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Sistem piliharaya perlu dikaji, NGO

InsyaAllah dengan tekanan yang berterusan, kepanasan akan terus dirasai mereka. Dengan kepimpinan yang lemah, tidak mustahil pendirian mereka akan tergugat.

Thorough studies needed, says NGO
Sun2Surf, Giam Say Khoon

PETALING JAYA (Feb 1, 2007): Last month, theSun quoted Monash University Malaysia lecturer Wong Chin Huat as saying Malaysia's First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system needed to be reformed because it was undemocratic and results in seat-vote disproportionality.

He noted that in the 2004 general election, for example, the Barisan Nasional (BN) managed to win 91% of the seats in Parliament with only 64% of total votes (see chart).

Wong, who is reading his PhD at Essex University on electoral systems and its impact on Malaysia, had suggested that Germany's Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system was better, more democratic and technically easy for Malaysia to emulate.

He also said the PAS government in Kelantan could lead the way in electoral reform, and revive local democracy because the Federal Constitution empowered state governments to make laws to authorise the Election Commission (EC) to conduct local elections.

Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) and PAS respond:

* Mafrel chairman Abdul Malek Hussin said thorough studies must first be conducted to determine the suitability of other electoral systems for Malaysia.

He said Malaysia needed a proportionate representation (PR) system, which aims to achieve a close match between the percentage of votes obtained by a party or candidate and the percentage of seats they won.

However, he noted that voters were still unable to accept a candidate from a different racial origin.

Additionally, Malaysia had not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which would ensure that the government reconciled domestic laws with international standards to provide minimum guarantees of civil and political rights.

"The FPTP system will only prolong racial politics. We are talking about Bangsa Malaysia, (but) if we are not ready (for reforms), we will continue to suffer from racial politics, and the country cannot move ahead."

* PAS vice-president Husam Musa: "It would be futile for the Kelantan government to take the initiative for electoral reform through local council elections for the state.

"The EC, under the Prime Minister's Department, is using the same electoral system (FPTP), which is unfair. Can you trust the system?

"Although the Federal Constitution empowers the state government, the electoral system is the same. No point going through it again and again.

"I think the Kelantan government cannot afford to set up a state-level EC. If you have the money, you can do it but it is not cheap to hold an election."

However, he agreed that electoral reforms were urgently needed. Sun2Surf

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