Political gap narrows in Malaysia

Political gap narrows in Malaysia

Malaysia’s general elections returned the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition to power with a weak mandate and the potential for political instability in the weeks ahead.

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim has questioned the integrity of Sunday’s result and has refused to concede defeat until investigations are conducted into numerous reported irregularities.

On polling day, social media was abuzz with alerts, photographs and videos that showed the indelible ink used to prevent voters from casting more than one ballot was easily washed away. Other reports indicated that busloads of people believed to be nationals of other countries had cast votes. There were also widespread allegations of vote-buying.

Bersih, a civil society coalition campaigning for electoral reforms, withheld its recognition of the polls and has not yet indicated whether it would protest the result. The activist coalition has held three mass rallies, including a demonstration in April that drew by some estimates 200,000 people, against an electoral system it believes is rigged in BN’s and its main component United Malay Nasional Organization (UMNO) party’s favor. Anwar on Tuesday urged opposition supporters to protest the result.

There could be significant grass roots support for a follow-up rally. A petition on the website change.org appealing to the United Nations to investigate electoral fraud allegations had gone viral online with more than 200,000 signatures as of Tuesday. So far Anwar has called on PR supporters to remain calm while investigations are ongoing.

Full article in Asia Times Online.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Berikut persoalan ‘Apa Cina lagi mahu’, saya ingin berkongsi mengapa banyak orang cina menyokong pakatan rakyat dan apa implikasinya:

    1) pendidikan- pembatalan PTPTN merupakan manifesto yang amat menarik
    2) kos kehidupan- penurunan harga tol dan minyak (kebanyakan cina menghuni di bandar yang berkos tinggi)
    3) penyelewengan- orang cina jimat cermat, bayar cukai; tetapi wang disalahgunakan oleh pihak tidak bertanggungjawab, ini mengecewakan
    4) sekatan perniagaan- tender tidak terbuka, atau lesen-lesen tertentu terhad kepada golongan tertentu sahaja; menjadi persoalan pengundi cina. Namun, ada cina yang bekerjasama dengan golongan tertentu sebagai penyelesaian
    5) keamaman dan ketenteraman, jaga kesihatan- banyak kes jenayah yang berlaku dan tidak sempat dicegah atau diditangani; ada juga pihak yang bukan merapatkan budaya tetapi mengapi-apikan isu yang bakal membawa keadaan ketidaktenteraman
    6) hak keistimewaan- sebenarnya masyarakat Cina tidak mempersoalkannya, hanyalah kadang-kala kami mengingati sendiri supaya kena lebih gigih berusaha agar berjaya dalam pekerjaan
    7) manifesto pakatan rakyat yang memberi yakin kepada masyarakat cina dan pemimpin-pemimpinnya seperti Haji Nik Aziz, Lim Guan Eng, Anwar Ibrahim dan lain-lain sering sebulat-suara bahawa masyarakat bersatu-padu tanpa membezakan budaya, itu sebabnya sokongan PAS bertambah di kalangan bukan-muslim. Barisan Nasional pula bakal menjelaskan 5 persoalan penting yang masyarakat cina tertanya-tanya dalam hati; polisi memajukan negara walaupun penting untuk golongan cina tetapi kebanyakan masyarakat cina adalah kelas-pertengahan (middle class) yang masih tidak boleh mengetepikan isu kos hidup, kos pendidikan, kos keselamatan melainkan mereka yang telah menjadi taukeh taukeh besar
    9) Ada yang sudah berhijrah ke luar negara untuk mencari kehidupan memenuhi ciri-ciri di atas; ramai yang masih berpegang kewarganegaraan Malaysia dan sering balik untuk menziarahi sanak saudara sebab merindui kehidupan, pemandangan dan makanan yang sudah biasa sejak kecil; dan masih berharap malaysia boleh maju (sikap tidak mengalah), itu sebab mereka sanggup menanggung kos tinggi tiket penerbangaan dan ambil cuti untuk balik mengundi; ini bukan sebabnya untuk menyokong parti-parti politik, tetapi demi masa depan lebih baik untuk Malaysia

    Justeru, saya berharap bahawa lebih ramai rakan melayu saya boleh memahami situasi yang dihadapi oleh kebanyakan masyarakat cina di tanahair kita ini.

     
  2. This is really a good time to get people thinking about such gerrymandering etc:

    Theoretically in GE12 (I only have data for the last GE), BN could win with only 17% votes. This is how it works. In GE12 and GE13, there are 222 parliamentary seats. BN needs only 112 to have >50% seats. In each of these seats, BN only needs 51% votes (Or even less % in a multi-corner fight.) Since the smallest 112 seats are really small, if you calculate one by one, from Putrajaya (smallest in GE12) to N. Sembilan’s Tampin (112th smallest), BN only need a total of 17.27% voters for BN to control the government with >50% parliamentary seats.

    This phenomenon is a combined result of 4 issues, the last 3 of which are not highlighted enough, that is why PR and activists did not gather enough momentum to prepare for it. The 4 issues are:

    (1) Gerrymandering – creatively shaped constituencies. Everyone is becoming aware of this now,
    (2) Malapportionment – unequal sized constituencies,
    (3) First-past-the-post election system, the largest majority, even if less than 50% means a win – winner takes it all,
    (4) Most small seats are in Sabah and Sarawak.

    Come 2013-2014, things will only get more scary because re-delineation/ re-delimitation of seats can help BN distort the seats even further. And PR only has 3 state assemblies to block any abuses.

    Also see http://malvu.blogspot.com/2008/05/electoral-roll-20080205-voter-counts-by.html
    http://malaysiafactbook.com/Gerrymandering_in_Malaysia
    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/one-rural-vote-worth-six-urban-ballots-favours-bn-analysts
    https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/229410 new article by Nigel Aw with a little bit on the redelineation issues as part of PR’s strategy

     
  3. Gerrymandering deals with creatively-shaped constituencies, but may still be equally-sized.

    Our other, larger, problem is vastly different sized seats: “malapportionment”. The difference should have been 15%, but in GE12: “If we break down Kapar to the size of Putrajaya, you would have 17 MPs from Kapar, instead of just one.” See graphics at http://malaysiafactbook.com/Gerrymandering_in_Malaysia

    Mal-apportionment is a topic worth raising awareness about.

    The scary thing is, redelineation is overdue in 2013. With this parliamentary win, BN will aggressively redelineate/re-delimit. PR state assemblies can block some of the abuses, but PR only has 3 states right now.

     
  4. BN depends on the rural folks (little or no access to alternaive media) for the majority of their votes. If they are able to access to alternaive news/viewpoint via internet and facebook, would that further erode the support towards BN? In that case, will Najib reconsider granting free 30 mins/day internet to the poor folks?

    Come PRU14, there will be another generation of young voters who will demand more change and will not be ‘dikelentong’ by TV3/Utusan. Will our education policy be ‘adjusted’ to make students ‘less critical’ in their thinking and to be submissive and hutang budi?

     
    • If Najib is now calling for reconciliation, does that mean that his 4-year 1Malaysia is a big failure since urban voters do not subscribe to that rhetoric call?

      Now I can watch my TV shows without the distubrance of the 1malaysia/IM4U/Terima Kasih propaganda clips.

       
  5. All these talk of obvious trends is so superficial..The truth is we all knew it was going to tak at least 53% of the popular vote to make it happen.. It just did not happen and PAS was the main reason..The forgot their flank..Nik Aziz superstar was not available and Anwar was WRONG to think he could make it up himself..And even uglier truth is there is also no one to make up for what Anwar will have to step back from doing..

     

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.