YOURSAY 'Gerrymandering has become too overbearing and disenfranchisement has become too excessive.'
Gross distortions in Malaysia's voting system
Sali Tambap: Why can't Pakatan Rakyat win in the small rural constituencies as well? We know the answer, don't we? Thus before analysis such as what Dato Ramesh Rajaratnam makes, no matter how valid it is, the system should be addressed first.
This is about corruption, illegal campaign tactic and phantom voters where many have been detected. Why shouldn't be the results, if there is any discrepancy found such as vote buying, be declared null and void?
Bersih has done a good job that lay the ground work towards this objective and maybe the lawmakers should start from that.
Perhaps a body to decide on delineation of any additional future constituencies should be made up of representative of various races and parties so that their interest and rights be protected. That would be a more constructive action.
Onyourtoes: Thank you, Ramesh, for giving us the numbers and the analyses. However, I must say the observations and conclusions made are not surprising to most Malaysians.
The idea of giving rural constituencies a higher weightage in representation for reason of equity and priority of development is paradoxical. Instead of giving them greater say, these constituencies are deliberately kept poor, isolated and ignorance so that the ruling party can continue to exploit them for support.
There are reasons why the simmering discontent has become so unbearable now. Gerrymandering has become too overbearing and disenfranchisement has become too excessive.
Minority rural people who hardly contribute in terms of GDP and taxes are being conned, coerced and manipulated into supporting a regime that abuses and exploits everybody, including these very rural people.
To me, this is a source of instability that the government, the opposition and Election Commission (EC) must recognise and resolve.
In Peninsular Malaysia, the BN has not only lost its popular votes but in parliamentary seats as well. The people in Kapar, Gombak and Seputeh have as much right as the people in Sembrong, Pekan and Pagoh.
The federal government of Malaysia is now more aptly referred to as the federal government of Sabah and Sarawak.
Not Confused: Excellent analysis and very thought-provoking. However, whilst Pakatan would obviously support moves to rectify a broken system, BN will not be in the least interested because they are in power not to serve that rakyat's interests, but rather its own self-serving interest.
That is the major problem with what has becomes democratic dictatorship.
CAT Lover: I was waiting for this article, which is a follow-up on Lim Hong Hai's article back in December 2011, which was based on the work by retiree Ng Chak Ngoon.
What puzzles me is that Bersih does not have a revamping of the Westminster system on its agenda. It is evident that gerrymandering and misrepresentation is "the mother of all electoral abuses", as Lim put it back then.
How to fix it if a two-thirds parliamentary majority is needed to overhaul the electoral boundaries? Just imagine Pakatan proposing a revamping, and we will see BN come up with a 1,000 arrogant and nonsensical excuses as to why it could not be done.
Gerrymandering and misrepresentation can thus only be overhauled by massive, repeated and well organised expressions of peoples' power, which also engages Felda settlers, remote Dayaks, Orang Asli, etc.
Ez24get: Yes, this article is very true. Pakatan shouldn't waste its energy on the phantom voters but concentrate all its energy and focus on:
1. A fairer delineation of the constituencies
2. The issuing of ICs to unqualified foreigners
These so-called foreigners voters are not phantom voters per se because they have been issued valid ICs by the National Registration Department (NRD). It should be two-prong move involving the EC and NRD and not just focus on the wrongdoings of the EC.
Both departments have a huge impact on this gerrymandering. Presently, Pakatan is only reacting after the election, which is too late.
Happy Holidays Kaki: Before the election, the concern was with the casting of valid votes. After the election, a more serious concern was with the counting of actual votes. The process of voting seen to be smooth until the ballot boxes were closed.
That is why Malaysians see it as not free and not fair and difficult for them to accept the verdict of the EC. Even if another election was to be held under the same EC, it would not change a single thing.
So the most honourable thing to do for the entire EC team after this fiasco is to resign en masse and have another EC team agreeable to both sides to conduct another election.
Whether it happens or not depends on whether Najib wants to go down in Malaysian history as the last caretaker PM to oversee such an unfair election as GE13 or the first PM to hold a free and fair election.
Mary Mag: Great analysis! BN won the elections even before voting day - thanks to the flawed system which was in their favour.
Actually, we know what's broken but it seems improbable that we can fix it through the normal, constitutional means; we have to think of other 'creative' means to do it.
So, by all means, Pakatan should challenge the results where it has proof of fraud, but more importantly, we should all move forward ernestly to carry on with our unfinished task.
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