that this country of ours did not burn again since the blackest and most shameful day in our history with such politicians playing with fire.
Speechless: In the minds of many voters, a government that has a lower percentage of the popular votes compared to its opposition lacks legitimacy. This perception is reinforced when there are countless allegations of irregularities and fraud in the electoral system.
For the EC to brush these allegations aside without satisfactory explanations will only deepen the anger of the people. This will come with a huge price in GE14.
James W: To expect BN MPs to seriously reform the current electoral system in the Parliament is to expect a leopard to change its spots. I believe it's time urban voters like us should apply for a new IC (identity card) and get ourselves registered as a voter in some semi-urban or rural seats.
We have fallen into the trap of this despicable gerrymandering process for too long. It's heart-breaking and meaningless to see Pakatan winning urban seats with a majority of 20,000 to 50,000 votes, while losing in some semi-urban seats by less than 2,000 votes.
I will apply for a new IC soon.
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