Gerrymandering and the winner

“To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.”           ― Barack Obama


A few days before the voting, I met a foreign friend for tea. He asked for my opinion. I told him that the urban sentiments were against BN.  However, because of gerrymandering, BN would still win, although in my heart, I had hoped for  a PR victory .

I predicted that PR would still win big in  Penang but PR would lose Kedah, because of the less than good performance of the state government.. I also predicted that the margin would be 122 for Bn and 100 for PR. That is why i was not as disappointed as many others who voted for change.

Rome is not made in a day, to take consolation on this.  Another consolation is the moral victory for winning the popular votes.

(courtesy of malaysiakini)popular votes

Many times in this blog, I mentioned about the uphill task to win for PR. I spoke about the gradient being less step, but it is an uphill task nonetheless to overthrow BN. Again, this is because of gerrymandering, which more than anything else, had given BN victory.

PR’s winning margin in Seputih is more than 51,000. In PJ Utara, it is more than 40,000.   There are so many other examples all over Malaysia.

Unless we do away the unequal distribution of voters, PR has to win more than 55% of popular votes to win an election.

This is the stark fact.

It was not like that before. Before a constitutional amendment some time in the 80s I think, there was a clause that the biggest and the smallest constituencies must not differ more than 15%.  I think it was Dr M who amended the clause.

So the most important thing to do is to make sure that the next constituency redelineation  ( which is before the next GE) is done in a less lopped sided manner.

One good trend that emerges from this election is that Urban Malaysians are now less racial. More Chinese are voting Malay and Indian candidates from PA and PKR and even DAP, and more Malays are voting for Chinese and Indians Candidates from PKR and DAP< more Indians are voting for Malay and Chinese candidates etc.

This is the real 1Malaysia, PM should note this.  PM should also take note of what President Obama said about being the president of all.

DR M is now seen to be trying to use the race card to put the blame on PM, and galvanised the right wing forces to try to push PM out.

In this election, if there is a winner, it is actually Dr M. His son gets to be a MB of a State. This was despite his son losing the fight for Ketua Pemuda post during the last UMNO election.  With this position, he is now within striking distance of the main crown, presidency of the BIg Brother.  As long as BN is in power, the weaker the position of PM, the bitter   better it is for him to play divide and rule.(and the more bitter Malaysians will be)



16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    May 09, 2013 @ 14:22:35

    The gerrymandering and blatant frauds must not be taken down. This is not a case of when the right cheek is slapped the left cheek is offered. The meek shall not inherit the earth. Only by being tough will the goons step back.


  2. CYC
    May 09, 2013 @ 14:23:18

    Who are responsible for this gerrymandering ? Apart from Dr M, why the elites in Gelakan had not voice out their consciousness ? The conclusion : don’t put too much hope/trust on elites as they are likely to sell out their soul simply for self benefits. Goh Cheng Teik , a Havard graduate only suddenly realised that May 13 was started by UMNO extremists but kept quiet for more than 30-40 years while he was inside the administrative regime, why? When Dr M amended the constitution on electorates per constituency, MCA and Gelakan supported. Similarly MCA and Gelakan elites also supported the enactment of syariah law. Now, they cry foul of the danger of hudud. These elites really thought the rakyats are all idiots.

    Division in social economic standing will eventually show its ugly head in years to come, not so much on racial and religion. Who took away our rights? its the elites, Malay, Chinese and Indian included. Socialism will eventually rise globally whether u like it or not if the current consumerism economic model persists.


  3. grkumar
    May 09, 2013 @ 14:51:53

    The term Gerrymandering is clearly not understood by the writer Dr. Hsu Darren. The re drawing of electoral boundaries is carried out often and regularly in all countries. No one can deny the growth in population and the changing demographics that come with it.

