Is mal-apportionment pro-rural, pro-Malay or pro-Umno?

Is the Election Commission mal-apportioning constituencies to benefit the Malay/rural voters at the expense of the non-Malay/urban voters? 

Wong Chin Huat,

ONE reason why electoral fraud and manipulation have not raised widespread objection is the myth that it is the necessary evil for the Malay-Muslims’ political dominance. 
The bipolar society which Malaya was in the 1950s – with about equal number of Malays and non-Malays – led the Malay nationalists to be highly suspicious of democracy. 
Thinking in zero-sum game’s mentality, like other nationalists in the world, the Malay nationalists shunned pluralism. They dreaded any possibility of the Malays being politically split, worrying that this would be exploited by the non-Malays, especially if the latter were united. 
They saw a natural trade-off between democracy and ethnic power and they picked the latter.
Perhaps nothing in our electoral arrangement illustrates this point better than the mal-apportionment of constituencies. 
As a matter of fact, “rural weightage” in the Federal Constitution was actually the code word for “Malay weightage”, to ensure the Malays’ political dominance, since in the early years, most Malay voters resided in the rural area and most rural voters were Malay.
Today, while many supporters and critics of the Election Commission (EC) may have a completely opposite value judgement, most of them would agree on one thing: the EC is mal-apportioning constituencies to benefit the Malay/rural voters at the expense of the non-Malay/urban voters.
Is this true?  
No. The cases of Baling and Alor Setar have made clear to us that the EC did not carry out pro-rural mal-apportionment as stipulated by the constitution. If anything, villagers of Baling today are punished with amplified difficulties in access to their MP, when their number is 35% more than the electorate of Alor Setar.
What about Malays? Could the anti-rural mal-apportionment happen because the EC went all the way out to over-represent the Malays in Alor Setar and under-represent the non-Malays in Baling?
Again, no. In 2004, Baling had 86.9% of Malay voters while Alor Setar had only 58.4%. The mal-apportionment of Baling and Alor Setar within the state of Kedah was not only anti-rural, but anti-Malay too. And this is not an isolated case.
Let’s look at the mal-apportionment within the parliamentary constituency of Puchong, an unquestionably urban seat. 
In 2004, Sri Serdang had 39,688 voters while its neighbour Kinrara had nearly just its half, at 20,006. Sri Serdang was then a 59% Malay constituency while Kinrara was 61% Chinese in composition.(See chart above).
In other words, if you lived in the Malay-majority Sri Serdang, you would get only half of the attention of your state assemblyperson than if you lived in the Chinese-majority Kinrara.
It was as if one got punished by the EC for living next to too many Malays? Why so? Isn’t the EC under the control of the Umno, whose raison d’etre is to protect the interests of Malays?
The 2008 elections revealed the secret. Then, the electorate of Sri Serdang had risen to 49,757. However, in a contest for 37,819 valid votes, Umno could only defeat PAS with a paper-thin margin of 45 votes, or 0.12%.
Umno’s support base in urban area was said to be so weak that it could not ensure its victory without carving huge constituencies to bring in enough supporters to counter the anti-Umno votes.
Baling had a different story. In 1999, Baling had an electorate that was more Malay (90.1%) but much smaller (53,886 voters in total), which handed the victory to PAS. 
The mal-apportionment in 2003 hence might not be aiming at securing an Umno victory there, but to take away as many as possible PAS supporters from the neighbouring constituencies. In contrast, before 2013, Alor Setar had always voted in MCA candidates.
Sri Serdang and Baling were not the only cases where Malay voters, opposition supporters in particular, suffer under-representation. 

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