Does MCA expect Umno to deliver it the Malay votes?
Out of the 15 Parliamentary seats which MCA currently holds, nine are in Malay majority areas.
See percentages in bold under ‘M’ (Malay) column in chart below
In the last general election, MCA had stood in 40 Parliamentary constituencies. The party won only 37.5 percent of the seats it contested. Fail.
Parliamentary seats won by MCA
In the Chinese majority areas, MCA won a mere six Parliamentary seats.
Updated: MCA only won in four areas of above 50 percent Chinese majority: Kampar (62.6%) in Perak, and Kluang (52.4%), Gelang Patah (54.1%) dan Kulai (58.8%) all in Johor.
For a comparison of DAP making an almost clean sweep of the Chinese majority areas, see breakdown below and table at footnote, bottom of page. — 8.45am, Oct 3
DAP victories in almost mono racial Parliament seats:
- Chong Chieng Jen — Kuching (91% Chinese voters)
- Tan Seng Giaw — Kepong (90%)
- Teresa Kok — Seputeh (90%)
- Chow Kon Yeow — Tanjong (85%)
- Tan Kok Wai — Cheras (84%)
- Lim Kit Siang — Ipoh Timor (81%)
DAP Parliamentarians in 75-80 percent Chinese electorate seats
- Fong Po Kuan — Batu Gajah
- Tony Pua — Petaling Jaya Utara
- Hiew King Chiew — Kota Kinabalu
- Fong Kui Lun — Bukit Bintang
DAP Parliamentarians in 70-75 percent Chinese electorate seats (coincidentally all in Penang)
- Lim Guan Eng — Bagan
- Chong Eng — Bukit Mertajam
- Liew Chin Tong — Bukit Bendera
- Karpal Singh – Bukit Gelugor
It is clear that it was the Malay voters who gave the party its lifeline because out of the nine Malay-majority seats retained by MCA, in eight of them the opponents who lost to MCA were Malays. Meaning, between the choice of MCA Chinese vs. PKR/PAS Malay or between MCA Chinese vs. DAP Malay, the Malay voters who support BN had in 2008 plumped for the Chinese candidate.
The question today is whether Umno can still persuade its Malay base to vote MCA given the prevalent race tensions and such acts as that depicted in the photo below. The behaviour of an unrepentant young man is one thing. The behaviour of the Chinese who quite unanimously refuse to see any rudeness in what he did is another matter altogether.
Malays did not cast their votes for the Chinese politician concerned in his individual capacity but they voted their belief in the Dacing brand. That was how the BN formula traditionally worked.
However, there has been a sea change in race relations since 2008 that saw traditions fall by the wayside, as exemplified in the recent National Day fiasco of separate celebrations, different logos and multiple slogans.
In fact, the building up of the currents leading to the March 8 tsunami can be seen in the voting patterns of several seats where a Chinese candidate had been pitted against a Malay candidate rather than the more common permutation of Chinese vs. Chinese, Malay vs. Malay, Indian vs. Indian, etc.
Case Study (I): Kuantan
In the 2004 general election, MCA’s Fu Ah Kiow carried Kuantan with a comfortable majority of 9,147 votes. He lost in 2008.
Fu obtained 16,572 votes (47%)
PKR’s Fuziah Salleh obtained 18,398 votes (52%)
Voter turnout: 35,593 (74.5%)
Majority: 1,826 votes
Spoilt votes: 623
Voter demography — Malay: 59.97%, Chinese: 35.93%, Indian: 3.88%, Others: 0.22%
Confronted with the choice between the PKR Malay and the MCA Chinese, the 60 percent Malay Kuantan electorate decided to abandon the BN ship. Kuantan was a BN seat held by Fu the MCA incumbent in 2004 and by Umno in the previous general election of 1999.
Note also that in Bandar Tun Razak, the 52.73 percent Malay electorate opted for PKR’s Malay candidate (Khalid Ibrahim) in favour of MCA’s Tan Chai Ho who failed to defend his seat despite being a two-term MP. In GE 2004, Tan won with a handy majority of 17,527 while in 1999, he had beaten Dr Chandra Muzaffar then representing Parti Keadilan.
This trend of Malay voters rejecting the MCA is indicated in the seats that the coalition lost in GE12, which besides Kuantan and Bandar Tun Razak, also include Bayan Baru held by Gerakan in 2004 and MCA in 1999.
