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Barisan Nasional Nearly Lost the Popular Vote – Only 51.5% Voted for BN

I know that in the 2004 Elections Barisan Nasional had only garnered 64% of the popular vote and yet had managed to secure 91% of the seats in Parliament. This is of course due to the gerry-mandering of constituency boundaries by the Election Commission to favour the Barisan Nasional.

Reading the blow by blow account on Malaysiakini of the the political tsunami that has swept away the Gomen’s 2/3 majority in Parliament got me wondering just how much of the popular vote the BN had garnered. I was curious about the numbers – so, a little trip to the Election Commission website that obligingly provided all the figures, a little data entry and messing about with the Excel spreadsheet and – Voila! I present to you the numbers for the popular vote:

    Total   %     Barisan Opposition
  Registered Total of Spoiled Missing National Parties & 
States Seats Voters Voters Voters Votes Votes Parties Independents
Perlis 3         120,081      97,532.0 81.22%           2,068            257          57,263               37,933
Kedah 15         865,468       697,815 80.63%         15,473         2,873        318,252             361,217
Kelantan 14         751,682       620,632 82.57%         10,765         2,064        271,736             336,067
Terengganu 8         521,597       443,205 84.97%           6,667         1,190        239,922             195,426
Pulau Pinang 13         705,832       554,156 78.51%           7,742         3,593        210,168             332,653
Perak 24      1,196,160       872,592 72.95%         22,675         7,527        391,461             450,929
Pahang 14         603,242       464,659 77.03%         11,470         2,075        268,288             182,826
Selangor 22      1,565,553    1,207,888 77.15%         25,098         4,352        522,091             656,347
Kuala Lumpur 11         687,451       506,672 73.70%           4,513         4,418        188,875             308,866
Putrajaya 1             6,608           5,416 81.96%                38                             4,038                 1,304
Negeri Sembilan 8         462,015       353,021 76.41%           9,740         2,178        186,681             154,422
Melaka 6         371,594       296,977 79.92%           7,564         3,022        164,459             121,932
Johor 26      1,312,121       971,625 74.05%         28,709         2,562        613,813             326,541
WP Labuan 1           20,783         14,149 68.08%              311            247          10,471                 3,120
Sabah  25         807,862       519,559 64.31%         15,698         2,748        306,590             194,523
Sarawak 31         912,454       533,145 58.43%           6,480         2,422        336,562             187,681
Total: 222    10,910,503    8,159,043 74.78%       175,011       41,528     4,090,670          3,851,787
Percentage of Votes for Barisan Nasional vs. Opposition Parties (& Independents): 51.50% 48.50%

 Popular Vote for Parliament – Election 2008

Shocking! Barisan Nasional only has 51.5% of the Popular Vote! Nearly half the population of Malaysia (representative of those that voted) has rejected the Barisan Nasional. But the Opposition only has 82 out of 222 seats in Parliament – that 37% of the seats. Mmmm …. 48.5% of Malaysians voted for the Opposition but they only won 37% of the seats? Hardly seems fair.

But someone should wake up Badawi and let him know that if the elections had been FAIR, he would nearly had lost Barisan Nasional the power to govern. Badawi is still adamant on seeking a second term despite the massive failure of his party in losing 5 states and the 2/3 majority in Parliament. Undurlah Pak Lah. YOUR ineptitude and corruption were one of the biggest factors that contributed to the humiliating humbling of you party.

But, going back to the results on the Popular Vote – not matching the representation in Parliament – you can see what BERSIH was screaming about when they say the Election Commission is bias. I’m not talking about phantom voters, duplicate voters, postal voting or any other electoral fraud – I’m just talking pure gerry-mandering. Look at the weightage of seats allocated to each state in comparison to the numbers of registered voters for that state:

          Fair Allocation  
  Total Registered Based on   
  Parliament Registered Seat Voter Registered  
States Seats Voters Weightage Weightage Voter Weightage Difference
 Perlis  3             120,081 1.4% 1.1% 3 0
 Kedah  15             865,468 6.8% 7.9% 18 -3
 Kelantan  14             751,682 6.3% 6.9% 15 -1
 Terengganu  8             521,597 3.6% 4.8% 11 -3
 Pulau Pinang  13             705,832 5.9% 6.5% 14 -1
 Perak  24          1,196,160 10.8% 11.0% 24 0
 Pahang  14             603,242 6.3% 5.5% 12 2
 Selangor  22          1,565,553 9.9% 14.3% 32 -10
 Kuala Lumpur  11             687,451 5.0% 6.3% 14 -3
 Putrajaya  1                 6,608 0.5% 0.1% 0 1
 Negeri Sembilan  8             462,015 3.6% 4.2% 9 -1
 Melaka  6             371,594 2.7% 3.4% 8 -2
 Johor  26          1,312,121 11.7% 12.0% 27 -1
 W.P. Labuan  1               20,783 0.5% 0.2% 0 1
 Sabah  25             807,862 11.3% 7.4% 16 9
 Sarawak  31             912,454 14.0% 8.4% 19 12
 Total:  222        10,910,503 100.0% 100.0% 222  

  An Equitable Distribution of Parliament Seats by State

Look especially hard at Sabah and Sarawak – two states that have 21 seats more than they should have and have traditionally voted for Barisan Nasional (with the exception of the PBS uprising one election year). Consider this scenario had there been a fairer distribution of seats:  A redistribution of those 21 seats in Sabah and Sarawak would give 18 seats to Kedah, Kelantan, Penang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. These are states that the Opposition parties won at least half of the vote – so add 9 seats to the 82 won by the Opposition and the total of 91 seats would give a the Opposition parties a 41% representation in Parliament that is at least closer in to the 48.6% popular vote that they did win.

Let’s just not leave it at state level, the difference in the proportion of voters in differing constituencies is very high. To give you some idea: Putrajaya – 6.608 voters, Kapit – 22,273 voters, Kepala Batas – 43,019 voters, Kepong – 60,775 voters, Batu – 70,544 voters, Gombak – 99,153 voters. Is the Election Commission trying to tell Malaysians that the vote of 1 voter in Putrajaya is worth the same as 9 voters in Gombak? Is the vote of 1 voter from Kapit worth the same as 3 voters in Kepong? A more equitable dsitribution would see about 49,000 voters per constituency with only a 5% margin difference.

So, this is why I take offence at the sanctimonious drivel editorial from the NST stating: “… as the Barision Nasional coalition reeled from a stunning series of defeats, at least one of the thorniest issues in the run-up to the polls must be deemed settled. There can be no more carping oved the elcctoral process in this country being ‘rigged’, flawed or unfair.” (NST, 9 Mar 2008) Some people are just sour grapes in defeat …

The election process in this country is rigged at the most basic of levels – the gerry-mandering of the constituency borders to favour voters more likely to vote Barisan Nasional – and the numbers above prove it. 

Monday, 10 March, 2008 Posted by | Election 2008 | , , | 3 Comments