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
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
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
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.