Johor BN was absolutely correct in their campaign to frame the opposition as ‘Cina DAP’.
The state election results yesterday bore out the correctness of BN’s strategy — DAP emerged as the only Harapan leg left standing on firm ground, where the evangelical party had won on Chinese votes in Chinese areas.
Most significantly, Amanah – which snagged nine Johor state seats in GE14 – was almost wiped out yesterday, ending up with only one seat.
PKR was taken to the cleaners too. Therefore Cina DAP have no more use for Anwar’s beleaguered party that they regard as a dishrag soon to be discarded.
Harapan’s now two-legged stool
Cina DAP have lately been preferring Muda as the Harapan third leg.
Harapan went into the Johor election as a coalition of two parties (DAP + Amanah) plus a cooperation pact with Muda.
PKR contested separately under their own blue Keadilan logo.
Party deputy president Salahuddin Ayub was the sole survivor from Amanah who managed to defend his seat. Salahuddin retained Simpang Jeram but a dozen of his party colleagues bit the dust, including in Maharani (an incumbent Amanah seat) which was yesterday conceded to PAS.
A month ago, I’d predicted that DAP would lose some seats. I was right.
Yesterday DAP relinquished four of its incumbent seats, which is tantamount to losing close to one-third of its 2018 haul when it netted fourteen seats.
DAP successfully defended all of its Chinese-majority seats. Of the four it lost, two seats were those without a Chinese plurality.
Its Melayu DAP incumbent Sheikh Omar was defeated in Paloh while the DAP’s Indian candidate lost in Bekok.
DAP also lost Pekan Nanas, Yong Peng (and Bekok) to MCA.
DAP Johor chief Liew Chin Tong meanwhile eked out an unimpressive victory in Perling.
MCA’s 15,281 votes in Perling added with Gerakan’s 8,829 votes would have together exceeded Chin Tong’s 18,628 votes. It is a pity that Gerakan split the Malay votes instead of PN and BN combining their forces to defeat DAP.
The sole non-Chinese in DAP’s Johor 2022 Adun line-up is Marina Ibrahim. As I blogged before in ‘Johor: DAP’s mirror image of BN old election strategy’ posted on Feb 24, here DAP is only copycatting BN.
Whereas Umno persuaded its Malay base to support MCA in certain Malay-majority areas, DAP got its Chinese base to back Marina in Skudai which is a roughly 77 percent non-Malay constituency.
In GE14, DAP’s Tan Hong Pin won Skudai with a majority of 35,126 votes. Yesterday, Marina won Skudai with a drastically reduced majority of 13,943 votes.
PKR retained one seat
PKR’s sole remaining seat is Bukit Batu where it won with an anorexic majority of 137 votes. The very close contest between Arthur Chiong Sen Sern and MIC’s S. Suppayah was confirmed in PKR’s favour after a recount.
Bukit Batu has 58 percent Chinese and 7.2 percent Indian voters.
Candy from sugardaddy DAP for Muda baby
Muda’s successful debut in Puteri Wangsa came courtesy of Harapan giving way over PKR objections.
Puteri Wangsa was considered a winnable seat for the opposition as half its voters are Chinese.
The Skudai tactic is repeated here with the evangelical party herding its compliant Cina DAP electorate to give Muda a piggyback ride.
Muda sec-gen Amira Aisya obtained 22,884 votes gaining her infant party its only seat — Puteri Wangsa. MCA got 15,770 votes and Gerakan 8,957 while the Parti Bangsa Malaysia and Pejuang candidates both lost their deposits.
In GE14, Puteri Wangsa had gone to Harapan with 37,545 votes.
BN back in the driver’s seat
BN got more than two-thirds of the Johor state assembly and a supermajority of 40/56.
Umno narrowly won Parit Yaani defeating Amanah, with PAS coming in a respectable third. This seat was last contested by MCA for BN.
In Pulai Sebatang, Umno scored a convincing victory over incumbent Amanah and third placed PAS. This seat too was contested by MCA in GE14.
Umno picked up another seat – Pemanis – winning comfortably against PKR and Bersatu. This seat was contested in 2018 by Gerakan on a BN ticket when it was still in the Dacing coalition.
Parit Yaani, Pulai Sebatang and Pemanis are all Malay-majority seats. Mahathir’s party Pejuang lost its deposits in these three seats and elsewhere.
MCA won four seats and MIC three, thus reseting BN as a viable multiethnic partnership again.
By comparison, the Coalition of Hope is dominated by Chinese with the DAP logging in at 10 seats and its Harapan satellites with one seat each.
There is no Indian Adun in the Harapan-plus (DAP, Amanah, PKR, Muda) Johor line-up.
Cina DAP so langsi
Commenting last night in Malaysiakini‘s live coverage of the election, Dr Suresh Kumar wrote (timestamp 9:45pm):
“You see when PH comprised of DAP and other component parties were strong those days, the Chinese, esp. the DAP Chinamen Red Army group used to degrade, mock and vilify the Indians (who gave their undivided support to PH) whenever they asked for their rights (think Kg Buah Pala, just one example here). They will call the Indians names, like can be bought for a bag of rice lah, for toddy lah, selfish lah, snake lah, what not. OMG, there were no limits to name calling. But they get very upset, angry and vindictive when their Chinese issues are not addressed, can you see the hypocrisy?”
Dr Suresh has accurately described above how Cina DAP bullied (“degrade, mock and vilify the Indians”) and stereotyped the smaller ethnic minority as toddy drinkers.
He also pointed to their hypocrisy, another trait which Malaysiakini columnist Thayaparan has similarly highlighted.
The anger and vindictiveness of Cina DAP mentioned by Dr Suresh is plain to everyone. Mahathir fangirl Hannah Yeoh, for instance, once called BN a “wicked regime”.
Talking about this “Manichean worldview” in the toxic opposition politics, Thayaparan asked rhetorically: “If they [Malaysians] vote for Umno/BN, what does that make them? The bad guys?”
In his March 3 column, Thaya was alluding to how Cina DAP characterize pro-establishment voters as “stupid”, corrupt and “So Chinese and Malays who do not vote for Harapan are the ones destroying this country”.
I’ve previously explained why Cina DAP is a symbiotic collective.
Without the cadres from its Chinese base to cheerlead and play defence, DAP would not be able to gaslight the public — the Hannah Hijabi episode is one example.
And without the party’s opinion shapers taking the lead in social media and hysterical DAP troopers functioning like Mao Zedong Red Guards, the mob would not be able to bully so ferociously.
Teresa Kok’s threat “Bila kita jadi kerajaan balik, korang tahulah nanti” flags us on how the Johor election was an important pin or sticker on the Cina DAP political map.