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Published by: Alpha Lim on Dec 02, 2011
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02/02/2013

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 1NgCN
Malapportionment
The biggest electoral fraud
In its eight demands for reform for a clean and fair electoral system, Bersih hasoverlooked the single most important dishonest feature built into the present system byBN – malapportionment, which is the systematic variation in the size of electoralconstituencies resulting in disproportionate and large representation for BN inParliament.Fig. 1 shows how this has worked in the 2008 Parliamentary Elections. Each column (orvertical line) in the graph represents a parliamentary constituency. The number ofregistered voters in it is indicated by its height. Constituencies won by BN and theopposition are shown as blue and red columns respectively.
Fig. 1: No. of registered voters in each Parliamentary constituency
In the chart, the constituencies are arranged in order of size, with the smallest on theleft to the biggest on the right. Exceptions are the first eight on the left which have beenwon by BN uncontested.It is at once clear in this chart that BN constituencies are generally much smaller thanPR constituencies. Since there is no valid reason why bigger constituencies tend to
0200004000060000800001000001200001 51 101 151 201
No. of registeredvotersParliamentary Constituencies ranked by size
2008 Parliamentary Constituencies
PRBN
Av. Voters / Constituency = 49,119BN won uncontested
KaparPutraJaya
 
 2NgCN
back PR and smaller constituencies vote for BN, the only plausible explanation is thatBN has carved out its strongholds into small and therefore many more constituencieswhile opposition strongholds are lumped together into larger and therefore fewerconstituencies.This form of electoral fraud is so effective that BN could have won 51% of the seats inParliament in the 2008 Elections with a mere 15.4% of the popular votes counted whenthe eight uncontested seats are included in the overall tally as shown in Fig. 2 where thenumber of BN MPs as a percentage of the total is plotted against the number votesreceived by BN again as a percentage of the total votes cast, starting with the smallestto the largest constituency.
Fig. 2: How BN needed only 15.4% of the votes to win
What it means in terms of voter’s right is that those who live in opposition strongholdshad their rights strongly diluted. This is clearly illustrated in the comparison betweenPutra Jaya, a BN stronghold with only a total of 6608 registered voters, and Kapar anopposition area with 112,224 registered voters. If Kapar had been divided intoconstituencies of the same size as Putra Jaya, Kapar voters could have sent up to 17MPs to Parliament instead of just one.
0102030405060700 5 10 15 20 25
BN ParliamentarymajorityBN votes (% of total votes)
No. of BN MPs vs votes for BN(2008 General Elections)
 
 3NgCN
When BN strongholds are consistently subdivided into small constituencies andopposition areas are equally consistently lumped into super-sized ones, the oppositionis systematically and effectively emasculated. The average number of voters in eachBN-held constituency is 39,179 voters compared to the opposition’s average of 63,016which is 60% higher. If all constituencies had about the same number of voters and thenumber of BN MPs remained at 139, the number of opposition MPs could very wellincrease by up to 60%, or to 133 MPs. That would be quite a change of politicallandscape which of course BN would never allow!This is why the equal sizing of constituencies must be one of Bersih’s demands forreforms to make the electoral system clean and fair. Even if all Bersih’s eight otherdemands were met but nothing is being done for fairer apportionment of constituencies,BN would remain in power forever.The pervasiveness and systematic execution of BN’s chicanery in this aspect of theelectoral system is all the more obvious when the same analysis is applied to individualstates as shown below
1
. Within each state, the probability of a BN candidate winning anelection varies with the location of his constituency within the chart; the further left onthe chart (i.e. the smaller the constituency) the greater his chance of winning. Therefore,the constituency to which a BN candidate is assigned to within a state is an indication ofhis value or dispensability to the BN leadership.
1
No analysis for Perlis where BN won in all three Parliamentary constituencies.

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