    The timing of such re drawing of the boundaries is what any opposition will call it. Government’s everywhere have the benefit of being the incumbent and the party in charge of redrawing the boundaries. And that’s an advantage they are able to use to suit their political objectives of that’s what they wish to do. However in the absence of proof (not simply coffee shop evidence) the re drawing of boundaries cannot be put down to Gerrymandering.

    Of course a little research will reveal where the name Gerrymandering came from and the origins of the exploitative practice of re drawing boundaries. That does not necessarily mean that every time an electoral boundary is re drawn it is Gerrymandering.

    Malaysia had a population of under 10 million at independence. It is now nearly 30 million. Only a made man and a dreamer would not consider a re drawing of the electoral boundaries. To keep it intact would have produced a greater advantage for government as the population numbers increased and the demographics changed.


  4. HY
    May 09, 2013 @ 15:11:45

    “That is why i was not as disappointed as many others who voted for change.”

    unlike you, i am very disappointed when i knew the result, though i still whatsapp everyone “jangan kecewa, we did what we can”, it was actually a sleepless night.

    u r right i never expect a win, because most feedback i get from the malay bro about their kampung is pretty negative but still we hope for a miracle that pas could win enough seat, and get at least 30% from sabah & sarawak. we failed. my utmost disappointment is we cant take back perak, while ns is entirely a reverse of our earlier guess, since both r semi urban.

    my concern now is how we could prevent from being neutralised. i hope all chinese could stand firm, we are mostly self reliance and not much to worry, we must prepare ourselves for a long term battle, we must give our full support to pkr and pas. no retreat.


  5. Dr Hsu
    May 09, 2013 @ 15:20:44

    Wikipedia: gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts.

    Oxford Dictionary: Gerrymandering is
    manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favour one party or class.

    Our Parliamentary constituencies are skewed. It is skewed to who’s advantage, I need not go further.

    The clause that rural and urban constituencies must not differ by 15% was in the 13th Schedule of the Federal COnstitution. If that clause is still in place, PR would have won this election. So the boundaries are to who’s adbvantage? Is this not what the Oxford Dic refers to gerrymandering?

    I normally do not want to answer to cyber troopers.. But this is something i need to clarify.


  6. Phua Kai Lit
    May 09, 2013 @ 15:23:41

    Utter rubbish about gerrymandering in Malaysia by commentator.

    Any reasonable person will see that there are big problems with electoral district of 6,608 voters (Putrajaya) versus Seputeh (76,891)

    What Malaysia needs is a “proportional representation” system.
    Not the current system which is easily exploited by pro-UMNO Baru-BN


  7. Dr Hsu
    May 09, 2013 @ 15:25:27

    Prof Phua
    They are paid to confuse the people.


  8. HY
    May 09, 2013 @ 15:37:55

    it’s only not gerrymandering largely from the perspective of those in power who have a vested interest in maintaining the system. so know how to read doesn’t mean one understand what he read. perhaps hsu should write in a much more simple manner.


  9. Dr Hsu
    May 09, 2013 @ 15:46:44

  10. Phua Kai Lit
    May 09, 2013 @ 15:49:02

    Sorry, the data I gave earlier were from 2008 election

    These are the data from 2013 election

    Putrajaya (15,798 voters) versus Seputeh (86,114)

    * Note the incredible increase in the number of voters for Putrajaya
    between 2008 and 2013

    Here’s more:
    Number of voters in Lembah Pantai in 2013 —> 72,533
    Number of voters in Lembah Pantai in 2008 —> 56,650


  11. Dr Hsu
    May 09, 2013 @ 16:01:57

  12. klm
    May 10, 2013 @ 08:59:21

    On another sidebar. Dr. Hsu. What do you think will happen in MCA? Wiil Liow Tiong Lai lives up to his MCA Brutus title


  13. Dr Hsu
    May 10, 2013 @ 09:22:18

    Liow is already saying thatMCA needs to reconsider the refusal to sit the cabinet. He has the 2 Wee on his side. All these people are actually looking for ministerial appointment and the trappings that come with it.

