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Sg. Besar, K. Kangsar by-elections a better test of Chinese support

Look at the returns from the polling stations. Then you will know for real whether “BN can win back the Chinese like in Sarawak”. Unlike Annie Anakin, statistics don’t lie.

There is no Umno in Sarawak. So the Chinese across the South China Sea do not have their chief hate figure to vote against there.

On the other hand, Chinese are 31 percent of the voters in Sungai Besar, Selangor and 24 percent in Kuala Kangsar, Perak. So Chinese make up just a little short of one-third of the Sungai Besar, and a quarter of Kuala Kangsar electorates.

These sizeable proportions allow a fair gauging of Chinese support for BN in the peninsula.

Btw, Indians are only two percent in Sungai Besar and thus a negligible element. The Selangor by-election will be straightforward — boiling down to Malay and Chinese votes.

BELOW: Opposition control of the Selangor DUN; red is Pakatan


Tebus maruah di Sg. Besar dan K. Kangsar

The former and the serving Communication Ministers each have different ideas.

Ex-Info Minister Zamkata,

“Dua Pilihanraya Kecil ini lebih bererti dari pilihanraya besar 82 kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak.

“Lebih mengerikan jika difikirkan bahawa dalam Pilihanraya Umum lalu, Allahyarhamah Noriah Kasnon mengatasi calun PAS hanya dengan 399 undi di kawasan Sungai Besar dan Wan Mohamad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad menang dengan hanya 1,082 undi dalam tandingan tiga penjuru.

“Kekalahan di kawasan ini akan menjatuhkan moral Najib serendah-rendahnya setelah dibangunkan oleh keyakinan yang menumpang dari kekuatan kepimpinan orang lain dan bukan kekuatannnya sendiri.”

Zam (Zainuddin Maidin) is right. Who gets to sit in Putrajaya is determined by the number of MPs and not by Aduns.

The two vacant Parliament seats of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar are Umno incumbencies. Thus the by-elections are important to Najib, as veteran newsman Zam has correctly pointed out.

Najib’s continued position as prime minister post-GE14 is dependent on the MP count in his party, Umno. In the last election, Umno provided 88 MPs and Sarawak BN contributed 25 MPs.

BELOW: Hannah Yeoh campaigning for DAP via Skype due to ban on her entry into S’wak

Hannah Yeoh ceramah Sarawak 2016

Side note: Of Sarawak BN’s 25 Parliamentarians, 14 are from the coalition’s anchor party in the state — Adenan’s PBB.

And of PBB’s 14 MPs, 10 of them have ‘bin’ or ‘binti’ in their names. The rest of BN Sarawak’s 15 MPs are presumably non-Muslims, if we were to go by their Dayak and Chinese names.

PAS’s chances now are brighter than before

The challengers to Umno in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar during the last general election were both PAS candidates.

There are various scenarios in the making wrt the two Parliament seats.

As highlighted by Zam, Umno squeezed through on narrow margins of 399 and 1,082 votes in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar respectively.

PAS will want to test its strength against Umno under the current circumstances clouded by Najib’s 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation controversies. If PAS wins these by-elections, the Islamist party will be bolstered to take on and try to supplant Umno in GE14.

PAS wins in the upcoming by-elections will empower those in the party who are like-minded to its deputy Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. These PAS leaders are not receptive to kerajaan perpaduan or chummy-chummy with Umno.

An Umno loss in Sungai Besar and/or Kuala Kangsar will dampen chances of the two Malay-Muslim, Muslim-Malay parties coming to an arrangement for informal cooperation during GE14.

BELOW: DAP lording it as Speaker in S’gor DUN & they even wanted the Deputy’s chair as well!


Are you sure, Salleh?

Communication Minister Salleh Said Keruak said the message from Sarawak “is more or less the same sentiments all over rural Malaysia”.

Uh, okay. Sungai Besar is a rural constituency. Let’s see.

Salleh also acknowledges Team Adenan’s popularity as a major factor for the Sarawak results. Well, Team Najib – of which Salleh himself is a prominent member – is not as popular. So how?

Methinks Salleh is being a tad over optimistic in declaring that “we are going to see the Sarawak 2016 success emulated in the next general election as well”.

