The boycott of Batu Talam by-election reminds me of the past Thai election.

The natural question is this: is there a Malaysian provision that would null and void the election result if certain quota is unfulfilled, i.e. very low voter turnout?

13 Responses to “[1050] Of Batu Talam: null and void?”

  1. on 14 Jan 2007 at 14:27 Mat Merah

    Sorry mate! No such luck.

    Malaysia practises the first-past-the-post system and if there is only one candidate – who has to fulfill all conditions of candidacy – remains on nomination day, that candidate wins the seat.

    In Thailand, the sole candidate must still garner at least 20 percent of votes to win the seat.

    That’s that! We should push for a similar system in Malaysia as boycotts and lack of contests deprive citizens of their right to vote.

    And that isn’t democratic, is it?

  2. on 14 Jan 2007 at 14:30 johnleemk

    Haha, BN would never leave such a loophole preventing it from claiming walkovers. Without any such measures in place, IMO, the boycott is worthless.

  3. on 15 Jan 2007 at 14:10 sigma

    I wrote about this on my blog yesterday. I too, do not agree with the PAS’s boycott strategy. Counterproductive.

  4. on 16 Jan 2007 at 22:22 Abdullah Gul

    [ADMIN: suspected impersonator with nick GaryWBush, Musa, Gul etc. Kindly ignore: see http://maddruid.com/?p=1078 ]

    The boycott of Batu Talam by-election reminds me of the past Thai election.

    Malaysian election and Thai election is very different. Malaysia is a democratic country following Westminister (British) tradition with a single 49-year old constitution, while Thailand is a military dictatorship that has a history of many coups and many constitutions.

    The natural question is this: is there a Malaysian provision that would null and void the election result if certain quota is unfulfilled, i.e. very low voter turnout?

    That’s a very stupid question and also non-natural question. You do know that since Malaysia is a democratic country following the Westminister tradition there is no such provision as that would be anti-democratic.

    An example would be the United Kingdom (our former colonial master) where even if the opposition Conservatives theoretically boycotts the next British general election, the ruling Labour will win uncontested as you see in Singapore where PAP has governed for 40 years uncontested.

    Thailand quota system is anti-democratic but then what do you expect from a country that is currently a military dictatorship and has a history of many coups and many constitutions! If registered voters refuse to vote or spoil their votes its their human right and the election should not be null and void just because of low voter turnout.

    Aside, PAS boycott is a political gimmick as it hopes to save face and perhaps even RM 5,000 deposit. PAS received a trashing in 2004 GE after the Anwar issue died out and I am absolutely sure than in 2009 GE, PAS will lose all seats in Malay-majority Kelantan and Nik Abdul Aziz will be sent into retirement. After all, the Anwar issue will completely die out in 2009, with Wan Azizah losing her Permatang Pauh seat.

    Kadir Jasin, the former NST Group Editor-in-Chief in his blog has made a good observation why PAS refuses to contest.

  5. on 16 Jan 2007 at 22:40 Abdullah Gul

    [ADMIN: suspected impersonator with nick GaryWBush, Musa, Gul etc. Kindly ignore: see http://maddruid.com/?p=1078 ]

    Mat Merah wrote:

    Malaysia practises the first-past-the-post system and if there is only one candidate – who has to fulfill all conditions of candidacy – remains on nomination day, that candidate wins the seat.

    All democracies, regardless, Malaysia, United Kingdom and Singapore practise the first-past-the-post system. If you observe Singapore, you will note that PAP has for 40 years won uncontested, while in our own Malaysia, this Batu Talam by-election is AFAIK the first time UMNO wins uncontested because PAS is chicken.

    Mat Merah wrote:

    In Thailand, the sole candidate must still garner at least 20 percent of votes to win the seat.

    Thailand is currently military dictatorship and if we look at its history, it has had many military coups and many constitutions. As such, Thailand is not a model democracy and we should continue to emulate as best practises the model set by our former colonial master, United Kingdom, or even our southern neighbour Singapore. Both of them are democratic societies that follow the Westminister Tradition.

