Time to change the electoral system

About a month ago, I had wrote an column about making every vote count by moving away the current electoral system based on First Past the Post (FTPT). It has found an unlikely supporter in former Election Commission chairman and deputy speaker Azalina Othman. Gerrymandering is the essence of FPTP. Between 1959 until 2013, the vote share of the incumbent ruling coalition was between 47.4% to 65.2%. This vote share translated into 60% to 90% of the MP seats for the ruling coalition.

The FPTP system requires small number of votes to remain in power. In the 1959 General Election, the Alliance (UMNO-MCA-MIC) won 72% of seats with just 52% of the votes but comprising only 37% of the total registered voters. This number further shrinks as there are many unregistered but eligible voters. In fact, Pakatan Harapan did not came into power with a majority vote in General Election 2018. The siphoning off of Barisan Nasional votes by PAS put PH in power.

Historically, FPTP granted supermajority representation in the Parliament from small vote shares. This eroded separation of powers through allowing unilateral constitutional amendments paving way for abuses of power such as corruption, patronage, and cronyism. The FPTP is extremely undemocratic as it does not represent the political aspirations of the people.

It is time to change the electoral system to a proportional representation system, where seats are allocated according to a party’s vote share. However, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) advocates that 1/3 of the MPs must be allocated from East Malaysia.

SHARAN RAJ
Central Committee
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
&
State Secretary
Parti Sosialis Malaysia Negeri Melaka (PSM Melaka)

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