SCwatch


SARAWAK ELECTION RESULTS : ‘SUBSTANTIAL CONTRADICTIONS’ IN PURSUIT OF PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION?

Well, it was kinda expected …… the results of the Sarawak state elections.

If it sounds as though it has been said as a sour puss, think again.

Whilst allegations of hundreds of millions of ringgit having been pumped into the Sarawak elections ….. biase Election Commission officers refusing to hand over Form 14 …… biase Sarawak police officers, well, they are all allegations and at best, conjecture.

So let’s just leave those out of the post-election analysis!

Let’s stick to the facts of things ….. based on figures released by the Election Commission.

To start off with, the number of votes for the opposition pact i.e. PKR, DAP, PAS, SNAP, PCM, Independents etc for last Saturday’s election amounted to 330,055.

Based on a total of 680,891 votes cast (hence average turn-out was in the region of 69%), the opposition garnered 44.1% of the popular vote.

However based on the number of seats won of 16 out of a total of 71 seats, this only represents 22.5%.

That’s not proportional representation based on a democracy.

Before the loud-mouths of the UMNO led Barisan Nasional start blurring the issue, let’s get into the facts ….. i.e. the number of voters in each of the 71 state seats that were contested.

There were 26 state seats where total voters in EACH seat were less than 10,000 and whose voters comprise mainly the Malays/Melanaus and non-Muslim natives. On average, it was 8,400 voters per seat. 

Not surprisingly, the UMNO led Barisan Nasional won 25 of the 26 seats. They are obviously the ‘safe’ seats for Taib Mahmud and his ilk ……. which gives them a solid head-start grabbing nearly 35% of the seats hands down!

Then there are those seats in the 10,000 to 20,000 voters category. There are 33 of such seats but most of them are below 15,000 voters per seat which accounts for the average in this category tobe only 13,846 voters!

Again, the UMNO led coalition won 28 out of the 33 seats in this category.

But when it comes to the seats with more than 20,000 voters, they are conspicuously Chinese majority seats …. averaging 25,419 voters for each of the 12 seats!! 

Are we surprised that Pakatan Rakyat (DAP & PKR) won 10 out of the 12 seats?

Let’s also not forget that the Chinese are the largest racial group in Sarawak and account for nearly one third of the total eligible voters of approximately 980,000 voters.

THE QUESTION THAT HAS TO BE ASKED IS THIS:-

WHY ARE THE NUMBER OF VOTERS IN STATE CONSTITUENCIES COMPRISING PREDOMINANTLY MALAY/MELANAUS OR NON-MUSLIM NATIVES AVERAGING BETWEEN 8,400 TO 13,846 VOTERS WHEREAS CONSTITUENCIES COMPRISING PREDOMINANTLY CHINESE HAVE ON AVERAGE 25,419 VOTERS?

Isn’t this smack of suppression of legitimate voters’ representation in the state assemblies or parliament?

Doesn’t this tantamount to patronisation or worse still, the humiliation of a particular section of society that not only makes out the largest proportion in Sarawak but also significantly contributes to the well-being of the state?

Is the attempt to ostracise a particular sector of society wise …… especially the ramifications at national level when one considers that this sector of society has now unequivocally chosen Pakatan Rakyat as the alternative choice in the political spectrum?

Is this the way to respond to the Rakyat, whose outlook, relative age and convictions have changed dramatically?

Time for the fundamentals to be re-looked ….. in moving with the times!

UPDATE (18 April 2011) : If you want to hear more about mucking around with the state seats, click HERE to how Raja Petra eloquently describes this practice he calls gerrymandering!

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