Freedom from tyrants, both foreign and domestic by Yahya’s Yap
( post tagged for Malaysiakini by wattahack? )
Malaysia’s democracy has become plainly deficient in each of these respects, despite the fact that elections are held every 4-5 years.
1) The composition of parliament should be representative of the votes cast at the election. This is demonstrably not the case in the Dewan Rakyat (Malaysia’s lower house of parliament), which consists of 219 seats. 198 of these (90.4%) are controlled by the government, effectively rendering Malaysia a one-party state until the next election is held. This is despite the government only winning 63.9% of the vote.
When one considers the individual parties that make up the government, the unrepresentativeness becomes even more obvious. UMNO (the party of the Prime Minister) won just 35.9% of the vote – yet controls half of the seats in parliament (49.8%). PAS, the opposition party that won the largest number of votes (15.2%), has just 7 seats in parliament (3.2%). Both these parties have mainly Malay Muslim supporters. Looking at the two parties mainly voted for by Chinese, the government’s coalition partner MCA won 15.5% of the vote (about the same as PAS) but won 31 seats (14.2% of the parliament, while the opposition DAP won 9.9% of the vote but has just 12 seats in the parliament. The multi-ethnic but mainly supported by Malays opposition PKR won 8.9% of the votes but just 1 seat in the parliament. By contrast the government coalition partner MIC won just 3.2% of the vote, but holds 9 seats in parliament, more than PAS who nearly 5x as many Malaysian’s voted for.
This means for every seat in parliament the following number of Malaysians voted for them:
UMNO – 22,782 voters
MCA – 34,652 voters
MIC – 24,616 voters
DAP – 57,278 voters
PAS – 150,211 voters
PKR – 617,518 voters
is something wrong here?
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