MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, June 29, 2013

When odd is better than even

Kuala Besut rep’s death is food for thought for EC.
The death of Kuala Besut state assemblyman Abdul Rahman Mokhtar should be food for thought to the Election Commission as it prepares to redraw electoral boundaries.
Terengganu, like eight other states in Malaysia, has an even number of seats in its state assembly. In the last election, Barisan Nasional retained control of the assembly with a majority of two. If it loses in the impending Kuala Besut by-election, the state will have a hung legislature.
One way of dealing with the problem is for BN and Pakatan to agree to form a coalition government.
But that is easier said than done, given the deep enmity between the two sides, especially between Umno and PAS. There will, for instance, be a tussle for the Menteri Besar’s post.
Even if the Sultan of Terengganu steps in and appoints the person he feels is best suited for the job, the new chief executive will have to contend with antagonism from the other side that will conceivably last until the next general election.
Another situation cannot be ruled out, though. The two sides might agree to take turns in the Menteri Besar’s office.
However, there will also be tussles for executive council positions and other important government posts. In short, the situation will be messy.
Terengganu has 32 state assembly seats. The other states with even-numbered assembly seats are Pahang (42), Kedah (36), Penang (40), Selangor (56), Negeri Sembilan (36), Malacca (28), Johor (56) and Sabah (60).
A situation similar to Terengganu is conceivable in Perak, where BN has a majority of three.
The EC is expected to conduct the re-delineation process by the end of this year.
Perhaps it should ensure that the number of seats in every state is odd. It should do the same with Parliament. The Dewan Rakyat has 222 seats.

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