Malaysia, 2013.

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May 6, 2013 by Wayne.

A brief post, since: (1) There are plenty of better articles from more highly educated people circulating out there, and (2) I’m really only writing this to stop from falling asleep after a heavy-as-fuck lunch. Apologies too for the lack of structure, pretty much going off-the-cuff here

P.S. Anwar is holding a conference today on Wednesday at 9pm (or is it 8?) at Kelana Jaya stadium

That was some night, eh?

While most supporters of PR (and a fair election process) are understandably disappointed, PR still managed to do pretty damn well this time round. It IS, after all, the best opposition showing in our post-colonial years. Some deets below.

These are the results of the last 11 elections (the ones where Sabah & Sarawak have been added in).

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

Change in Total Seats

Change in Total Seats

And on to the real shiznit:

% Seats

% Seats

In terms of seats, PR has been closing the gap but there are plenty of reasons why they’re not quite there yet. PAS underperformed, narrow losses after suspicious recounts and, most importantly, Pakatan doesn’t have quite the grip that BN has on vote farms in East Malaysia. It’s not all doom and gloom though, PR did show some progress there – especially in the urban areas.

More interestingly, here’s a graph of the popular vote with 2 period moving average trendlines added on.

% Popular Vote

% Popular Vote

As long as nothing major goes in favour of BN / against Pakatan in the next 4-5 years, we’ll most likely see a further shift in the popular vote come GE14. Aw yeah, Markov chain! Remember, “no oppressive system ever gives up voluntarily without being worn down slowly by the resistance of the oppressed”. We don’t all need to be non-best responders for Markovian incrementalism to hold true.

Having said that, a first-past-the-post system tends to lead to these kind of results (a less popular party being elected as government – even when there are only two parties, Mr. Arrow!). It’s not going to be difficult to take back Sabah and Sarawak, but never give up hope. Sure, if it was a fair election (list of election offences, the majority of which have been repeatedly carried out by BN), PR would probably have prevailed this year. But there’s no point worrying too much about what could have been.

Oh, here’s an article from the New Yorker on the popular vote system.

And let’s hope Pakatan doesn’t implode in the meantime. PAS needs to be more united than ever and drag more voters back. Let Kedah be a humbling lesson. It’ll be interesting to see if Anwar does follow through and leave, though (plus how PR copes with that. I’m assuming there’s a contingency plan and the parties won’t just descend into squabbling that’ll be eagerly reported by BN-funded mainstream media. Right?). Also, I’m predicting that Najib will step down, probably by the end of the year – voluntarily or otherwise. A new Umno PM, backed by Mahathir, won’t be good news for Pakatan. That’ll be the perfect platform for BN to pretend to learn from their mistakes and swing voters over.

MIC and MCA are pretty much fucked though.

We’re going to have to look at educating the rural areas more than ever now. It’s really difficult when they get easily swayed by (illegal) offers of cash, water etc for votes, though. All the systematic corruption and exploitation keeps them in poverty too and, by extension, keeps one of the longest running governments in the world alive.

GE14 is going to be interesting.


Off the top of my head, a couple of half-baked responses to some things I’ve seen circulating around FB:

This was supposed to be the year, there’s no defeating this corrupted government
It looked promising, yeah, but there’s no point in giving up. Opposition politicians have been fighting against this oppression for many decades now, and things are finally starting to look slightly brighter. Keep up the good fight brah

Change for the sake of change is stupid!
Not when it leads to an unchecked grip on power for this long. Besides, no one’s suggesting we change because we’re just bored of BN.

We should be thankful to the government and stop blaming everything on them. Why blame them for not having a better quality of living? The high cost of living is your own choice la, why spend so much
Your lifestyle has nothing to do with your purchasing power parity, you fucking tool

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