Election 2018: How DAP Chinese vs Umno Malay voters stack up statistically
Regular commenter ‘drinho’ commented @ 2016/02/03 at 9:11 am,
“I can agree if you say DAP is the dominant party in [Pakatan Harapan] and able to dictate terms especially PAS is no longer in the equation. DAP is indeed powerful in PH states like Penang and Selangor.
“But to say that DAP can control Parliament/Putrajaya is too far fetch[ed]. Stop selling the story ‘DAP will takeover Putrajaya’. Numerically, it is impossible for GE14.”
BELOW: DAP mega rally in Johor running up to GE13
Malay votes fragmented, Chinese votes one solid block
I disagree with ‘drinho’ that it is numerically impossible, for the simple reason that Malay votes are split into many different kabilah (loyalties) while the Chinese votes are solidly 95 percent behind the DAP.
But anyway, let’s do the math.
To rebut ‘drinho’, I shall now try to estimate the relative numerical strength of DAP vs Umno-Najib support. Please follow me patiently step-by-step as I take you through the figures.
As everyone knows, each party draws on the second biggest, i.e. Chinese and the biggest, i.e. Malay ethnic group respectively.
Below is the population projection for the year 2020 (Note: Our national census is held once every 10 years, and the last one was conducted in 2010).
Population of 32.4 million in year 2020
GE14 is expected to be held in 2018, which is a mere two years away from 2020, and thus the decennial population projection (year 2020) is a good one for us to use.
The Department of Statistics has projected that our population in 2020 will consist of 16,717,700 Malays and 6,827,100 Chinese.
A big chunk of the Malay population is young. Please do remember, those under 21 are not eligible to vote and so, although the Malay population is big, many Malay youths will not be of voting age as yet.
Chinese couples, on the other hand, have fewer kids and thus there are fewer Chinese babies.
In the current electoral setting, however, this is not a disadvantage as anyone under-21 can’t vote in GE14 anyway.
In fact for year 2018, the Chinese even have an edge – going by ratio – over the Malays. This is because the older Chinese population (see graph below), i.e. those in their 50s, 60s and 70s can all go out to vote compared to Malay toddlers, tweens and teens who can’t.
Malay and Chinese have different population shape
Differences in Malay and Chinese demographic pattern can be seen at a glance by the shape or bulge of the two charts above.
GREEN: There are a lot of Malay babies (ages 0-4, 5-9) and fewer Malay oldies or octogenarians (people in their 80s).
YELLOW: The Chinese have fewer babies but relatively more sexagenarians (people in their 60s) and septuagenarians (people in their 70s).
What the charts above tell us is that the Chinese population bulge is greyer/older and therefore in RELATIVE terms, ‘more’ Chinese among the population are eligible to vote, compared to Malays in the same age cohort.
In the distant future, say year 2030, the Chinese will be at an electoral disadvantage due to their shrinking birth rate. Nonetheless, for the immediate present, i.e. year 2018, the Chinese low fertility is yet to impact all that much.
BELOW: Mega rally in Han Chiang, Penang running up to GE13
Malays under-registered as voters, Chinese over-registered
In year 2018, there will be an estimated 9,030,900 Malays aged 22 and above. The number of Chinese aged 22 and above is estimated at 4,566,100.
In short, come GE14, there will be 9.0 million Malays and 4.6 million Chinese who are of voting age.
But we must remember that the “ini kalilah” Chinese are over-registered, whereas the tidak apa Malays are under-registered, as voters.
In GE13, the electorate comprised:
- 52.63% Malay voters
- 29.68% Chinese voters, and others
In 2010, our country’s 28.9 million population comprised:
- 55.07% Malay
- 24.34% Chinese, and others
Note: The Stats Dept has not made public the percentage of Malays in the population in 2013, which is the GE13 election year. Instead, the percentage for Malays in 2013 had been conflated within a broad ‘Bumiputera’ population category. Hence to get the percentage of Malays as standalone (and not ‘Bumiputera’), we are required to refer detailed breakdown available only for 2010, which is the decennial census year.
Subtracting the two sets of figures above, we see that the Malays are under-registered as voters by 2.44 percent while the Chinese are over-registered as voters by 5.34 percent in ratio to their respective population sizes.
BELOW: Our voting population in GE14
Tidak apa voters 52.6%, ini kali lah voters 29.7%
Next, the estimated number of Malaysians who will be of voting age in 2018:
- Malays: 9,030,900
- Other Bumiputera: 2,084,900
- Chinese: 4,566,100
- Indians: 1,309,300
- Lain-lain: 130,700
- Non citizens
Adding up the various ethnic categories above, there will be about 17,121,900 Malaysians who are of voting age.
