Malaysia's proposed electoral system draws flak

Malaysia's proposed electoral system draws flak
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

PETALING JAYA - The proposed adoption of the "one person, one vote" concept based on racial com­position for future polls has recei­ved flak from various quarters.

Describing it as unacceptable and impractical, different groups said the concept was not right for a multi-racial country such as Malaysia.

MCA vice-president Datuk Chua Tee Yong said voting along racial lines where one vote for leaders from their respective race might promote extremism.

"While Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is diligently promoting the 1Malaysia concept, such a proposal should not come out as it is discouraging racial unity and harmony," he said.

Chua, who is also Labis MP, said voting along communal lines would not reflect the Malaysian context.

He said the proposal had not been discussed among Barisan Nasional component parties.

"I will not be supportive of such proposal as MCA provides service to all. The proposed electoral system is flawed because the people under such a system will not be democratically represented as proportionately, the elected representative is elected based on race instead of the people's aspiration," he added.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim had told the Dewan Rakyat that the Government would have a closer look at a proposal to adopt a "one person, one vote" model based on racial composition, adding it would be recommended to the Election Commis­sion as part of the redelineation exercise.

Under the proposed system, the number of representatives representing the various races in the Dewan Rakyat should be based on the population percentage of the race.

Institut Rakyat research director Yin Shao Loong said the proposed system, whereby each voter would only vote a leader from the same racial group, "shows the impractical and nonsensical consequences of basing politics on racial considerations".

"It is regressive to suggest that race should be the ultimate determinant of political choice," Yin said.

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