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.

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16 May 2013 12.49am

Good article, and many links to FB page and Google doc page with data

8 May 2013 4.30pm

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… Read more »

8 May 2013 6.16pm
Reply to  Gempak

Najib should blame mahathir for driving away chinese votes with the Project IC (chinese not worthy of citizenship 56 years ago) and Perkasa threat.

8 May 2013 1.23pm

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… Read more »

8 May 2013 11.08am

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.

8 May 2013 10.11am

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?

8 May 2013 2.40pm
Reply to  Nasir

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.

8 May 2013 8.16am

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..

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
8 May 2013 1.22am

Sore losers need time to accept the reality. But please do not cause the public unrest. See open always.

Andrew I
8 May 2013 9.17am
Reply to  Gerakan K

The reality is that your name sake is finito, kaput, habis, gone…comprendey?

Peng Tuck Kwok
8 May 2013 11.44am
Reply to  Andrew I

Andrew, it would be out of character for him to not comment like that. In fact you get a little chuckle from his comments from time to time.

8 May 2013 11.18am
Reply to  Gerakan K

Talking of sore loser. Rustum said I will never forget those who betray me. Does he just like the Cheap GK does not understand we have the right to chose who we want.

8 May 2013 2.25pm
Reply to  Gerakan K

Please dont behave like the Ostrich….stop burying your head!

7 May 2013 10.55pm

(FB hates me and would not let me leave a comment there)
Good overview and analysis. Adding the concept of “malapportionment” to gerrymandeirng might clarify and impress the readers with the problem of vast gaps in seat size, differences in EM and WM, that contribute to the 51% vote bu 40% seat phenomenon. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/one-rural-vote-worth-six-urban-ballots-favours-bn-analysts