Posts Tagged ‘Elections’

Gerrymandering of election seats

February 2nd, 2012
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I wonder what is the reply from the respective groups on this revelation by a citizen on gerrymandering of election seats. It would be good to see EC come out with some report to rebut or  justify the presentation given below. Just maintaining silence means agreeing to what the presenter revealed.

Its horrifying to note that its possible to gain power to run the country by getting win seats in areas that total up to only 15.4% of voters! would the election reform also cover this issue?

 

A retiree arrested the attention of opposition members at the public hearing by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform, when he told them to forget about marching to Putrajaya under the current electoral system.

ng chak ngoon complain to psc 271111Armed with printouts of his presentation slides, Ng Chak Ngoon (right) who described himself as a retiree, presented the panel with a graph that showed 222 lines with every one being taller than the other as it progressed.

The graph, said Ng at the hearing in Kota Kinabalu yesterday, which saw several others testifying, was plotted against the population size of all the constituencies in ascending order for the 2008 general election.

“All on the left (in blue) are won by BN, on the right (in red) are all won by the opposition. The BN constituencies are very small and the opposition constituencies are very big. So what is happening here?

“It’s not by chance that all the people in big constituencies like the opposition and all those people in the small constituencies like BN. I would think there is a design here for the Election Commission (EC) to sub-divide all the BN areas into smaller areas to increase their number of MPs,” he said.

Ng added that the smallest constituency, BN-held Putrajaya only had 6,008 voters but Opposition-held Kapar had a staggering 112,224 voters, 17 times more than Putrajaya.

‘Kapar can have 17 MPs’

“If we break down Kapar to the size of Putrajaya, you would have 17 MPs from Kapar instead of just one.”

If all the seats are made into equal size, Ng added, the last general election would yield a result where BN and Pakatan Rakyat would only have a difference of seven seats in Parliament as opposed to the actual results of 140 to 82 seats.

He further estimated that if a party relied on all the small seats to win power, it would only require 15.4 percent of the total votes to form a majority in Parliament.

“If the opposition thinks they can march to Putrajaya, forget about it.”

At this point, PSC member Anthony Loke who is DAP’s Rasah MP quipped: “Very demoralising.”

Explaining further, Ng said the smallest constituency in Malaysia was 13 percent of the national average while the largest was 288 percent, in contrast to the UK’s which smallest and largest constituency are 77 percent and 153 percent of the national average respectively.

“If the EC is sincere, it should redraw all the constituencies, this is not gerrymandering, this is outright cheating.”

psc size of constitutencies general election 2008

PSC member Dr Hatta Ramli later concurred, pointing out that the Baling parliamentary constituency, supposedly a rural seat, had an unusually large number of constituents at around 70,000.

“This was because PAS has won the seat before,” said Hatta, who then asked if Ng thought this was ethical.

“Unethical is a mild word, Can I answer outside?” replied Ng in reference to parliamentary rules that require members in the hearing to abide by appropriate language.

State by state breakdown

Ng later proceeded to present similar graphs with a state by state breakdown at which PSC member Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said: “Can you rate Kangar?”, in reference to his own constituency.

“If you have Negeri Sembilan’s, I would like to see my chances of winning,” added Loke.

At this, Ng quipped: “I’ll have to charge you for consultancy.”

When asked by PSC member Fong Chan Onn (right) on how the panel can accommodate the increase of seats for Sabah and Sarawak to meet the Malaysian Federation agreement of 34 percent into his recommendations, Eng replied: “What is your objective?

“To win the election or to have an equitable dispersion of votes? If these are conflicting desires, obviously we cannot come to a compromise. BN has to answer that question, not me, I’m a retired man.”

psc general election bn votes needed to win majority

source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/182546

Indian majority constituency?

November 13th, 2011
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I think this is a ineffective proposal. Even if you have few majority Indian constituencies, you still will be one of the 222 elected representatives in the Dewan Rakyat. The rights and issues won’t be championed just because there’s majority constituencies in few areas. The problem goes beyond this as its a mindset of many years of imbalance. I believe even if its a 5% voters in a constituency, it can still make a difference, especially in current scenario where there are many political factions and voter sentiments.

Even if any issues are raised (assuming the speaker allows them), what are the chances of getting a fair hearing and debate if the rest of your peers are not interested?

Another option would be to provide representation for minority communities at Dewan Rakyat level, in addition to the Dewan Negara.

However, they have correctly highlighted the gerrymandering exercise that resulted in a distorted representation in the parliament. I would agree if some of the realignment of constituencies address the problem of gerrymandering as mention by HRP, which may result in creating constituencies with higher Indian voters than present.

The more important thing is for the community to stay united. The better thing for HRP/Hindraf to do would be voter education and constitution awareness. Perhaps they should go on roadshows focusing on this. and also focus on their NGO role. Can work along groups like MyConstitution to get Tamil (and other dialects) version booklets out.

