Forgive Me There Was No Tsunami

After writing his brilliant analysis of the voting numbers in, Malaysiakini (go subscribe to them lah – stop reading the drivel on MSM), Dato’ Ramesh Rajaratnam now provides a follow-up piece explaining how he crunched the numbers.

There are statistics and then there are damned lies. Being an accountant, I would consider that my forte is in number crunching. And so the GE13’s results were, perhaps, an accountant’s dream. Or nightmare, depending on which side you were on.

I want to touch on a touchy topic to dispel some illusions. Unfortunately, up to now, for reasons perhaps best knows to themselves, no political analyst has done the simple math on the voting pattern. Perhaps when the leader cast an overall condemnation of sorts, the minions backed off. I saw an unfair statement attributed to a hardworking people who, in all fairness, want a better Malaysia. I do not for one moment think anybody in their right mind, at least as a Malaysia loving Malaysian, would run amok in the streets due to dissatisfaction over the GE13 results. I do expect some histrionics but no repeat of past horrors. The landscape has totally changed for the better since the 1960’s. There is certainly more awareness and if the GE13 results were anything to go by, rejection of extremism en masse.

I had written in Malaysiakini my post GE13 analysis “Gross Distortions in Malaysia’s Voting System” and my conclusions thereon. Many people have written to me to ask how I got some of the numbers as they are unable to get them directly from the Election Commissions (SPR’s) website. I wrote based on public information from various sites, including that from the SPR’s. The SPR too had revised its numbers since I first wrote my article 3 days ago based on SPR’s original disclosure. However, my estimates were accurate even after the SPR’s changes. I’m now doing the simple math.

Total no of registered voters: 13.3 mil

Total no of valid voters who voted: 11.09 mil (about 85%)

Total estimated registered Chinese voters: 29.8% (High side/ Low side: 25%)

Total estimated registered Indian voters: 0.9 mil or about 6.8%

Therefore total no of Chinese who voted:  3.3 mil high side (2.7 mil low side)

Assume 75% Chinese voted for Pakatan: 2.4 mil high side (2.1 mil low side)

Total Pakatan votes: 5.6 mil

Therefore Chinese voters in Pakatan’s results: 42.8% high side (37% low side). Therefore, the balance of the 3.2mil (57%) of the votes Pakatan got came from Malays, other Bumiputras and Indians. If you deduct the Indian votes (say estimated 60% to Barisan), at the very minimum, 52% of the Pakatan voters were Malay/Bumiputra. On the high side, Malay/Bumiputra support could have been 56%.

So if the word “tsunami” was used to describe the shift in the voting pattern, wasn’t the term misapplied, mon ami ?


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Dato' Ramesh Rajaratnam is an accountant who loves numbers because their interpretation can make one a friend or foe.

Posted on 9 May 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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14 Responses to Forgive Me There Was No Tsunami

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  2. oik65

    May I ask where your assumption of 75% Chinese votes for PR comes from?

    My own analysis of the data from KL found that some 89% of Chinese voters there chose Pakatan. You can do linear regression of % of PR votes against % Chinese registered voters in each constituency to get this figure. This is basic statistics. Perhaps you should try it instead of plucking numbers out of thin air.

    If this 89% figure were extended nationwide, then only 35% of non-Chinese votes are needed for PR to get 51% of the popular vote.

  3. CHAM

    Same results that I managed to receive after an entire day…..from OFFICIAL SPR documents, based on Parliament seats, but only trouble is the missing detailed-data on state seats (DUN) for KL, Putrajaya, Labuan & Sarawak.

  4. Close 1 eye

    The comments by RPK should be considered racist. Sad to note that this man has changed.

    • tarzan

      Yes rpk blog is full of drivel and arrogance.
      he makes everyone out to be stupid but himself.
      He has turned….

  5. truth hurts

    Although we can claim the moral high ground and reject racism, the reality on the ground is this. Malay voters matter. I AM Chinese and i certainly would not at this moment in time think that there should be a change in government unless 50 percent of the malays support it. Then it does not matter who the Chinese support as we would be supporting the Malay people and they would be supporting us. Hand in hand we stand…all across the land.

  6. Jeremiah

    The analysis of voting trends based on racial lines is interesting but not excatly truthful: the demand for democracy, clean governance and economic freedom is a justified global demand that any race, be it chinese, singaporean, thai or spanish would cherish and aspire for. The fact that the Chinese happened to be in the majority of urban areas does not indicate much except that the Chinese and other non-bumi races have been discriminated against by BN's policies for five decades.

    Imagine Steve Jobsm after seeing a surge in sales of Iphone3 in China, saying there is a major Chinese swing in sales of Iphone. Demand for Iphone is global and nothing to do with race. Same thing in Msia. Demand for fairness, justice and free and fair elections is universal. But the good news is change is coming and the people's mandate is shifting out of the government's hands.

  7. jeremiah

    The fact that a large % of urban residents happen to be Chinese does not mean this is Chinese phenomenon. It is like Steve Jobs saying that the surge in sales of Iphone 3 in China was a Chinese tsunami or windfall. Demand for justice like demand for a good snartphone is global in nature…nothing to do with Apa China mahu lagi. Lol.

  8. Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Actually, in some saluran, Umno was shocked to see that 100% of the Chinese voters voted DAP and not a single Chinese vote went to Barisan. Umno's figures show that more than 90% of the Chinese voters voted opposition and the turnout for Chinese voters was higher than for the Malays and others.

    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    • Prin My

      How would UMNO know what the distribution of chinese votes were if one's votes are supposed to be secret?

      • joetan_oz

        Shows that nothing is so secret after all if UMNO knows those figures as facts. If not true, they can just turn statistics into lies. and propaganda. More of the same in GE 14? Just wait and see. I doubt that no Chinese voted for Barisan. i am sure the BN diehards would have been fully behind BN for the fear of missing out on the gravy train! Cheers!

        • ashraf

          What is Raja Petra blabbing about that not even a single Chinese had voted for BN? What about the votes that MCA & Gerakan fetched despite not winning.

    • Musa_Ng

      Pete,

      Get your hand off it or you would go blind!!!

      To paraphrase, "some" saluran does not a tsunami make.

  9. Pepper Lim

    Nice!