BELOW: One angry bird

Ubah angry bird

Data is a more reliable predictor

We’ll compare some of the DAP state election results in Sarawak, 2011 vs 2016.

(1) Starting with Kota Sentosa which is the seat belonging to Chong Chieng Jen, this popular guy’s position is only a little bit stirred but not shaken by the May 7 tremor.

Despite the general setback besetting his compatriots, Chong’s personal popularity remains undented. The Kuching MP has an approval rating of 74 percent among the Chinese, according to a recent survey headed by Assoc. Prof. Jeniri Amir of Unimas.

In 2011, DAP Sarawak warlord Chong garnered 12,594 votes and obtaining a 4,824 majority. In 2016, his vote tally dipped to 10,047 and his majority shrunk to 2,819.

Nonetheless, the voter turnout in Kota Sentosa had been higher in 2011 at 20,559 while in 2016, it was 17,275. So Chong was correct to claim that the voter turnout is low. About 3,300 of Kota Sentosa voters stayed at home compared to five years ago.

With his 12,594 votes from the total of 20,559 cast, Chong’s level of support in 2011 was 61.3 percent. His level of support is presently 58.2 percent.

Chong suffered a small drop of 3.1 percent in support from all races – it’s not possible to isolate the Chinese voter segment unless we have access to more detailed stats – between the two state elections. The ethnic breakdown in Kota Sentosa is Chinese 73%, Melanau Malay 13% and non Muslim pribumi 14%.


(2) Next, we’ll have a look at Padungan, sebuah kerusi Cina pekat. It is an urban seat in the state capital which had 92 percent Chinese voters in 2011 and 93 percent Chinese voters in 2016.

In 2011, the DAP man got 11,957 votes from a turnout of 16,538. In 2016, he got 9,332 votes from a turnout of 14,602. Similar to Kota Sentosa, the voter turnout is lower this year.

Support for the young YB in his constituency was 72.3 percent the last election and 63.9 in this recent one. It’s a rather significant decrease of 8.4 percent.


(3) Bukit Assek is the seat previously held by the former Sarawak opposition leader.

The deceased Wong Ho Leng was also the Sarawak DAP chairman. His widow defended the seat last Saturday.

Wong won Bukit Assek in 2011 with a majority of 8,827. He had 13,527 votes from a turnout of 18,504.

Comparatively, Mrs Wong retained Bukit Assek two days ago with a halved majority and collecting 11,392 votes from a turnout of 18,661.

Interestingly, the number of votes cast in Bukit Assek is almost the same for the two elections — 18,504 vs 18,661.

Percentage of turnout was 68.7 percent in 2011 and 66.5 percent in 2016, which is not as drastic a reduction as in the other DAP wards.

The level of support for Mr Wong was 73.1 percent and for Mrs Wong, 61.0 percent. This is nothing strange as Ram Karpal in the Bukit Gelugor by-election too failed to match the level of support for his late father Karpal Singh.


(4) Perhaps the most flamboyant Sarawak Adun is Violet Yong, the Pending Yang Berhormat. She is always seen seated beside the chief (YB Chong) in the DAP press conferences.

Pending in Bandar Kuching has a 90 percent Chinese electorate.

In 2011, Ms Yong obtained 14,375 votes from a turnout of 21,274. In 2016, she got 12,454 votes from a turnout of 19,896.

So, in 2011 her level of support was 67.6 percent and in 2016, it is 62.6 percent.


(5) Lastly, we’ll look at Pelawan which has 91 percent Chinese voters. It is a DUN seat in the Sibu district.

In 2011, DAP’s Wong Kee Woan had 13,318 votes from a turnout of 20,336. Here’s a surprise: in this year’s election, Wong successfully defended his seat — getting 13,056 votes from a HIGHER turnout (in absolute numbers) of 22,395.

In percentages, the turnout in Pelawan is almost the same, i.e. 70.6 percent in 2011 and 70.0 percent in 2016.

Wong’s recent vote count of 13,056 is almost identical to the 13,318 he received five years ago. In 2011, his level of support was 65.5 percent. In 2016, it is 58.3 percent.

BELOW: DAP evangelistas and their Impian Sarawak

Impian Sarawak

Choosing to stay at home doesn’t mean changing support to BN

Let’s sum up the reduced support from voters of all races for DAP in the five Chinese-dominant seats listed above.