The Human Rights Party (HRP) today proposed to the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform that there be at least 53 constituencies where Indians make up a significant majority of voters.

Presenting their views, its pro-tem secretary general, P Uthayakumar (right), said this is because the voter make-up in present state and parliament constituencies make Indian voters the minority and as such their rights are not championed in the assembly houses.

HRP called for at least 15 new parliament seats and 38 state assembly seats which are “at least 70 percent Indian majority, with 20,000 voters for parliament and 10,000 for state assembly seats”.

This was, however, rebutted as “backward” by committee member Dr Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) who said that Malaysia should strive to see “any candidate able to stand in any constituency regardless of its voters’ racial make-up”.

But this was contested by Uthayakumar, who said that if Malay and Chinese politicians champion Indian and minority issues, there would be no need for the formation of such constituencies.

“In leading democracies, the majority bend over backwards to lend their voice to the minority,” said the leader of the party, which has its roots in the Hindraf movement.

‘Neglect Indians to our peril’

Uthayakumar’s statement was also not received well by Fong Chan Onn (BN-Alor Gajah) who said that Indian issues do not get overlooked as this would be to a politician’s peril.

“In my constituency, Indian voters make up 15 percent of the voters while in Rasah it is more than 20 percent. We take these voters very seriously. Candidates would probably not be elected if they neglect the poor and needy of other communities,” he said.

However, the HRP chief replied that if Indian issues were prioritised then the 54 HRP activists arrested for demonstrating to highlight such issues would have their charges dismissed like those arrested in the lead-up to and during the Bersih 2.0 rally.

“(Those arrested in relation to Bersih 2.0) are not prosecuted… because Malay and Chinese politicians brought up the issue in parliament and placed pressure,” he said.

Uthayakumar also alleged that 300,000 Indians are “denied identity cards, birth certificates and citizenship”, but this was refuted by a National Registration Department official present, who said that their outreach programmes find that the numbers are far lower.

To this, the HRP secretary-general said that they currently about 200 applications which have the NRD Putrajaya office has failed to process despite multiple attempts to register.

“All sorts of excuses were given… the NRD should advertise their outreach programmes in newspapers and set up a hotline,” he said.

source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/181077

52 aspirants for one state seat?

November 9th, 2011
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52??? Can’t believe so many people interested to stand for election in one state seat. It  means either:

1. plenty of candidates whom think they have the support from locals (maybe PKR presence is strong until got so many “qualified” candidates) OR

2. they think voters will vote for party instead of candidate and they want to try their luck.

I would like to believe its 1, but I think reality is 2.

 

Fifty-two PKR members have indicated their interest in contesting the Bukit Melawati state seat in the next general election.

The rush for the seat started about six months ago after a rumour was circulated within party circles that incumbent assemblyman Muthiah Maria Pillay, 63, would not stand.

Out of the 52 aspirants, it is believed that about 30 have sent formal letters to PKR headquarters offering themselves as candidates.

Party insiders say a senior party leader is also believed to be eyeing the seat for his daughter.

Although Bukit Melawati was regarded as an “Indian seat”, those who had shown interest were from all races, said the party insider.

He said the rumour could have been started to oust Muthiah as some felt that it would be easy to grab his seat as the assemblyman was not the confrontational type.

Muthiah said he had not indicated that he would not be contesting in the next general election.

“But I will not ask for the seat as it is against my principles to demand to contest because I feel it’s the party leadership’s decision,” he said.

Muthiah said there was even talk that he was gravely ill.

“Some people called to ask me if it was true that I was very ill and I jokingly told them that I was already dead,” Muthiah said.

Muthiah, who is an engineer by profession, said he had also not lobbied to contest in the 1995 general election where he won the Pasir Panjang state seat in Lumut under the Barisan Nasional ticket.

“Even then, I never asked to contest but was selected by the MIC,” said Muthiah, who was the MIC Youth chief between 1996 to 1999.

He left the MIC to join PKR in 2006.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/11/8/nation/9855589&sec=nation

Nambikai

October 29th, 2011
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As mentioned by Senator Ramakrishnan, its probably a first time a Prime Minister attended so many Deepavali open house on the day. Makkal Osai, Hindu Sangam and MIC open house, after arriving from Riyadh (Saudi prince funeral) and flying off to Australia (for CHOGM). That’s shows some extra commitment from PM.

“Nambikai” would be a common word now for the politicians and likes to woo Indian voters.

While there are changes being made to overcome the neglect in last 4 decades, I think the community has to evaluate if the changes (or transformation) are holistic, permanent, appropriate, on par with those for other communities, impactful and swift.  No point if you get RM1 million if others get 10 times more than that. Can’t be no budget for you but got for others right?

