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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It appears like there is going to be a by-election in Penanti after all. The Penanti state seat comes under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constitue

Tuesday, 21 April 2009 | Raja Petra Kamarudin

It appears like there is going to be a by-election in Penanti after all. The Penanti state seat comes under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency. And the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh is Anwar Ibrahim. Tun Dr Mahathir has said he will lead the charge in Penanti. Expect this to be a ‘proxy war’ between Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim.


First, the results of the last three general elections:


Total Voters: 14,112
Total Votes cast: 10,827
Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Kadir (PKR): 6,405
Zulkefly bin Bakar (BN-UMNO): 4,422
Majority Votes: 1,983


Total Voters: 14,808
Total Votes cast: 11,915
Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid (BN-UMNO): 6,195
Anuar Shaari (PKR): 5,528
Majority Votes: 667


Total Voters: 15,421
Total Votes cast: 12,667
Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin (PKR): 7,346
Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid (BN-UMNO): 5,127
Majority Votes: 2,219

And for 2009?

So, what will we see in Penanti this by-election? What about a win for Pakatan Rakyat (PKR) with a majority of not less than 2,500 votes? Would this be possible?

The Barisan Rakyat Bloggers will certainly go down to the ground and work very hard to meet this aspiration. Menang, kalah, tak kisah. Janji kerja kuat dan cuba habis-habis.

Malaysian elections are heavily rigged in favour of the ruling party. Let me count the ways.

There is the gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries. Those seats which are strong opposition seats have as much as 120,000 voters while those seats that Barisan Nasional can win with both eyes closed and two hands tied behind their backs have as low as 5,000 voters.

What does this mean? This means even if the opposition garners 100,000 votes it will still be just one seat while Barisan Nasional can win four or five seats with that same number of votes. This is why, in the last general election, Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional won almost 50:50 of the popular votes but Pakatan Rakyat won only 82 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 140.

Then there are the 500,000 or so postal votes which will be increased to more than one million soon when the army volunteer reserve camps are created all over the country and in every parliamentary constituency. This gives Barisan Nasional a handicap advantage even before Nomination Day. Therefore, Pakatan Rakyat needs to garner one million votes just to come back to zero.

Then there are the unknown number of phantom voters -- where it is not uncommon to find 100 voters registered in one house that has only two or three residents. These are foreign workers issued with Malaysian identity cards or Umno people issued with more than one identity card so that they can vote half a dozen times at different polling stations throughout Polling Day.

Yes, the opposition must garner one million voters just to break even. And soon it would need two million votes to break even.

Last year, Anwar won the Permatang Pauh by-election with a majority of around 15,000 instead of 20,000 because of this. The same went for Nizar in the recent Bukit Gantang by-election where he could have won with a majority of 5,000-6,000 instead of half that if not for the cheating. Kuala Terengganu was the same. Wahid could have won with a majority of 6,000-8,000 if not because the police had closed all the roads two hours before polling ended and many voters could not reach the polling stations in time to vote. The police also did the same in Bukit Gantang.

I therefore do not expect a majority of more than 2,500 in Penanti. On a level playing field I would even dare put my money on a majority of 5,000.

That is all I want to say in this posting. Short and to the point! Let’s give Pakatan Rakyat a win with a majority of 2,500 votes.

See you all in Penanti on Nomination Day after we see you on 7 May 2009 in Ipoh where we shall storm the Bastille.

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