monitoring the election (2)

UPDATED:  just notice, after posting this, that in the star paper, a writer had written about the different electoral system. click here (the star) to read or at beritamalaysia.


this is a continuation of my post ‘monitoring the election‘. please read that post first (if you haven’t yet) before you continue to read with this.

seemed that in malek’s presentation, he used english more than bahasa (while the other 2 speakers used bahasa entirely). good. easier for me to understand. guess it could be because many terms were in english.

from malek’s presentation, i learned of the name of  the electoral system we are now having – FPTP – first past the post. as you can read from the link given, FPTP is not a fair system. why?

e.g. in a constituency there are 3 candidates
candidate A received 4000 votes
candidate B received 3000 votes
candidate C received 3000 votes
now, naturally candidate A won… but notice that 6000 people out of the 1000 people did not vote for him! only 4000 voted for him, 6000 didn’t – that is more than half… and yet he won.

the proportional representation (PR) method is a better and fairer one but according to malek, the government would never implement it because if PR is used, BN would never get the 2/3 majority.

malek mentioned that MAFREL had recommended the parallel system – which is a combination of FPTP and PR.

malek also mentioned (and gave examples) of gerrymendering, especially at constituencies like kapar, seputeh, putrajaya and pekan.

some observatory issues explored by malek were  bribery, violence and phantom voters. phantom voters issues especially was very interesting and dramatically, comically brought up by malek. you know, about under-aged voters, dead voters. there was this one case found out by MAFREL, the record show a certain house has 142 residents. so from the address, they checked out the house, expecting to see a huge community house/apartment but they were shocked when the address lead them to a small attap shack that had only 2 residents!!

these are only part of what malek presented. of course i can’t tell all but i have the papers (printed from powerpoint) if any of you are interested. the presentation also includes the ‘observatory mission’ of MAFREL and what are the activities to do for the mission.

this brings me to the last presentation by hasnah on ‘methodology and documentation of monitoring’. here, hasnah explained the different forms an observer has to use/fill in when monitoring the election.

included in the file that MAFREL provided us are guidelines to observers, the election act 1958 (act 19) and election offense act 1954 (act 5) and guidelines for polling agent and counting agent.

indeed all the materials given to us in the file are very comprehensive, informative and useful. i’ll have to find time to read all of them.

the final part of the workshop is where we get into our respective states to commit ourselves to be coordinators for the election watch. (more about that on another post).

after the whole workshop ended, ong and i plus 2 other penang participants with malek, hasnah and the other MAFREL man for some teh tarik at pelita nasi kandar. it was during there that i got to talk to malek personally. (at the workshop i only managed to talk to hasnah personally during our break). when we departed, i make sure to tell malek i enjoy his talk very much as it was informative at the same time very funny!

all in all i enjoyed myself very much at the workshop and thank ong for inviting me. more people should be exposed to this workshop next time as they get to learn so much!

oh yeah, for ong’s write-up on the workshop, please visit his penang watch site.

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