Ethnic voting trends could effect electoral boundaries, claim experts

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 15 Feb 2014

PETALING JAYA: Ethnic voting patterns are likely to influence how the electoral voting boundaries will be redrawn, claim political analysts.

Ibrahim Suffian, the co-founder of Merdeka Centre said that was because that was the simplest way of looking at how people voted.

He said there were 80 marginal seats that would be interesting to observe.

These areas include southern Kedah, central Perak, north Selangor, south Johor and the Kadazan heartland in Sabah, said Ibrahim.

"The realities on the ground is that people live in ethnically identifiable neighbourhoods," he said during a public forum 'Towards a Fairer Electoral System 2014' that was organised by Tindak Malaysia and the Bar Council.

"This is driven by our political system which is predominantly race based," he said adding that Umno and PAS would look to contest in the majority Malay constituencies for example.

He also said there was an increased racialisation of politics of late.

Political Associate Professor of Singapore Management University Dr Bridget Welsh said that in the past, boundaries were also drawn along ethnic composition.

"History has shown that what will work in the next election will provoke response and adaptations two elections down the road. In some cases it can backfire," she said.

In GE13, Barisan Nasional won 60% of the seats with 47% of the overall vote while Pakatan Rakyat won 40% of the seats although they obtained 51% of the overall vote.

The Election Commission (EC) is expected to carry out a re-delineation exercise this year. Once started, the process has to be completed within two years.

The EC last completed a re-delineation exercise in March 2003.

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