Malaysia's elections holds many lessons… | Singapore Informer

Finally it is over and the results are out. The opposition won more than half the votes counted but did not get enough seats to form the govt. The opposition support is concentrated in Peninsular Malaysia where they won 53.3% of the vote vs 45.7% for BN.

While the ruling party in Malaysia is very different from the PAP, there are several common traits they share. One is the control of the traditional news media. I always pick up a copy of the English newspapers whenever I go to Malaysia  – there is plenty of coverage for govt programmes, the leaders and nothing about the opposition – if there is something, it is usually negative. The Malaysian opposition has been able to overcome the state controlled media using the Internet and social media for its campaign.  “The mainstream media is completely controlled by the government and denied access to the opposition. Malaysia ranks 145 on Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index and has dropped in the ranking every year since 2003. During the campaign period countless hours of airtime and dozens of pages of newsprint are dedicated to promoting lies and misinformation about the opposition without providing any opportunity for rebuttal. There can be no real democracy with such a lopsided and biased media environment. Throughout the last five years Malaysian authorities have arrested bloggers under charges of sedition and treason.” – [Link]

Singapore’s mainstream media is ranked 149 compared with 146 for Malaysia’s. 

Another issue in this election is the lack of independence of the Election Commission. This election, the Malaysian EC;s reputation is completely ruined. Opposition supporters who are now the majority of Malaysian voters are suspicious of the election results. 

“It’s electoral fraud, the Election Commission’s complicity in the crime, attempting to steal the elections from the people,” – Anwar [Link]

There are many issues associated with the Malaysia election process – these include postal mail in votes, phantom voters, etc. In this election, there were accusations that foreigners were flown on chartered flights to closely fought seats to vote for the ruling party, vote buying, ballot stuffing, problems with indelible being washable. While it is not clear if these incidents were widespread, the social media reported many of these showing video evidence like this one below of foreign workers brought to polling centers.

“Based on the voter list gazetted in March 2013 the following has been identified:

– Postal voters who by definition are engaged in national service with a national origin from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Indonesia– 28,000 Philippinos and Indonesians designated as voters based inSabah but casting ballots in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor state

– The Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project has identified countless examples of dubious registrations in the voter file including instances of 100s of registered voters residing in a single home, foreign nationals listed as registered voters, individuals registered doubly as regular and postal voters,

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