The tidak apa Melayus are under-registered as voters whereas the rajin DAP people have been actively registering Chinese to vote, and not to mention strategically transferring their addresses (as alleged by the rival political parties).
Borrowing from the ratio in GE13, it’s probable that out of the 17.1 million Malaysians eligible to vote (age-wise), 52.63 percent of the voters will be Malay and 29.68 percent will be Chinese.
BELOW: Friendly ties before the bust-up
Our friend ‘drinho’ has kindly hammered home the point on how divided the Malays are.
He remarked @ 2016/02/02 at 9:05 am,
The 9 million Malay votes are split:
- Umno — Najib camp
- Umno — Tun M & rebels camp
- PAS — Hadi camp (pro unity with Umno)
- PAS — non-Hadi camp (anti UG with Umno)
- Dan lain-lain — Amanah, Perkasa, Isma, fence-sitters, etc
If we divide the support of the nine million-strong Malay electorate (note: this is assuming perfect 100 percent voter registration) into six equal parts as above, Umno-BN under Najib will only be getting 1,501,876 votes.
Well, perhaps dividing into six equal parts is too much of a rough cut. So I shall attempt to fine-tune the division somewhat.
In GE13, Umno received altogether 3,252,484 votes, PKR 2,254,328 and PAS 1,633,389.
Okay, so instead of dividing the Malay votes into six equal parts according to the ‘drinho’-inspired formula, let’s scale down and divide the Malay voter cake into only three slices. And Umno gets the biggest segment, in keeping with the ratio of electoral support shown in GE13.
The support level between/among the three parties:
- Umno — 45.6 percent
- PKR — 31.6 percent
- PAS — 22.9 percent
Umno is the strongest among the three Malay-based parties.
Their vote bank in the last election was likely:
- Umno: Malay plus a sprinkling of Indians and Sabah natives
- PKR: Malay and fairly strong Chinese+Indian support
- PAS: Predominantly Malay with some Chinese+Indian support
If we give Umno 45.6 percent of the eligible 9,011,256 Malay voters, it’s possible that Umno will be able to obtain 4,109,133 votes.
Or alternatively let’s be kind, increase and give Umno a lofty 55 percent of the nine million Malay votes but subtract 20 percent from the Umno tally as being lost due to the Tun-Muhyiddin-Mukhriz, etc and Najib’s unpopularity factors.
With 55 percent support, Umno will get 4,956,191 Malay votes. But we’re taking away 20 percent from this figure as bleeding by the supporters of Tun et al (abstentions, i.e. staying at home on polling day or protest votes, i.e. undi rosak or horror! switching to the opposition).
This leaves Umno with 3,964,953 Malay votes.
The 4.6 million Chinese votes are split:
With DAP retaining 95 percent support from the Chinese, the party will get 4,337,795 Chinese votes.
And we mustn’t forget one variable on polling day itself, which is the super high turnout by the Chinese and the low turnout or boycott by the Malays.
Umno’s best case scenario comes up to 3.96 million Malay votes vs DAP’s almost guaranteed 4.34 million Chinese votes. We’re working on the assumption that roughly only half the Malays support Umno while more than 9 out of 10 Chinese support the DAP.
The above is merely one hypothetical scenario and it’s still a distance (two years) to D-Day.
PAS is the game changer and kingmaker. Parti Islam swaying one way or the other will definitely shift the dynamics and throw the guesstimates above off kilter.
A gentle reminder to PAS:
You folks had better pantau how far the Chinese are achieving perpaduan with the native Christians. And then crunch the numbers carefully, ya.
Additional note (Updated 9.38 pm)
I did the above as a research exercise in response to the challenge by ‘drinho’. It’s done on the basis of popular vote — one man, one ethnic headcount.
The real situation on the ground is complicated and not as straightforward as simply counting beans.
Due to rural weightage, Borneo advantage and outliers like Putrajaya having only 15,791 voters compared to Teresa Kok’s gargantuan Seputeh (85,976 voters) and anomalies like tiny Labuan serving as one Federal Territory seat, the 95 percent unified strength of the Chinese is still diluted.
Thus, the DAP will have to up its ante on its trademark Politics of Hate. This time, the DAP will need to go all out to make the Malays hate you-know-who to weaken you-know-which party in order to beat the system.