The Umno whip is no longer assured of being able to compel its members to toe the BN line. Instead the generally pro-establishment Malay voters have displayed a willingness to drift away from MCA if the opposition puts up a Malay candidate.
Parliamentary seats lost by MCA
MCA defeated in 25 Parliamentary seats (table above).
Case Study (II): Alor Setar
Come GE13, the Umno Malay voters may abstain by simply choosing to stay home. Or they could cast their ballot for a fellow Malay-Muslim albeit the individual is a PAS or PKR opponent of BN.
Details below on the Alor Setar seat in which Minister for Housing and Local Government Chor Chee Heung scraped through by a wafer-thin margin.
Chor obtained 20,741 votes (48.0%)
PKR’s Gooi Hsiao Leung obtained 20,557 votes (47.6%)
Voter turnout: 43,055 (73.0%)
Majority: 184 votes
Spoilt votes: 1,757
Voter demography — Malay: 62.57%, Chinese: 32.95%, Indian: 4.16%, Others: 0.33%
Alor Setar could easily go to Pakatan with the slightest twitch factored on the following variables: A higher turnout compared with GE12’s lackadaisical 73 percent, a reduction in spoilt (most likely Mahathirist protest) votes, and a greater number of young or first-time electors making their way to the polling booth.
Is the YB Alor Setar a winnable candidate? Chor Chee Heung has been tainted with allusions of corruption levied by DAP Subang Jaya Adun Hannah Yeoh, for which a police report by MCA Kelana Jaya was lodged against her.
MCA in 6 states only and sliding
Of MCA’s 15 Parliamentary seats, seven of them are in Johor.
The party has zero Parliamentary seats in Penang and only one in Selangor, i.e. Pandan held by its past president Ong Tee Keat.
All of MCA’s Parliamentary seats are in the peninsular west coast. Unlike DAP, the MCA has no Parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak.
Table below: In the 1969 elections, MCA and DAP were even in their seat count, and as in 1978 too as well as 1990 when DAP had a good outing.
In the rest of the GE series, it is an inverse equation — if MCA was up, DAP was down and vice versa.
Star a BN health hazard
For the 2012/3 GE, the consensus is that DAP will reach its zenith. Hence if DAP is expected to be at the pinnacle of its electoral fortunes, then MCA will naturally hit rock bottom.
Indeed the party appears determined on going the way of the dinosaur.
Why is it that knowing how non-Chinese votes are pivotal to its survival, the MCA yet continues to allow its media to promote the DAP evangelical ethos that is perceived as a threat in religious rivalry by Malay-Muslims?
Why is it that we had to read the following factoid – “in the Budget 2013 BN had allocated RM100 million to all the Chinese school(s) in entire Malaysia compared to Pakatan Rakyat ZERO in the 2013 budget” – in The Mole and not in The Star?
In the more than 4-and-1/2 years since 8 March 2008, the position of MCA has not recovered but further eroded.
Out of MCA’s 11 ministers and deputies in the federal cabinet, three were appointed through the backdoor by becoming senators. Of the remaining elected eight, how many of them are shaky on their perches?
Chor Chee Heung has already been discussed in detail above; Kong Cho Ha won by a slim majority of 298; the unpopular Ng Yen Yen is in a mixed constituency with a slight Malay majority; Lee Chee Leong is in a 62.6 percent Chinese majority seat while Hou Kok Chung is in a 52.4 percent Chinese majority seat.
Gunting dalam Lipatan
MCA’s purported newspaper has been, without doubt, subtly undermining the party. The Star editorial floor – with the exception of a few senior editors – holds the BN leadership in barely concealed contempt and animosity.
Hence the covert sabotage of BN that we keeping encountering in The Star. It is not by accident that the paper has a total lack of political direction.
Without any effective channel of mass communication to influence opinions (The Star‘s sex and sleaze top stories cut no ice in political agenda setting), MCA has not been able to endear itself to Malay and Indian voters who do not engage in Chinese media.
It is such a sad spectacle to see MCA committing harakiri right before our eyes. Please read this article together with the preceding ‘Star shows middle finger to Chuas‘ on why the paper has become an albatross around MCA’s neck.
Parliamentary seats won by DAP