The video below was uploaded on 28 Oct 2010 by YouTube account user JomUbahMsia.
The speaker is Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani, acting Umno Titiwangsa division chief at the material time. He was speaking behind closed doors to a Malay audience at the PWTC.
Titiwangsa is a Parliament seat which has the highest number of Malay voters in the KL Federal Territory.
In 2008, Dr Lo’ Lo’ Ghazali became the first ever opposition candidate to win Titiwangsa, a constituency covering the ‘famous’ Kampung Baru. The PAS lady MP succumbed to cancer in July 2011 and the seat has remained vacant since.
Below are screenshots of the Umno Titwangsa chief’s video clip with English subtitles.
“Tetapi saya punya approach, pandangan saya, orang Cina dengan orang India ini biarlah,” he revealed.
Johari was applauded by his listeners for remarking that, “If you, gentlemen, can secure 70 percent of the 32,000 Malay votes, then we won’t need Chinese and Indian votes”.
His video – recorded in July 2010 and leaked on the eve of the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections which were held concurrently on Nov 4 – caused an uproar among the non-Malays who roundly condemned him. (Chinese made up 20 percent of the voters in Galas and 40 percent in Batu Sapi.)
A Malaysiakini article on 2 Nov 2010 headlined ‘Titiwangsa Umno chief in damage-control bid‘ reported:
“In a statement yesterday, which was carried by the Chinese newspapers, Johari said he had no intention of inciting racial feelings, offending or maligning any ethnic group or religion.”
It was Johari’s second apology. The first was carried in his blog a few days earlier on Oct 28 where he gave the excuse that his speech was “taken out of context”, saying:
“It is not that I could care less about the Chinese and Indian voters… my main focus was the split in the Malay electorate and how obtaining 70 percent of the Malay votes could secure BN’s win.”
Johari also highlighted that in an earlier part which was not included in the widely circulated 2-minute clip, he had said that the BN component parties were capable of engaging the Chinese and Indian voters.
His clarification however failed to explain the bit where he had said:
“If we want to win in Titiwangsa, we want Malays (to vote for us). We want Malays. Don’t bow down to the Chinese and Indians just because we want to win. Don’t do it.”
That was two-and-a-half years ago. Fast forward to the present.
Umno wanted 70% Malay, DAP wants 70% Chinese
Predictably, Johari was called a “racist” and a “bigot” when he proposed that Umno should need to target 70 percent of the Malay votes in Titiwangsa.
Yet when DAP election strategist Liew Chin Tong unveiled his party’s calculations on race-based voting, the same opposition supporters did not label the Bukit Bendera MP and his party as racist.
He had surmised, “From purely mathematic simulations, here are the possible scenarios in Johor assuming Indian support for Pakatan is constant:
Malay support at 25%, Chinese support at 65%, Pakatan will win just 1 parliamentary seat in Johor;
Malay support at 30%, Chinese support at 70%, Pakatan will win 6 seats
Malay support at 30%, Chinese support at 75%, Pakatan will win 12 seats
Malay support at 35%, Chinese support at 75%, Pakatan will win 16 seats
Malay support at 35%, Chinese support at 80%, Pakatan will win 20 seats
Chin Tong concluded: “Of course these are just simulations on paper. But it shows that Barisan Nasional’s castle may crumble if a perfect storm comes into shape.”
The DAP’s planned assault on Johor received heavy airplay as well as was hotly discussed.
Even my own blog used the Chin Tong formula to forecast permutations with regard to the Parliament seats in Kluang (below) and Batu Pahat (click here).
In my March 9 posting, I calculated a possible outcome in Kluang predicated on DAP receiving 70 percent of the Chinese votes.
Comparatively, Umno’s Johari was engulfed by a firestorm when in Oct 2010 it was exposed that he had urged his party machinery to set their objective at 70 percent of the Malay vote.
Recently the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (Asli) presented its report on the imminent GE13 and forecasting that 85 percent of urban Chinese will be backing the opposition. Asli is a think tank headed by Mirzan Mahathir as president.
Although 85 percent of the Chinese electorate is predicted to be pro-Pakatan, this figure does not automatically translate into the remaining 15 percent being pro-BN. As an individual belonging to this 15 percent group, I daresay some of us might ultimately keep ourselves perched firmly on the fence and abstain from exercising our vote.
With the benefit of hindsight, can we now ask ourselves how ‘wrong’ was the Umno division chief, really, in his pragmatism that BN should not rely on Chinese voters in his Titiwangsa urban area?
After all, Lim Guan Eng was reported by Malaysiakini as saying Pakatan Rakyat could retain his state if 90 percent of the Chinese throw their support behind Pakatan — see ‘“Let BN eat eggs” in Penang‘.
If desiring 70 percent Malay votes makes Johari Abdul Ghani a racist and a bigot in the eyes of the Dapsters, what does desiring 90 percent Penang Chinese votes make Guan Eng then?
Updated 11.20pm to correct typos