In percentages, it is minus:

  • Kota Sentosa — 3.1
  • Padungan — 8.4
  • Bukit Assek — 12.1
  • Pending — 5.0
  • Pelawan — 7.2

The drop in level of support for DAP in the constituencies above averages out to 7.16 percent on a mildly lower turnout.

Admittedly there is a smallish swing of Chinese support back to Sarawak BN.

But it should not be assumed that those city Chinese who abstained from voting in this round, e.g. the 2,000 voters in Padungan and the some 1,500 voters (rounded figure) in Pending have switched their allegiance to the BN. They are merely abstentions, not desertions.

At the end of the day, Sarawak is Sarawak. Adenan blocked a long list of evangelistas and opposition personalities from stepping on Sarawak soil. We can’t do that in the peninsula.

It’s just different there. You still have to travel to some places by boat or helicopter.

Furthermore, Sarawak stats are strangely out-of-the-ordinary. I mean, we have two vocal cabinet ministers as well as the Dewan Rakyat Speaker all coming from the same remote Sarawak SABAH town of Kota Belud!


Itulah. Nak acah SSK, terpercik muka sendiri. Malunya, hahaha.

The upcoming by-elections in rural Sungai Besar and semi-urban Kuala Kangsar – two seats in developed west coast states – are certainly a better barometer of the BN’s standing among the Chinese community.


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31 thoughts on “Sg. Besar, K. Kangsar by-elections a better test of Chinese support

  1. If I were to vote at either Sg Besar or K Kangsar bielection, I would stay at home during polling day as a show of protest to Najib. I will never vote for the opposition as I remain loyal to UMNO (but not to Najib) and to BN.

    You will see a drop of votes for both UMNO candidates. It will be a colossal mistake to UMNO if Najib’s goons continue to demonize Tun M from today till the bi Election Day. This is payback time for disgusted UMNO members towards Najib.

    1. Setem, I don’t think anyone will be shocked that you’ll refuse to vote for UMNO if you are a voter in these areas. However the situation is not as dire as Protuns would like to paint it to be. There are a few factors need to consider.

      One is that this is a UMNO vs PAS fight. As you might have heard, PAS is no longer is a part of the Pakatan Rakyat (which is dead) and unlike in the GE13 PAS will no longer have the Chinese support. As such, their support too will be reduced.

      Second factor is that I’m not sure if PAS even wants to contest the seats now that they are no longer with PR/PH.

      Third factor is that, PAS itself is split between PAS and Amanah and this will affect their support too.

      And finally, the Malay support will not be affected by the Tun factor as he’s a nobody, not even an UMNO member. He has no influence even in Kedah as we have seen.

      1. Calvin,

        You is right ,Tun is just nobody ,he just the same like Sammy Vello ,just nobody .

        What amused me is that ,Najib looks worry ,Salleh Said Keruak looks worry , that MP for kota Belud Rahman Dahlan also look worry ,Anuar Musa looks worry ,Nazri Aziz looks worry even Hellen Ang is worried that Lim Kit Siang is sitting next to him .

        Even though Lim Kit Siang is sitting next to Tun but he does showed worry , and doubt if Tun can pull through .

        1. Salleh looks worried? Kacang putih for him la.. Dia sejak lahir involved in politics..

          Zaman TDM pun masa dia dalam Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS)..hang risik2 macam mana depa punya la otek suruh dia join BN?

          Hantaq Anwar pun tak laku la..terpaksa berurusan dengan Arw Ghafar Baba saja. On 28 December 1994, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad appointed him as the Chief Minister of the State.

    2. kerana marahkan nyamuk, kelambu dibakar ha, setem ?

      “I would stay at home during polling day as a show of protest to Najib. I will never vote for the opposition as I remain loyal to UMNO (but not to Najib) and to BN.”

      when umno is doomed (of course the opposition will be winning), can you explain how will you remain loyal by not supporting ?

      “You will see a drop of votes for both UMNO candidates”

      are you happy ?…i mean, are you happy to see umno candidates are losing, this is loyal huh ? Well Done !!!

      1. Ya betoi tu truth..

        Kalau masalah rumah tangga doksah bawa masuk oghang luaq mai rotan anak bini. Lagi2 pi dok cerita apa hang dok buat bawah kelambu, bukan saja kat jiran2 tapi habih satu dunia nak juga bagi tau?

