Six elements influenced the Chinese voting pattern in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.
(1) DAP did not contest both the by-elections, so Chinese voters were deprived of their first choice. They could only pick between three unappealing Malay/Muslim parties.
(2) Turnout for the twin by-elections was low, and turnout in the Chinese areas even lower.
The sharp drop in turnout – compared to GE13’s ubah-tsunami climate of 2013 – created a distortion.
According to political commenter Kim Quek today in FMT, the skew happened as a result of “the massive absence of the anti-BN outstation Chinese voters”. He cited polling stations in Jalan Dato and Kampong Pajak Potong, Kuala Kangsar as suffering a reduced turnout by “a whopping 37 percent”.
Wong Chin Huat, a fellow of Penang Institute (the de facto DAP think-tank) made the same point, citing a drop of 19 percentage points in some heavily Chinese precincts.
According to Wong:
“Preliminary analysis shows that the PAS was wiped out in some predominantly-Chinese precincts while Amanah also did badly in some predominantly-Malay ones.
“More importantly, in both constituencies, the turnout rates dived by more than 13 percentage points, and the fall in some Chinese areas reached 19 percentage points, which partly contributed to the impression that there was a sizeable Chinese swing towards BN.” — see Malay Mail (20 June 2016)
In other words, the Chinese stayed home.
(3) To reiterate Chin Huat’s findings above, “PAS was wiped out in some predominantly-Chinese precincts”.
The shift in the Chinese electorate was not so much renewed attraction to BN but rejection of PAS. Many believe Hadi Awang’s “hudud bill” had turned off the Chinese.
Sin Chew in its editorial yesterday observed some examples of the shift:
- “Of the three Chinese-majority polling stations in Sungai Besar, for example, 505 Chinese voters who once voted for PAS are now voting for the BN.”
- “The support for BN in Jerlun new village [in Kuala Kangsar] has doubled from 26% in 2013 to 52%”
“By comparison, PAS managed to get some 75% of Chinese votes under the banner of Pakatan Rakyat during the last general elections.”
Sin Chew‘s conclusions:
(i) “… the collapse of PR and the party’s [PAS] insistence to push ahead hudud law have estranged the Chinese voters, resulting in the drastic fall in their support among Chinese voters. PAS’ insistence on hudud might have somehow contributed to BN’s increased support among the Chinese voters.”
(4) BN dangled a lot of carrots.The Chinese took a chunky bite.
It is easier to distribute goodies during by-elections.
In a general election covering the whole country, however, constituencies can no longer be lavished this kind of individual attention nor have federal big shots and ministers parachute in and promising to be nice.
Kim Quek posits:
“The other factor of unusual increase in support to BN as in some polling stations in Sekinchan, Selangor, is the special favours specific to the local residents dished out by BN like instant approval of long deprived citizenship, handing out permits to fishermen to import long-deprived foreign workers, freeing of fishermen imprisoned in Sumatra, etc.” (See ‘Fallacies and facts of the two by-elections‘ in FMT)
Kim Quek believes that the appearance of a return of Chinese support to BN is “more illusory than factual”.
He also believes that “the widespread and deep-running Chinese discontent against BN over long-standing racial discrimination and runaway corruption” will take its usual toll on the ruling coalition come general election, as it did previously in GE12 and GE13.
(5) The quantum of increase in Chinese support for BN may evaporate in a GE.
Dah Ikhwan’s analysis on June 18:
“Satu lagi rumusan yang diperolehi ialah sokongan kaum Cina untuk BN sudah meningkat mungkin dalam lingkungan 10% kepada 25% manakala majoriti masih lagi mengundi DAP atau parti sponsornya, PAN.”
My estimate tallies with Dah Ikhwan’s. I wrote:
“Similar to the trend in Sarawak recently, some Chinese vote in Sg. Besar did swing back to the BN — with possibly one-fifth or even up to one-quarter of the Chinese who came out to vote yesterday voting in favour of the BN.”
[A quarter is 25 percent. Nonetheless do bear in mind that in absolute numbers, the Chinese who had gone out to vote in the by-elections was a low figure.]
Dah Ikhwan moreover sounds a cautionary note, saying:
“Ini satu petanda baru yang nampak setelah peningkatan sokongan pengundi Cina kepada BN di PRN Sarawak pada bulan lepas. Bagaimanapun, sama ada ini akan kekal dan terus bertambah adalah satu persoalan, kerana pengundi Cina mudah berubah mengikut keadaan dan peluang yang mereka nampak. Jadi masyarakat Melayu perlu terus berhati-hati dan jangan terpedaya dengan hasutan politik Cina DAP.”
(6) Chinese voters pulled off a piece of deceptive playacting before slapping the shell-shocked Najib with their tsunami, and they think they can again fool the Melayu yang selalu saja nak bersangka baik.
About Dah Ikhwan’s warning for masyarakat Melayu untuk “terus berhati-hati dan jangan terpedaya dengan hasutan politik Cina DAP”, I shall add that the Malay community will equally need to beware the trickery of Melayu DAP too.
Kalau tak tipu maka namanya bukan DAP (atau Melayu DAP)
Con job so that MCA’s big loss will be DAP’s gain in GE14
One particular Melayu balaci DAP (who alluded to Umno as a “racist”, “despicable” and “hateful” party) has already gone into spin overdrive to try and make the Umno war room leka or complacent.
He is a 20k Trojan horse bent on throwing the Umno strategy out of whack by attempting to convince Team Najib that Chinese voters have returned to the BN’s embrace.
If Najib can be persuaded that the Chinese will swing back to him, then BN will continue letting MCA (and Gerakan) contest Malay-majority seats in the next election. But MCA is sure to lose these seats either to PAN or to DAP itself.
Siakap senohong gelama ikan duri, ini dia Melayu penyamar yang dah jadi DAP
Melayu barua DAP yang anti perpaduan ummah
Any Malay who loves his tanahair would be receptive to the idea of perpaduan ummah. Only a Melayu DAP would argue so agitatedly against such a move.
The rhetoric put forth by this Malay oppo psywar operator is that Umno would be “racist” to sideline MCA in favour of cooperation with PAS. As well, it’s “hateful” for Umno not to bend over backwards to welcome the Chinese’s return to the fold.
A DAP prepaid knows how easy it is to take the Malays on a guilt trip of feeling bad if they fail to act “nice”.
This lebih-Cina-dari-Cina hidung sudu senduk Melayu fella is lying about the Chinese vote calculus just as he lies about many other things.
Umno blogosphere and the political circles, particularly Umno Johor, know who the Melayu munafiq blogger is. Sudah terang lagi bersuluh persekongkolannya dengan DAP … sah ‘Melayu skru Melayu’.