BN may have clinched more seats in Perak but Pakatan won the popular vote in the state – and by some distance too.
According to theSun (7 May), the BN won only 43 per cent of the popular vote in Perak at the state level compared to 54 per cent for Pakatan.
Nga Kor Ming has slightly different figures, but he comes up with the same conclusion:
Undi Perak : PR 625,710(54.9%), BN 508,747(44.49%),
PR menang undi majoriti Lebih 100,000 undi tapi BN bentuk… http://t.co/tzOHlZShN3
— Nga Kor Ming 倪可敏 (@ngakorming) May 7, 2013
But BN still captured the state assembly winning 31 seats to Pakatan’s 28.
Here it would be pertinent to point out the controversy that erupted during the counting of votes for the Tapah parliamentary constituency, within which lies two Perak state assembly seats. Read the Malaysiakini report here.
In the end, at N46 Chenderiang, the MCA’s Mah Hang Soon won with an increased majority of 4767 compared with 3392 in 2008.
In N47 Ayer Kuning, Umno’s Samsudin Abu Hassan was also returned with a larger majority of 3485 votes compared with 3252 in 2008.
The BN also won 12 of the 24 parliamentary seats in Perak.
Incidentally, Selangor with a population of 5.6m only has only 22 parliamentary seats – whereas Perak, despite having a population of less than half of Selangor’s i.e. 2.4m, has more seats (24).
The Election Commission may argue that the number of parliamentary seats alloted to each state is largely based on the area of the state: Perak covers a much larger area (21000 sq km) than Selangor (8200 sq km).
But if the area of the state is the main consideration, how does the Commission justify Johor (population 3.4m), which covers 19200 sq km i.e. smaller than Perak, having more seats (26) than Perak (24)?
Any comment, Election Commission?
Blog reader saengch adds:
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.