Sunday, June 9, 2013

BN parliamentary majority from victories in smallest constituencies

First Published: 11:41am, Jun 08, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR (June 8): Barisan Nasional's (BN) victory in the 13th general election (GE13) was contributed by victories in the smallest constituencies.
Bar Council Human Rights Committee co-chairperson Andrew Khoo said out of the 130 smallest parliamentary seats in the country, BN won 112 thus ensuring a majority on the the level for the ruling coalition.
"BN's votes in these 112 constituencies constituted 19.97% of all votes that were cast in the election," he said at the Bar Council's first installment of its Election Forum series.
"BN obtained 2,208,516 votes in these 112 constituencies," Khoo added.
He said this points to a need to review the delineation of constituencies to reflect a better political representation for the people.
"Their win was largely contributed to small constituencies," said Khoo.
BN won 133 parliamentary seats while Pakatan won 89 parliamentary seats in the GE13.
Khoo said constitutional amendments after Independence had removed vital weightage systems stipulated by law to ensure a fair delineation of constituencies.
"They took away all numerical limits of the weightage. So the variation between constituencies can be as much as you want it to be according to principles," he added.
He said the delineation is proscribed by 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution, Part 1, Section 2(c), which stipulates that although each constituency in a state ought to be equal in number of voters, a measure of weightage have to be given to areas which contain voters who are difficult to reach or have disadvantages with regards to being rural constituencies.
"But they did not specify what this weightage should be and how do we calculate it," Khoo said.
He reiterated constituencies with large disparities of voters, with the highest being Putrajaya (15,791 voters) to Kapar (144,159 voters).
"That means that one vote cast in Putrajaya equals to 9.129 votes in Kapar," Khoo said, adding that the government should review the efficacy of the first past the post system against that of proportional representation practised by other countries.
He said BN won 31 constituencies with majorities less than 3,000 votes, which added to 43,079 in total.
This was far from the majorities recorded by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua with a 44,672 majority and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok with 51,552 majority.
"Had the majority of Kok and Pua been distributed in these 31 seats, the results would have been different," he added.

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