The new wave to rock the next general election will be the youths and the first-time voters – a whole horde of them. And it’s the DAP that is capturing the young market.
Below are the MPs from the evangelical party serving in the current Parliament. All these DAP politicians became first-time YBs when only in their twenties and thirties. Some are going into their second-term in office.
Look at how young their faces are. And they’re our honorable Members of Parliament.
DAP in Parliament
In their 20s and 30s
The DAP women – Teo Nie Ching was 27 years old when she was elected the DAP Serdang MP. Alice Lau Kiong Yieng was 32 when she was elected Lanang MP last year. Kasthuriraani, daughter of DAP legend P. Patto (nepotism!), was 34 when she won the Batu Kawan Parliament seat.
The DAP men – Ramkarpal Singh – another case of DAP dynastic nepotism – who inherited his father’s Bukit Gelugor seat, is 38.
Party superstar Liew Chin Tong, who garnered the highest votes in the CEC re-election (beating Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng for top spot), was 31 years old in 2008 when he was parachuted into the Bukit Bendera seat in Penang.
In the 2013 election, Liew relocated back to his home state Johor and kicked Hou Kok Chung‘s ass in Kluang and put an end to the Cabinet career of the MCA deputy higher education minister.
Her Royal Roundness
High profile Tony Pua was a youthful 36 when he won the Petaling Jaya Utara Parliament seat back in 2008. Nonetheless, in the short intervening years (similar to Our FirstLady Speaker piling on the weight – above), Pua has greyed at super speed and his hair is now salt-and-pepper in colour.
Teo Kok Seong, presently the DAPSY chief, is currently MP for Rasah after taking over the seat from Anthony Loke who was 32 when he won Rasah in 2008. Coincidentally, Teo also won Rasah at the age of 32.
What kind of YB is this new DAP breed?
Mengkibol Adun Tan Hong Pin (pix below) joined evangelista Ong Kian Ming in fasting and #sahur-ing during this year’s puasa month.
Tan goes to Malay houses for sleepover and poses for photos wearing sarung when bersahur. But not to worry, it’s still a long catch-up to Hannah Yeoh’s record-breaking feat of wearing tudung and trotting to the masjid dan surau untuk buka puasa.
Regardless, their chameleon antics signal to what length this species of young DAP politicians will go in order to woo the Malay vote.
The evangelical Christian kind
These DAP new breed politicians are clearly different from their predecessors. One of the most distinguishing factors is their evangelical Christianity.
Julian Tan Kok Ping, the DAP Stampin MP, got married in the City Harvest Church.
He is a Utar alumnus. The MCA university is mass producing DAP politicians.
(Side note: Chong Zhemin, who is DAP Perak economic development bureau chief, was formerly lecturing at Utar. We should be curious if he ever talked politics to his class.)
They’re young and Christian
DAP Rahang Adun, Mary Josephine Pritam Singh – the odd one out here who is not young – is a Christian although Punjabis are most usually Sikh. DAP is full of Christians.
Notable DAP Christian women YBs, besides the ballooning presence of Hannah Yeoh everywhere, are Teresa Kok, Teo Nie Ching, Violet Yong and Yeo Bee Yin (pix, right), the Damansara Utama Adun who is 31 this year.
Johor Jaya Adun Liow Cai Tung – see Buah Kurma poster below – looks like she could still be in school.
And below too are YB Liow’s equally young-looking fellow Johor Aduns – YB Senai, Wong Shu Qi and YB Tangkak, Ee Chin Li. There are really too many leng chai and leng lui among the DAP’s total of 95 Aduns for me to feature all their photos.
However it is not only for the state assemblies that the DAP is willing to wager young faces. The party put up Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, who is 27, to contest the Teluk Intan Parliament by-election earlier this year. Her opponent was Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong, who is almost twice her age.
The thing about DAP’s strategy to use young politicians is their savviness in exploiting modern mass communication such as the social media – the same element that helped Barack Obama to cross the finishing line first in the 2008 American presidential election.
Hannah Yeoh, for example, has already collected 99,700 twits. Her Twitter following will have breached the 100k milestone once another 300 more J-Juice drinkers sign up.
With Instagram, the DAP politikus roll off their photo ops – such as stirring an empty pot in the surau during Ramadan – like sliced bread off the assembly line.
BELOW: Ong Kian Ming the jaguh #sahur was 38 when he made his Parliament debut
Zumba, zumba, zumba!
The digital technology is there, no doubt, but it is still up to how savvy the user is to exploit it.
Khairy Jamaluddin is big on Twitter due to his obsessive, selfie-fuelled pursuit of personal popularity. But the question remains whether the KJ fan club comprises those youngsters who are willing to pangkah Dacing at the end of the day or even to make their way to the polling station.
KJ the Dancing King
Playing smart – strategic and targetted voter registration
Remember that the young Chinese are over-registered in proportion to their population numbers and you can be sure that for GE14, they’re not going to be voting in the DAP urban strongholds where their party has 30,000-vote majority. Instead these first-time voters will be deployed to marginal suburban seats where victory or defeat could be determined by 300 votes or less.
