Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdeng, once said “Malaysia is among the most malapportioned countries in the world,” and that turned out to be true. Even in countries that are heavily gerrymandered to optimize the government’s demands, such as the case in Georgia, where congressional representatives are distributed unevenly across different geographical regions. However, Malaysia’s situation is unique.
Take a look at the following diagram:
The largest constituency, Kapar, in the state of Selangor, has 144,000 registered voters; whereas the smallest constituency, Wilayah Perseketuan Putrajaya, has 14,000 registered voters. Both constituencies elect one member of parliament each. There are two possibilities: the first case is that the MPs for larger constituencies are able to represent more people as effectively as MPs for tiny constituencies; or it is just blatant rigging of elections. Clearly the latter is the case.
Government seats, on average, represent as much people as half of that of opposition seats. In the 2013 (most recent) election, the oppositions (DAP, PKR and PAS combined) received 52% of the popular votes, whereas the BN (government coalition) only received 47% of the popular votes. Nevertheless, BN gets to govern because of a 44 seat difference.