The eleventh Sarawak state election will be held on Saturday, 7 May 2016 after nomination for candidates on Monday, 25 April. The 82 members of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, will be elected in single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting. More than 1.1 million who have their names entered or retained in an electoral register for a particular electoral district in Sarawak are eligible to vote at the time of the election. Malaysia does not practice compulsory voting and automatic voter registration. The voting age is 21 although the age of majority in the country is 18. The election will conducted by the Election Commission of Malaysia.
In 2015, there were 11 new constituencies created in Sarawak for the coming State Election.
New state constituencies
N13 Batu Kitang (Under P196 Stampin)
N17 Stakan (Under P197 Kota Samarahan)
N18 Serembu (Under P198 Puncak Borneo)
N23 Bukit Semuja (Under P199 Serian)
N26 Gedong (Under P200 Batang Sadong)
N40 Kabong (Under P205 Saratok)
N57 Tellian (Under P213 Mukah)
N63 Bukit Goram (Under P215 Kapit)
N66 Murum (Under P216 Hulu Rajang)
N70 Samalaju (Under P217 Bintulu)
N78 Mulu (Under P20 Baram)
In Jan 2016, it was reported by MERAP (http://www.bersih.org/merap-analysis-reveals-shocking-results-on-sarawak-delineation/) that 9 out 11 new seats are in favour of BN. On other news, seats of Bukit Kota and Bukit Sari where Lawas and Limbang are located are won by BN uncontested.
With these information, we did our own analysis on publicly available data and put them on maps. After that, we did our own analysis to find out if that is indeed the case that BN will win more seats because of the re-delineation.
Figure 1 – shows a comparison between BN (Barisan National) ruled areas versus PR (Pakatan Rakyat). BN (Blue) / PR (Yellow)
The Red lines show the boundaries of the state constituencies before the re-delineation exercise where as the Black lines show the boundaries of the state constituencies after the re-delineation exercise.
It seems like there is an attempt to split the PR supporting area in Bekenu to smaller areas.
Figure 2 – Enlargement of the Bekenu state constituency to emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
If we calculate the BN/PR ratio for these voting districts, they area breaking the already weak PR supporting area (0.81 BN/PR ratio).
Figure 3 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Bekenu
In Samalaju (new state constituency) the new boundaries showed that the BN supporting area has been increased – an attempt to convert this area to BN majority area? This area was a Chinese majority area before the re-delineation (showed in the pie chart in Figure 1 above).
Figure 4 – Enlargement of the Samalaju state constituency to emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
Figure 5 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Samalaju
From Figure 5 above, the PR supporting area in Samalaju was already having a weak / border-line voters’ support (0.9 BN/PR Voting Ratio). With the new boundaries, it was obvious that PR weight of influence in this area will be further weakened.
In Murum (new state constituency), the new boundaries showed that the BN supporting area has been increased – an attempt to convert this area to BN majority area? This area is an Orang Ulu majority area with 7648 registered voters.
Figure 6 – Enlargement of the Murum state constituencyto emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
Figure 7 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Murum (the new state constituency will reflect a stronger BN support constituency after the construct)
In Mulu (new state constituency), the new boundaries brought in highly BN supporting area into this new state constituency (1 – in the map below). This area is an Orang Ulu majority area with 8048 registered voters. The Telang Usan Area sees a split of a high PR supporting area to two (2 – in the map below).
Figure 8 – Enlargement of the Mulu and Telang Usan state constituencies to emphasize the change in boundaries from the re-delineation exercise
Figure 9 – BN/PR Voting Ratio for the area of Mulu / Telang Usan (the state constituencies will result in stronger BN support constituencies after the re-delineation process)
We have listed only a few of the observations from the 2015 re-delineation of the Sarawak State voting boundaries. Thus, this proved that the claim by MERAP that there is indeed a strong tendency of creating more advantages to the current ruling government to win the next State Election with a bigger majority, with the latest sentiments of the 1MDB scandals and strong discontent of the Rakyat with our current Prime Minister and other power abuse issues, we might still see more areas moving towards supporting the opposition parties. Nevertheless, we still feel that it is still a long way for Sarawak to give up BN ruling in the coming State Election.
Sarawak State Election 2016 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarawak_state_election,_2016
Tindak Malaysia – http://www.tindakmalaysia.org/
Danesh Chacko – http://daneshatlas.blogspot.nl/2016/04/mapping-elections-malaysian-style.html
The interactive map can be viewed in full here. The creation of this map was made possible was possible with input from Tindak Malaysia and Mapping your way.