Utter Non-Cense

This is something that I just don’t get. Why do people fib when it’s ever so easy to find out if they’ve been fibbing? I’ve noticed that a lot of what I write here on this blog is to highlight cases of fibbing, from Anwar’s Facebook alibi a couple of years back to most recently Sakmongkol’s blatant manufacturing of GE13 stats.

Well here’s another one.

One Rita Sim from an organization calling itself CENSE has been going around telling folks that only 54% of Malays voted for BN in GE13. The basis for this number, apparently, is a survey they conducted a week after the election. You can read about it here.

There’s a simple way to tell if CENSE’s numbers actually make any sense: See if they add up.

Here are the relevant facts:

1) Percentage of voters from each race that voted BN according to CENSE: Malays 54%, Chinese 13%, Indian 44%
2) Breakdown of registered voters by race (as of June 2012): Malays 52.53%, Chinese 29.98%, Indians 7.27%, Others (East M’sia Bumi, Orang Asli, etc) 10.22%.
3) BN obtained 47.4% of the total vote.

Now, if we knew what percentage of each race voted for BN and what percentage of total voters each race comprised, it would be very easy to calculate the percentage of the total vote that BN obtained. We multiply these 2 percentages together for each race, then just sum up the products. In other words, from (1) and (2) above, we should be able to calculate (3).

However, we do have a slight problem – CENSE doesn’t tell us how many of the “Others” category voted for BN. I’m afraid that for this, we’ll just have to guess. Now, the higher the percentage we assign to these “Others”, the lower the percentage for Malays that is needed for the numbers to match up. Let’s be very generous, and assume that 70% of the “Others” voted for BN.

So our calculation becomes
% of votes won by BN = (0.54 * 0.5253) + (0.13 * 0.2998) + (0.44 * 0.0727) + (0.7 * 0.1022)
= 42.6%

Hmm, the numbers don’t match. There’s a difference of about 5% between what we calculated using CENSE’s numbers and BN’s actual vote percentage. This is actually quite a large difference. If we spread this extra 5% evenly between the races, we’ll get something like: Malay 61%, Chinese 15% and Indian 50%. I’m not saying this was how people actually voted, but this does show how far away CENSE’s numbers are from being credible.

Incidentally 61% Malay support is quite close to the 63% estimated by blogger DAH Ikhwan. This is probably the 4th time I’m posting a link to his blog, but if you’re really interested in how proper analysis is done, you really should pay him a visit. His numbers match up with reality so much better than CENSE’s nonsense.


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One Response to “Utter Non-Cense”

  1. Oik again / Pop quiz | Helen Ang Says:

    […] See Oik65′s blog entry today titled ‘Utter Non-Cense‘. […]

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