    Mat Merah wrote:

    That’s that! We should push for a similar system in Malaysia as boycotts and lack of contests deprive citizens of their right to vote.

    Who is this “we”? Why should we push for such a dictatorial system that is fit only in military dictatorships like Thailand? As Thailand has contempt for democracy, it has many times overthrown elected governments (yes, Thailand has a history of coups) and that’s defying people’s will. No matter what, the military should never interfere.

    Your faulty beliefs wrongly perceive lack of contests as depriving citizens of their right to vote. You conviniently forget that in a democracy (ie United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore) citizens have right to vote and right not to vote. Even if all registered voters do not turn out and opposition parties boycott an election, the incumbent candidate should be winner-by-default.

    Mat Merah wrote:

    And that isn’t democratic, is it?

    Yes, what you propose is anti-democratic just as Thailand is anti-democratic dictatorship like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or Taliban Afganistan.

  6. on 16 Jan 2007 at 23:29 johnleemk

    Wait…kindly explain how it is undemocratic to require a certain proportion of the electorate to give a candidate their support before he can be elected?

    And your assertion about first-past-the-post being used in all democracies is flat-out wrong. Off the top of my head, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand all have national-level electoral systems based on other systems such as the single-transferable vote.

  7. on 16 Jan 2007 at 23:30 Hafiz

    Gul, when the Thai had their election, it was months before the coup. The current junta has no role in formulating the election quota rule. Regardless, I said the boycott reminds me of past Thai boycott, through context. You missed it.

    Observing a Westminster does not guarantee the existence of non-democracy law. Malaysia has anti-democratic law in spite of observing Westminster system. Also, be careful of calling others stupid.

    Further, not all countries practice first-past-the-pole. Germany for instance practices proportional representative system which is a more perfect type of election compared to FPTP. FPTP is not a prerequisite for democracy.

  8. on 17 Jan 2007 at 08:49 sigma

    Australia does not need a prerequisite % of votes for a candidate to win a seat. It, however, has a very unique Preference Voting System, where the candidates are ranked from 1st preference to last by voters. The candidate with the lowest number of votes drops out of teh contest, and the voters who had given him their 1st preferences would have their 2nd, 3rd, etc preferences distributed to the other candidates. This goes on until a clear winner emerges.

    This system is supposed to encourage a more multi-party contest in elections, instead of just a 2-party system, which is served very well by the FPTP system. ‘Protest’ votes in the Protest votes to smaller parties would no longer be considered ‘wasted’ votes, as even of that candidate loses, the voter’s 2nd preferences could still go to one of their preferred major parties.

    The Senate in Australia is elected through a representational voting system, based on state populations. The House is just based on a ‘one person one vote’ basis, like Malaysia.

  9. on 17 Jan 2007 at 09:07 anon

    Sigma,

    I think the Australian system requires a candidate to get a majority of the votes i.e. at least 50%+1 vote, and not as per your statement,

    “Australia does not need a prerequisite % of votes for a candidate to win a seat.”

    The preference system kicks in when the candidate with the most number of votes did not achieve a clear majority.

  10. on 17 Jan 2007 at 16:25 Mat Merah

    Mr Gul,

    The right to vote and the right not to vote is indeed democratic. But one must have the choice first.

    Without any election, how can one decide whether to vote for any candidate or to refrain from voting?

    Pray tell.

  11. on 17 Jan 2007 at 16:29 Dek Mat

    Mr Gul

    I think you’re mis reading Mat Merah’s comment. He was trying to promote the 20% minimum vote for the sole candidate – thats democratic

    He was not trying to promote the coup- duh! – that’s of course is VERY undemocratic…

    peace!

  12. on 19 Jan 2007 at 16:31 Impersonator

    [Admin: Impersonation is not tolerated here.]

  13. […] many ridiculous comments at my blog. You could read some of his comments at various of my entries ([1050], [1048], [1036], [988], [979], [976], [973], [948], [952],  [850], [695], [435] and […]

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