A week after the Election Commission (EC) announced its redelineation plans, debates continue to rage on the way it was done, among them whether the transfer of voters will create further racial polarisation.
This is particularly true for racially-mixed Selangor, which will see its electoral constituencies substantially altered by the EC.
Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming on Wednesday published data on how the redelineation will change the majorities in Selangor state seats won by the respective parties, as well as how the racial composition in each seat will change.
Malaysiakini has further analysed this information and puts together here a series on infographic to address questions on whether Selangor would become more racially divided.
Based on the available data, Malaysiakini broke down all 56 state seats in Selangor into five categories, depending on the representation of a particular race in the respective seats.
A race comprising less than 20 percent in a constituency is assigned “small minority” followed by “large minority” (20 percent to 39.9 percent), “moderate” (40 percent to 59.9 percent), “large majority” (60 percent to 79.9 percent) and super majority (80 percent and above).
Through this method, the data shows that in the last general election, Malay voters formed a small minority in five seats, followed by 12 seats with a large minority, 22 with moderate representation, 13 with a large majority and four with a super majority.
Under the newly proposed EC redelineation, seats where Malay voters comprise 60 to 79.9 percent (large majority) are expected to increase by more than two-folds, from 13 to 27.
Seats with less than 20 percent Malay voters (small minority) will also increase, from five to eight.
In short, Malay representation will either become very small or very large in more than half of all the state constituencies in Selangor, which is an indication that there will be fewer racially-mixed seats.
For example, seats where Malay voters comprise 40 percent to 59.9 percent will drop from 22 to nine. Seats where Malays voters comprise 20 to 39.9 percent will also drop from 12 to eight.
The four Malay super majority seats remain unchanged.
As for Chinese voter representation in the last general election, they made up a small minority in 18 seats, followed by a large minority in 21 seats, moderate representation in 12 seats, large majority in three seats and super majority in two seats.
Under the proposed redelineation, seats comprising 60 to 79.9 percent (large majority) Chinese voters are expected to increase from three to eight.
Seats where Chinese voters comprise less than 20 percent (small minority) are set to increase from 18 to 26.
This is again at the expense of the more racially-mixed seats, where constituencies comprising 20 percent to 39.9 percent Chinese voters will go down from 21 to 14 while seats comprising 40 to 59.9 percent Chinese voters will go down from 12 to seven.
Chinese super majority seats will also be reduced from two to one.
This trend similarly shows that in more than half of the state seats in Selangor, Chinese representation will either be very small or very large.
Malay representation boosted
While this polarisation is true for both Malay and Chinese voters, it should be noted that the overall representation of Malays will be boosted, while Chinese representation is to be diluted.
The largest spike for Malay voters are in seats where the community has a large majority, increasing from 13 to 27 seats.
This means “large majority” is now the dominant category among Malay voters, which is an upgrade from the “moderate” category in the last general election.
As for Chinese voters, the largest spike was instead in seats where the community comprises a small minority, increasing from 18 to 26.
This means “small minority” is now the dominant category among Chinese voters, which is a downgrade from the “large minority” category.
As for for Indian voters, their representation after redelineation will remain similar to the 13th general election.
Seats where Indian voters comprise a small minority will increase slightly from 44 to 45, whereas seats where Indian voters comprise a large minority will drop from 12 to 10.
However, Selangor will see its first and only seat where Indian voters comprise more than 40 percent.
There was no state seat in Selangor that had more than 40 percent Indian voters in 2013.
Readers who are interested in more detailed data can refer to the charts below, which provides the growth/shrinkage of the respective races in the 56 state seats in Selangor.
They are sorted by political parties and in ascending racial representation, based on the pre-redelienation boundaries.