          1. Oooh saya berjiran dengan Apek tau..tiap hari anak menjerit2 anak kena lotan. Esok kaki tangan gebu habis berjalur merah.

            Once I rushed out around 11pm to help. Apparently after kena lotan, they shoved her outside and locked the gate, screaming..only 6yrs old. I wanted to help..kena angrily tegur pula! Katanya Melayu tak pandai didik anak terlalu manjakan, anak2 nanti akan naik kepala kamu.

            One of the Apek top richest man in Malaysia, cucu dia satu kelas with my son (plivate school) so as palents we buddy2 pasai jumpa kat sekolah amik anak selalu… Dia celita dengan saya, tidoq malam pun talok lotan bawah bantal..katanya she grew up the same, selalu papa lotan dia wan. Thts the way they disciplin anak2 tau..ROTAN!

      2. I get setem’s sentiment. This is just a by-election. If people like setem stay home as a sign of protest, maybe it will help to make them realise that Umno is in trouble.

        On another note, I believe that SSK is as clueless about the Malay rural voters as the evangelical Dapsters are about the Sarawak voters.

        One Sarawakian Chinese academician (can’t remember her name) explained Dap’s loss really well. She said the Chinese voters in Sarawak are smart enough to understand the difference between pilihanraya negeri and PRU, and that is why when the Dap played up all the usual issues and scandals the Sarawakians couldn’t care less. The voters were more interested in what is happening in and for Sarawak.

  2. All depends on BN’s candidate for Sg.Besar and Kuala
    Kangsar. If BN puts Jamil Pak Tongkol in Sg. Besar, the
    chance to get Chinese voters is NIL……..hehehe.
    Would the Chinese voters forget the red-shirted worrier
    in action, in front of Low Yat so soon……..?????

      1. Helen,

        No doubt Adnan factor brings in votes, including from Chinese.

        But Najib is no Adnan. I believe the Chinese in Semenanjunhg still reject him or more accurately UMNO. Not because UMNO is that bad but because UMNO represents malay political power.

        Adnan made one good move just before election. He told chinese that there will be no chinese in his cabinet if they do not support BN.

        Adnan though courting Chinese is not “terhegeh hegeh”. He shows that though he wants them to support Sarawak BN, he would not hope so much.

        Najib better learns from Adnan. Start showing that you give priority to the very community that support your government. Meaning give priority to Malay aspirations because they defend your government.

        If one care to observe, the anger on GST has subsided as many began to appreciate that it is unavoidable. and the timing is extraordinary. GST was effected just as the oil price tumbling down.

        Actually PH is in dire predicament. DAP ejecting PAS means PH lost the vital Malay support that they enjoyed previously. And PAS after the disastrous marriage with DAP in PR realises that UMNO is not that bad after all.

        1. re: He told chinese that there will be no chinese in his cabinet if they do not support BN.

          Back in GE 2013, similar threat was made. Not by Umno. But MCA. Still the Chinese could not care much. Still voted against BN. The Chinese knew that MCA will never abandon the cushy Cabinet posts unless entire BN is defeated in GE. Very true indeed, MCA revoked the reso of not accepting cabinet post thereafter despite performing worse than GE 2008.

          Adenan is more appealing to the Chinese/Sarawakians in Sarawak than Najib vis-a-vis Chinese nation wide. Adenan made it clear that:

          1. English is 2nd official language along side Bahasa;
          2. recognised UEC for employment in state civil service;
          3. dismissed the term “pendatang” on Chinese;
          4. removed the “lain-lain” category in government forms;
          5. pressing for more state autonomy against Federal government;
          6. wanted 22 July as “Sarawak Independence Day”;
          7. withdraw the appeal against Roneey Rebit;
          8. assuring that Sarawak has no official religion (i.e. Islam).

          Looking at the above, even Oppo voters will be tempted to give him a chance.

          1. The Sarawak people always been less chauvinistic compared to their Peninsular brothers and sisters. Only when DAP went over there with their racist propaganda did the Chinese there changed their mentality. DAP also maximized the issue of Al Kitab to poison their minds.

            However I very much doubt the Peninsular counterparts will be as rational. I am sure that even if Najib delivers all the above and more, the Chinese eat the cake, spit at BN and vote DAP.

