How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mark Tan: ‘First-past-the-post’ system: A Malaysia-UK comparison

'Wan Ahmad, deputy chairman of the EC,  “Britain, already a few hundred years practising democracy, until now it uses first past the post”.

Perhaps the suggested inference would be that Malaysia’s electoral system may be compared with and is on par to that of the UK; alongside first world and democratic countries.

The purpose of this article is to assess the truth of this proposed inference. This is important as it is seen in light of two issues:

(1) the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform’s 2012 recommendation that the EC should review its stance on improving the ‘first past the post’ system and consider a ‘proportional representation’ system; and

(2) the EC’s task of making recommendations to parliament in re-delineating its constituencies by the end of this year.

Superficial similarities?

There are indeed similarities between Malaysia and the UK, in terms of the electoral system, but I am convinced that the dissimilarities far outweigh the similarities. Hence, Wan Ahmad’s analogical comparison is a false one.

In fact, one would realise that there are serious flaws in the Malaysian electoral system which must be addressed adequately by the relevant authorities. If remedial action is not taken, Malaysian democracy is at stake.

It is true that the Westminster Parliament of the UK and Malaysia’s Federal Parliament uses the ‘first-past-the-post’ system. Both are bicameral legislatures, with one elected House and another appointed one. On the one hand, the Westminster Parliament has 650 seats in the House of Commons. On the other, Malaysia has 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat. Thus ends the similarities between our two countries.

Alongside the ‘first-past-the-post’ system, there are several other factors which help ensure (to an extent) proportional representation in the democratic elections of Westminster Parliament.

This is not the case in Malaysia. To risk stating the obvious, there is a disparity between the popular vote and the seats won in the federal parliament of Malaysia in GE13; although Pakatan Rakyat won 51 per cent of the popular vote, the coalition only attained 89 seats, which is only slightly more than 40 per cent of the seats...'


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