And so Malaysia’s 13th General Elections came to and end on Sunday the 5th May 2013. The day started early for LGS and many Malaysians as they went early to polling stations and queued to go in to vote. The polling stations were open from 8 am until 5 pm. After that, many of us stayed glued to our TVs or followed the counting of the votes and the announcements of the results on the internet news sites, social media and also from reports tweeted, sms-ed or whatsapp-ed on our smartphones. And the results did come in slowly through the night and into the next morning.
When all the smoke had cleared, it seemed that the ruling Government Coalition (Barisan National or BN) had retained power for another time (they have ruled since independence in 1957). They won 133 parlimentary seats as compared to 89 won by the Opposition coalition (PR). This result would seem rather surprising if one surveys the sentiment shown and support given by the vast majority of Malaysian on the internet.
The result also did not reflect that the PR opposition had garnered 52% of the popular vote.
So how would you describe the Malaysian 13th General Election?
How would you describe an election in which………..
- through gerrymandering the ruling party needs far less than 50% of the popular vote to form Government.?
- little effort was made to ensure the integrity of the electoral roll? ( a survey of the electoral roll reveals a) cases where scores of voters are registered to the same house but clearly don’t live there and never had, b) some voters are named after vegetables and fruits and c) some people who have never registered to vote already have their names on the list)
- postal and early voting votes uniformly show support for the government candidates with a ratios like 8 to 2 even though the general voting show more support for the opposition?
- people are openly offered between USD 15 – USD 300 to vote for the ruling party and as high as USD 500 in certain key constituencies?
- the indelible ink meant to mark the fingers of those who have voted so that they cannot vote more than once was found to be not indelible and the Election Commission’s explanation is that the ink may not have been as strong as those used in other countries because it had to be “halal” for Muslim voters?
- many foreign migrant workers were given special, limited period, citizen identity cards which enabled then to vote?
- buses of foreign migrant workers appear close to the end of the voting at key polling stations and try to get them into the polling stations….often under police escort and protection?
- local residents caught many voters who cannot speak our national language, cannot sing our national anthem and cannot even name our Prime Minister?
- Election Commission staff do some strange things like trying to get independent observers to leave the polling station, illegally copying down lists of those who had already voted and not checking the identity of the voters?
- unexplained additional ballot boxes arrive hidden in government vehicles and on one occasion in a taxi after the votes have already been counted but before any official results are announced (some were stopped by local residents but others got through with police escort)?
- a number of vote counting stations at key constituencies all suffered power blackouts in the midst of the counting?
- a PR victory with a majority of over 1,000 votes in a key constituency is overturned when the BN candidate asked for a recount and giving the BN candidate a majority of several hundred even though an immediate vote recount is not allowed under election regulations?
- when the Election Commission announces that the government BN coalition had won control of one of the states even though the final total votes announced contradicts the simple addition of votes from individual polling stations which indicate the Opposition had won? (after this was pointed out, the Election Commission still has made no comment even after 4 days).
- some constituencies won by the BN party recorded as much as 30% new voters which is so much more than the national average of 11%?
- some constituencies won by the BN party recorded as much as 99% voter participation?
So how would you describe such and election?
The answer : “the Stolen Election”
LGS will willingly accept commiserations for Malaysia.