Nambikai works both ways, you know. Its not easy to earn it. We don’t to want to have the case where “nambinor kai vidda pattar”. That applies to any coalition who is wooing the voters.

 

What matters now to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak are the Indian voters who had sided with Pakatan Rakyat out of anger for Barisan Nasional. It is their trust, confidence or hope’ that he seeks at the next general election.

NAMBIKAI. It’s a frequently-used Tamil word by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his Deepavali rounds.

Warm reception: Well-wishers flocking to shake hands with Najib at the MIC Deepavali open house in Batu Caves on Wednesday.

Variedly translated as “trust, confidence or hope” the word, as used by him, refers to the high level of confidence the Indian community had in the MIC, Barisan Nasional and Najib’s predecessors prior to the 2008 political tsunami.

He wants the community to return to that level, saying that the Government was doing much to help the Indians overcome their issues by providing them with government jobs, blue identity cards, birth certificates and, above all, attention from the Government.

Soon after he flew home from Saudi Arabia, where he had attended a royal funeral, Najib criss-crossed the capital to attend Deepavali open houses. He then left for Perth to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Nambikai featured prominently in his messages, suggesting he wants the community to believe in what he is doing and to have confidence in the Government, especially in what it can do for them.

Before 2008, nearly 80% of the Indians in the country had backed the ruling party and their votes were considered a “fixed deposit”.

Right up to the Ijok by-election in Selangor in April 2007, the Indian voters still believed in the Government although, by that time, the urban Chinese votes had already swung to Pakatan Rakyat.

It all changed with the Hindraf protest seven months after the Ijok polls.

The Indians gathered in their thousands in the capital and protested against marginalisation, discrimination and loss of jobs.

They lost their nambikai in the Government. In its place was disenchantment, disillusionment and disbelief in anything that the Government did or said.

The MIC and especially then president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu came under heavy shelling.

Barisan was punished over policies that allegedly included breaking temples, demolishing squatter homes and denying jobs even low-skilled jobs for Indians in the Government.

Pakatan gained tremendously from the Indian revolt but since Najib took over as Prime Minister, they have begun to lose out to Barisan’s charm, campaign and the transformation plans.

The Indians who voted for the Barisan in 2008 remain hardcore supporters of the coalition.

What matters now are the rest of the voters, who had sided with Pakatan Rakyat out of anger at Barisan.

It is their nambikai that Najib seeks as the drum beats of a coming general election grow louder.

On his campaign trail in the 2008 polls, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wore dark glasses and self-styled himself as Sivaji, after a character in a Tamil movie. He was a hit.

But after winning the Indian voters, almost by default because they were angry with the Barisan, Anwar has virtually forgotten them.

Najib, on the other hand, is working hard to earn the community’s trust.

He set up a special implementation task force and proceeded to redress some of the most glaring wrongs that the Indian underclass had suffered from.

Gradually, he worked his way through meetings with various ethnic groups living under the “Indian community” label, i.e. the Sikhs, Telegus, Jaffa Tamils, Malayalees and the Tamils.

He met and embraced their leaders and offered vital financial help to their organisations.

For example, the Sri Murugan Centre, which helps poor Indian children in education, got an injection of funds. Likewise, the Temple of Fine Arts.

Four years after 2008, the winds of change have begun to blow in the community and the Indians are warming once again to Barisan and the MIC, as believed by the party.

More than just his policies to repair damages, Najib has gone to the ground to mingle with the ordinary people.

The challenge is to translate his popularity into votes for Barisan.

How Najib will do it is yet to be seen but for now, he is asking the Indians to have nambikai in the Government, and they are beginning to respond.

Losing nambikai is easy but winning it back is hard, as Najib knows.

source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/10/29/nation/9797384&sec=nation

HRP wants 23 seats for election

September 16th, 2011
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I don’t think HRP should bother with the protest at PKR HQ. Just proceed with their campaign and nominations. No one can stop HRP from standing in elections (of course, there’s small problem of HRP not allowed to be registered as a party yet, so have to stand as independents or some other methods). If you are good, people will come and look for you, need not worry. Same goes with HRP. If they are able to build a good support from the people at those constituencies, and deemed as threat to BN/PR, then those coalition will come knocking on HRP door.

 

THE Human Rights Party (HRP) is demanding that Pakatan Rakyat give it seven parliamentary and 16 state assembly seats in the coming polls.

The party’s protem secretary P. Uthayakumar threatened that at least 10,000 Indians would protest outside PKR headquarters on the first Sunday after Parliament has been dissolved if their request was denied.

He said HRP was eyeing four state seats in Selangor because one-third of the Indian population lived there.

“In the last general election, we gave Pakatan a chance but it has failed to address the problems faced by the Indian community.”

source: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/16/nation/9514538&sec=nation