There’s no point in registering more Chinese to vote in Seputeh where Teresa Kok can stroll … blindfolded … to victory (her majority in GE13 was 51,552 votes). It shouldn’t surprise us if some of her diehard supporters were to transfer their voting address to another area.
Zumba is fun and the Ice Bucket Challenge was hip but these do not translate into the sort of ideological moorings that that anchor say, Pembina (Isma Youth).
The DAP use of social media is very efficiently geared towards disseminating propaganda and brainwashing the sheeple. Their Dapster army then proceed to carry out the plan of action with unmatched hysteria and unhinged kiasuness.
Unfortunately we cannot say the same for the effectiveness of Umno Youth’s hashtag #lifestyle in canvassing the Malay ground.
Millions of new voters in GE14
There were only 638,000 new Malaysian voters in the 2008 general election (GE12) but the number had increased to 2.6 million by GE13 last year, largely thanks to the hyperactivity of the DAP.
Taking advantage of the BN tidak apa attitude, the DAP accelerated its voter registration drive, and as a result leaving MCA and the rest of the DAP’s direct political rivals to bite the dust.
Grabbing every chance they get
DAP supporters even took the opportunity of their 21st birthday parties to register their children’s friends and peers as new voters – see @hannahyeoh tweet below.
And then there were the voter registration exercises carried out in the churches, an institution that is a pillar of strength for the evangelical party. Hannah Yeoh’s Personal Assistant, evangelista Rajiv Rishyakaran, personally oversaw some such efforts in the City Harvest Church.
It is no wonder then that the electorate numbers in Hannah’s constituency spiked to 61,688 voters for GE13, up from 44,569 during GE12.
In the span of one term (between 2008 and 2013), Subang Jaya saw an increase of 17,119 voters – thanks in large part to the aggressive promotion of and by the DAP incumbent. In comparison, when Subang Jaya was an MCA ward, the constituency only saw an increase of 5,963 voters between 2004 and 2008, and 5,918 voters between 1999 and 2004.
The difference in the tremendous effort put in by the DAP is a great contrast to the complacency of coma patient MCA.
Chinese support for BN will hit rock bottom by GE14
The Election Commission has said that 70 percent of the 4.2 million unregistered voters at end-2011 were aged between 21 to 40. The EC also projected that an average 450,000 Malaysians turn 21 each year.
The irony lies in the headline of the 21 Nov 2011 J-Star article – ‘Barisan eyes support of young voters for polls‘. As we can discern from the tsunami, the young voters had flocked to Pakatan.
It is well nigh impossible for BN to reach the Chinese community anymore. The means of communication is broken due to language barrier. Only one percent of Utusan Malaysia readers are Chinese and I’m willing to bet many of them are Cina mualaf or “Cina murtad”.
Only two percent of Nanyang Siang Pau readers are Malay, which come to think of it is actually a better ratio than the one percent Chinese Utusan readers as after all, BM is our national language.
Gunting dalam Lipatan backstabbed the BN
What the newspaper circulation data indicates is that Chinese do not touch casual Malay reading material (unless forced to for exam purposes) and Malays generally do not access Chinese media. There is very little cross-ethnic communication between the two communities through the Malay and Chinese languages.
We can extend this finding to other media conduits besides newspapers. Malays would not be commenting in the Chinese chat forums and nor would Chinese be reading the Malay blogosphere.
The only overlap between the races occurs in the English language media. The J-Star – pie chart below – has a quarter of its readership from the Malay community.
Analyse results, not MCA’s fairy claims
Half of The J-Star readers are Chinese. Yet 90 percent of Chinese voters rejected the BN.
Looking at the electoral outcome, i.e. how MCA controls the country’s most influential media empire but the EvangeliSTAR audience scoff at the BN, it becomes most obvious that the MCA-owned media must have been subversively promoting the opposition cause.
How else to explain why the BN message failed to be conveyed when the J-Star conglomerate has its tentacles reaching such a vast audience? There is the main print readership, J-Star online and J-Star magazine readers, J-Star Internet TV viewers and J-Star’s many radio channels listeners.
J-Star tail wagging the MCA dog
Furthermore, the EvangeliSTAR conducts many and various corporate-social programmes and most recently, the paper is taking its anti-racism campaign into the colleges and universities. The MCA-owned media does all of this (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) but the Chinese and youth choose to vote the opposition? It does not compute.
MCA must think Umno is stupid. Could MCA be right?
If the BN had received 10 percent support from the Chinese electorate in GE13, the ruling party should consider itself lucky to get five percent in GE14. This is due to the demographic push.
Below are the typical Chinese BN supporters. They are getting rarer by the day as Malaysia is a young country with a fast-growing youth population.
MCA has irrevocably given up the ghost. Only Umno wants to flog the dead horse.