Mar 10, 08
Barisan Nasional only gained about 51 percent of the popular vote from the 7.9 million ballots cast on Saturday.
However, it took 63 percent of the seats contested – or 140 of 222 seats in Parliament.
Interestingly, its peninsula-wide popular vote was only 49.79 percent, which effectively means that the opposition received the majority vote in this part of the country.
However, when converted to parliamentary seats, BN has 85 of the constituencies in the peninsula, while the opposition bagged 80.
Almost 40 percent of the BN’s seats are in Sabah and Sarawak – 55 out of 140.
In 2004, BN won about 64 percent of the popular vote nationwide and 92 percent of the 219 parliamentary seats on offer then.
Key non-Malay parties in BN have been reduced to 20 seats (MCA – 15, MIC – 3 and Gerakan – 2), making the ruling coalition predominantly Malay. On the other hand, the opposition appears more multiracial with PKR (31), DAP (28) and PAS (23).
As the dust settles on the 12th general election, we highlight a number of quirky facts and figures.
* The youngest candidate was PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is 26. He defeated Seri Setia incumbent Seripa Noli Syed Hussin.
* The oldest candidate was grandma Maimun Yusuf, 89, who contested in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat. She lost her deposit.
* 56 also-rans from opposition parties and independent candidates lost their deposits after failing to secure one-eighth of the votes cast.
* The largest majority was won by DAP’s Teresa Kok against BN’s Carol Chew, by 36,492 votes in the Seputeh parliamentary seat in Kuala Lumpur.
* The smallest majority was just 14 votes for BN’s Hamdi Abu Bakar who beat Abu Bakar Haji Hussain of PAS in the Pengkalan Baharu state seat in Perak.
* Four pivotal players in the Lingam tape scandal also won: Loh Gwo Burne (who recorded the footage), Wee Choo Keong (lawyer who represented VK Lingam’s brother during the inquiry) and R Sivarasa and Sim Tze Tzin (listed as witnesses but eventually not called). All four are from PKR. Sim’s lawyer at the inquiry, William Leong, has also won the parliamentary seat of Selayang for PKR. Anwar Ibrahim, the person who released the tape, was unable to contest due to his five-year ban in active politics. He will however be eligible after next month.
* There will be two ‘lone rangers’ in Parliament: Zulhasnan Rafique, the sole BN survivor in Kuala Lumpur’s 11 parliamentary seats – he took Setiawangsa; and DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen who won Bandar Kuching in Sarawak – the remaining 30 parliamentary seats went to BN.
* The biggest number of candidates was in the Sukau state seat, Sabah, where eight candidates ran, including five Independents.
Prominent blogger Jeff Ooi – whose campaign was done online and funds were raised through his website – won the Jelutong parliamentary seat in Penang for DAP.
Other bloggers are Tony Pua (DAP, Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary seat), Elizabeth Wong (PKR, Bukit Lanjan state seat) and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR, Seri Setia state seat).
Civil society activists who succeeded were Charles Santiago (DAP, water-privatisation issues), Edward Lee (DAP, local community), Elizabeth Wong and R Sivarasa (PKR, human rights).
The losses in BN component parties will result in vacancies in various ministries, forcing a cabinet reshuffle.
* S Samy Vellu (Works Ministry)
* Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
* Zainuddin Maidin (Information Ministry)
* Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin (Rural and Territory Development Ministry)
* Chia Kwang Chye (Information Ministry)
* G Palanivel (Women, Family and Community Development)
* Tan Chai Ho (Home Ministry)
* V Veerasingam (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry)
* S Sothinathan (Natural Resources and Environment Ministry)
* Donald Lim (Tourism Ministry)
* Fu Ah Kiow (Internal Security Ministry)
* M Kayveas (Prime Minister’s Department)
* Chew Mei Fun (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
* P Komala Devi (Education Ministry)
* Lee Kah Choon (Health Ministry)
* Ng Lip Yong (Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry)
* S Vigneswaran (Youth and Sports Ministry)
* Rahman Ibrahim (Home Ministry)
* Dr Mohd Ruddin Ab Ghani (Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry)
* Yew Teong Look (Federal Territories Ministry)
The full team from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (minister, deputy minister and parliamentary secretary) all lost in the polls.
All top MIC leaders were wiped out – president, deputy presidents, two vice-presidents, women’s chief and youth chief (one of the three vice-presidents, KS Nijar, did not contest).
Anwar Ibrahim, PKR de facto leader, quoted in Star today:
Some mentris besar in the past spent half-a-million ringgit to renovate their offices. Such things cannot be an example in this new administration.
Nurul Izzah Anwar, Lembah Pantai MP at a press conference yesterday:
(On whether she will vacate the seat to force a by-election so that her father, Anwar Ibrahim, can re-enter politics after a five-year ban): I have already started working in my constituency. The question does not arise.
PPP president M Kayveas, quoted in Star today:
Prior to the elections, Barisan Nasional had kept on telling people to show their dissatisfaction through the ballot box. Now they have really shown it.
Sungai Petani losing BN candidate Zainuddin Maidin, quoted in Star today:
It is not that they love PKR or PAS more that they voted against me.
The Chinese showed their resentment because of the economic backlash they often complained about. So, PAS and PKR should not be overly proud of their win (in Kedah).
The people may have to pay a price for their decision.
2008 polls – interesting facts