    So it is personal interest against party interest. They will probably daggle some carrots for thier supporters, and most probably mCA would made a u turn and accept cabinat and exco positions again.

    Ministerial post and access to Pm will give the mediocre Liow a boost for his quest to be MCA president. But with him at the helm, the party would not be any better than now..

    OTK should realise by now that even in Pandan, peopla are voting for change and not for his service, or his outspokenness.

    I hope he will stand for MCA presidency again, but within MCA , many people do not like him since he is the type that stick to rules, and not bend over to suit the members.. This type would not survive in a party with many opportunists and back stabbers like Brutus.
    On another note, there maybe another Brutus in PKR and this is going to cost Pr a very serious headache, ad probably if he jumps , Bn would get its 2/3 majority again.

    But good riddance, persoannly if I am anwar, i would cut him off now than face bigger problem the next time. He should actually be thrown out long ago, after his spat with Khalid and Zaid..

    He is the UMNO in PKR.


  14. taikohtai
    May 10, 2013 @ 12:55:52

    Tan Sri Khalid did very well during his first term. And didn’t he increase the number of state seats under his tenure? It is a bit rich for the other bloke eyeing the seat to say he is lame duck. If the same logic is applied, the pretender couldn’t be more lame either, sans glowing credentials.
    Politics in Malaysia is never an easy game and only the toughest can hang on. I do think there could be a few more tadpoles in the pond about to ‘tran$form’ 😦


  15. klm
    May 10, 2013 @ 13:10:26

    There is the Sabah and Sarawak MPs to think about. They want more minister positions. If Najib do not appease them, frogs will hopping. The story has not ended yet. Not by a long shot.


  16. Li Li Fa
    May 12, 2013 @ 00:24:42

    “To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.” ― Barack Obama

    Since ‘Gerrymandering’ is term which originates from the USA, it is appropriate to use President Obama’s wise quotation on its citizens.

    But to AJG, these are words could mean nothing. He hears but doesn’t listen. In his mind, he just wants to win and win. This is the Malaysia, not USA, so the situation here is different from that country in the northern hemisphere thousands of kilometres away. But ‘Gerrymandering’ happens in all countries whether in the East or West, North or South. However, there are laws that reglate such from happening to prevent injustice to the people and to reflect that they can exercise their true rights.

    I believe our AJG heard the voices of the people that said, “AJG, We love you.” I wonder that happened to those adulations, and why he had to come up with the exclamation of ‘What do the Chinese want now?” after the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ declaration.

    If AJG had practised the above principle embeded in the quotation, the GE13 results would be different. Now that GE13 has come and gone, is he really going to practise it? That is left to be seen. The Black Wednesday night gathering of young voters is a reflection of the cry of the people that the GE13 was far from being fair, free of frauds, and fearfully skewed.

    Because of all these ‘below the belt’ tactics, BN won with a minority edge over the opposition. Had it been fair, without gerrymandering and other tactics, the PR would have won, hands down.

    The popular votes speak volumns on the victory of PR over BN. It is not a case of the fox and the sour grapes. BN, on top of that, arranged for financial hand-outs through of the many related BRIMs and free-all-all and what-have-yous. Thousands of supporters of PR walked miles to attend their ceramahs, in rain and shine, and voluntarily donated to their public fund. While many of the BN ceramahs had been filled with ‘phantom’ spectators.

    There was also no report on the tallying of actual voters who cast their votes against the official marking on the electoral list of voters’ IC read out and ticked. The turn-out of voters was reported to be about 85% but was it based on the number of votes counted or had it been tallied with the electoral list?

    The opposition has yet to concede to a defeat prior to the rightful explanation of the EC and that should be upheld by the authorities. This is to maintain the uprightness of the concerned authorites and ensure fair and just practices for the future general elections. Lawmakers should look into the impact and effects of gerrymandering on the democratic process of this nation.

    Facing another election in his own party, will AJG hear us and be a PM for all?


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