            1. Just to be specific, I can’t see how Najib can implement No. 1 ,2 and 8 at the federal level. Those are simply impossible.

              1. Drinho,

                There is no need to recognise UEC. Even by recognising it, BN will still not get Chinese vote in next PRU. I mean, let us get real here.

                As for the word “pendatang”, the truth is that vast majority of DAP leaders behave like “pendatang”. Let us call a spade a spade. You behave like “pendatang” by refusing to integrate, you will be treated like one. It is that simple.

                AS for “lain lain” in official documents, no malice is intended. it is actually the practice on this planet. Only the major races are specifically mentioned. A Malay who becomes a US citizens will not be cateogarized as “American Malay”.Rather, he would be classified as “Asian american”.

                And Sept 22, 1963 is not actually the date Sarawak achieves independence. That was the day the last colonial Governor left Sarawak. It was a symbolic gesture to signal the end of British rule. But Sarawak was then still a British colony. But if making Sept 22, 1963 a holiday will make Sarawak happy, I do not think BN or Najib has an issue with it

                The truth is that many want Sarawak to secede from Malaysia so that they can take over and control everything. Let us not forget that in 1963, the Governorship was initially meant for Temenggung Jugah. But Tunku though was fond of him, realised that Temenggung Jugah was “insufficiently modernised” to be the Head of state. With due respect, Temenggung Jugah was an illiterate.

                Imagine if at that time Sarawak did not join the already independent Tanah Melayu to form Malaysia, the ibans were likely to be “crucified” by greedy merchants or invaded by Indonesia

                1. While I agree with most of your points, the fact remains that the policies of Sarawak materially departs from the national policies based on the 8 items I listed above. Actually, there are more. But I am not going into details.

                  Mahathir is quite correct to say that Najib is pandering to Adenan’s various request. The election is a big victory for Adenan but a small one for Najib. Will Najib be able to repeat such achievement in the coming GE? The 2 upcoming by-elections will tell us.

                  re: But if making Sept 22, 1963 a holiday will make Sarawak happy………

                  If Sarawak is already part of Federation, why still reminisce on past events like Sept 22 1963? Just stay with 31 Aug and 16 Sept.

                    1. Except for no. 2 & 3, I don’t see how you can fit the rest as “Apa lagi Cina mahu???”

                  1. Drinho,

                    Declaring 22 July as state holiday for Sarawak is a non issue. let Sarawak be.

  3. My take is Apek2 Dapsters many may not come out to vote. Ini based on the behaviours of my jirans majority being Apek2 Dapsters. With all eyes and ears on KK and SgBesar mayak akan takut mau show their taring, satni locals kenal siapa mereka..

    Small numbers they are too exposed. Yg akan meramaikan pentas masa campaign nanti will be busloads from Penang and Selangoq.

    Payah nak cari makan as majority are Malays….kena ABCD lagi dua tahun + payah nanti.

    Hmmm wonder if Dyana and Zairil parachute dok tengah kalut shopping beli selendang and ketayap, sempat lagi tempah baju kurung dan baju melayu tau..

  4. If PH is clever they would sit this out and let PAS fight 1 on 1 with UMNO, PAS loses or UMNO loses either way they can spin it hard. PAS lost with a narrow margin on one of the seats last election and PH could use this double election to gauge the strength of PAS against UMNO. Too bad if they do this it’s basically confirming PH’s PAN can’t hold a candle to PAS. What use of PAN to DAP if they can’t fight PAS to take over PAS seats?

    Also don’t know about you all but I think most of the quiet masses are tired of all the politicking. So probably even less chinese coming out to vote both elections. Politicians should focus on presenting how the people stands to benefit from voting them and what they stand to lose from not voting them rather than capitalizing on dislike against the other team.

    1. ” Also don’t know about you all but I think most of the quiet masses are tired of all the politicking. So probably even less chinese coming out to vote both elections. Politicians should focus on presenting how the people stands to benefit from voting them and what they stand to lose from not voting them rather than capitalizing on dislike against the other team.”


      Also because dua2 pun tak boleh pakai lah, re: PKR and UMNO ( i left out DAP….DAP cannot be relied upon to capture heartland votes).

      I just signed a cause to fight Azmin on his highway deals….

      Maybe one day PSM can rise? :D

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