A hung parliament least of M'sia's problems


I refer to an article in The Sun (March 5) where former finance minister Daim Zainuddin said that a "hung government will be painful and bad for the country given the lack of political stability."

It surprises me that a man who has been quietly busy with his expanding business empire of 14 bank branches under the name of ICB Banking Group, should return to the political arena to talk about the current political situation, and predict what would happen if the BN is not given the mandate to rule the country.

Whenever the press had wanted to interview him about his banking group, this man of great humility would prefer to stay away from the limelight. It is, therefore, very interesting that Daim should suddenly spring back into the political arena again with his comments - of all things, about a hung government, when we have hoped that he could at least shed some light into the billions of ringgit in losses recorded during former Dr Mahathir Mohamad's premiership.

As a former cabinet minister, Daim is entitled to his opinion. However, he has failed to realise that a "hung" government is largely unlikely, due to the gerrymandering that has taken place to the way the 222 parliamentary constituencies had been drawn up during Mahathir's era.

Based on an analysis of the 2008 general election done by CN Ng, it takes only 19% or 1.85 million of the total 10.9 million voters to return BN to a simple majority by winning a total of 112 seats. There is no way that Pakatan would take over Putrajaya, unless there is a clean and fair election and every Malaysian decides to come forward to cast their votes.

I was hoping that instead of talking about a hung parliament, perhaps, Daim should speak up against such gerrymandering done during Mahathir's era. It is one area that Bersih 2.0 and Tindak Malaysia have tried to bring to the attention of the parliamentary select committee (PSC) recently to seek for proper re-delineation of constituencies to allow for an equal vote for each registered voter.

At the moment, Putrajaya only has 6,608 voters, compared to Kapar in Selangor that has 112,224 voters (or 17 times the number of voters in Putrajaya). In other words, if RM1 million is allocated for each constituency, voters in Putrajaya would benefit more than voters in Kapar. This is one reason why Bersih 2.0 had been organised by the people, and it is wrong of Najib's administration to fight against the people.

Daim should realise that, compared to the 80s and 90s, these days, civil society is taking an active role in understanding the politics of the day. This is one thing that perhaps people like Daim should realise.

The Internet has made it possible for people to obtain information easily. Should anything happen in Sembrong the night before, for example, people throughout the country would immediately learn about it first thing in the morning.

Times have changed. And if the present regime continues to breathe the air of the past, it will not survive very long - and Daim, as an Umno veteran, should advise the younger Umno members on how best to behave themselves in the event that they lose the coming general election, in order to maintain political stability.