18 Words You May Hear During Elections Explained Here

Don't be shy, we know you can't differentiate between a YB and a YAB.

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18 Words You May Hear During Elections Explained Here

ADUN? More like "Ah! Dun tell me about politics la." 

We know politics is boring and we agree. That's why we've created this quick and dirty dictionary for at least 18 things you might hear/read during the elections and what they mean.

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ADUN – Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri or Assemblyman, is the elected state representative in your constituency. They are given the title Yang Berhormat (YB). The ADUN you vote for will be your representative at the State Legislative Assembly and are styled "Yang Berhormat".
DUN – Dewan Undangan Negeri or State Legislative Assembly has powers to enact state laws, like the law banning plastic bags in Selangor for example.
Constituency – the group of voters that you find yourself in. These are divided into State Constituency and Parliamentary Constituency. So your vote counts within your state constituency and your larger parliamentary constituency. 
State Constituency – These are denominated by “N.” followed by numerals to represent an area of contestation. For example, N31, Subang Jaya. If you are in this state constituency, you will vote for a representative from within that community to represent your views at the State Legislative Assembly or DUN. There are 505 seats in total throughout the country and every individual state has its own amount of seats, again for example, Selangor has 56 seats.
Parliamentary Constituency – State Constituencies form together to make a Parliamentary Constituency, denominated by “P.” followed by numerals, for example, P.104 Subang (formerly Kelana Jaya). The state constituencies under them are N.31 Subang Jaya and N.32 Seri Setia. You will also vote for your chosen parliamentary constituency representative who will represent your interests at the Dewan Negara. So whoever controls the Dewan Negara can for example, ban plastic throughout Malaysia. 
Parliamentary Seat – There are 222 seats in total across the country. As an illustration, Selangor has 22 of those seats. So voters in Selangor will vote for 22 people to sit in those parliamentary seats. Whoever wins the majority seats in this segment wins the election, i.e., more than 112 seats. During GE13, BN won 140 seats while PKR won 82 seats. Whoever wins the majority wins the ability to influence votes in the Dewan Negara, again like we said, a complete plastic ban on the whole of Malaysia can only happen here. 
YAB – Yang Amat Berhormat, is a title given to the Menteri Besar and Ketua Menteri of a state. In English they are known as First Minister and Chief Minister respectively.
MP – Member of Parliament is the person you vote for in your Parliamentary Constituency. He or she will have power to speak on issues at the Dewan Negara or Parliament. The place where the fake news bill was passed. Or the place where you can get plastic banned. We don't hate plastic, but it's just the easiest example. 
Menteri Besar – States with hereditary rulers have Menteri Besars or First Ministers. This person is elected at the state legislative level or DUN.
Chief Minister – The four states in Malaysia without a monarch call this leader the Ketua Menteri or Chief Minister. This person is elected at the state legislative level or DUN. We're not sure if their powers are different, or why there must be a distinction between the two. For the record, it would be nice for someone to call you "Chief" unironically. 
Redelineation – The drawing of boundary lines that make up your state or parliamentary constituency. So if you’re in N.31 Subang Jaya, the redelineation exercise can add more people or remove people from your constituency. The aim is to make every constituency fairly equal in size, according to the Constitution of Malaysia.
Gerrymandering – Gerrymandering is when you use boundary lines to choose voters as a form of manipulation to your favour. We did a video on this topic and you can watch it right here:


Spoilt Vote – Or Undi Rosak, happens when you incorrectly mark your ballot paper. There’s a fair amount of rubbish being circulated on Whatsapp about the correct way to vote. If you’ve mistakenly filled your ballot, your vote is considered spoiled, and it does not count. So make sure you vote correctly. Refer to this SPR guide to marking your ballot to get it right. No, you don't have to mark perfect X for your vote to count. Such rubbish. 
Postal Voting – This allows you to send in your votes via mail. Read our guide to learn all you need to know about the postal voting process.
Ballot – This is the paper you will receive on polling day. You will receive two ballot papers: one to mark your representative for the state seat, and one for the parliamentary seat. Again, one affects your immediate area, let's say Subang Jaya, while the other affects Malaysia. You need votes in both to win. 
Manifesto – The public declaration of policy and aims of a political party or candidate before an election. Sometimes these promises are met and sometimes they are not. For example, the promise of every Malaysian owning a computer. Or more funding for universities, or that petrol prices will always be controlled, and so on and so forth. 
Popular Vote – This denotes that you gained the most amounts of votes, but does not mean you win the election. For example, in GE13, Pakatan Rakyat won the popular vote; 5.6 million people voted for the party, but lost the election. Barisan Nasional had fewer people voting at 5.2 million votes but still won the election. As we’ve learned, you need parliamentary seats to win. 
Election Commission – They are an independent commission set up for the purpose of ensuring a fair and equitable election process. And that’s all we’re going to say about that.

Have some things you aren't sure of or want to report items that are plain wrong? Bug this writer by emailing him through RD's inbox: 

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