Saturday, May 24, 2014

'BN Needs To Increase Chinese Votes In Teluk Intan', Bernama, 22 May 2014

By Alan Ting

KUALA LUMPUR Bernama) -- Like in the Kajang by-election, the odds once again does not favour Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Teluk Intan by-election slated on May 31.

BN has to work extra hard to woo the 60,940 voters in Teluk Intan, especially the Chinese who have shown a propensity to vote for the opposition.

Having said that, a political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said BN still has good chances in increasing the Chinese support in this by-election provided it comes up with a good strategy and counter whatever issues brought by DAP.

"BN needs to do just as what they did in the Kajang by-election in strategising their approach towards the Chinese voters, resulting in 15 percent increase in support," he said.

Therefore, BN has to move as a team rather than leaving everything to its component member Gerakan and its candidate Datuk Mah Siew Keong, 53.

The Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election will see a straight fight between BN's Mah, who is also Gerakan's president, and DAP's Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, 27.

The by-election is called following the death of its Member of Parliament, Seah Leong Peng, 48, of cancer on May 1.


BN sources calculated that if Mah could woo 30 to 35 percent Chinese, 70 percent Malay and 60 percent Indian votes, Gerakan could well add on another parliament seat.

This will be the perfect remedy that the ailing Gerakan now dsperately needs.

And as for DAP, like said by its publicity chief Tony Pua, the party has to at least maintain 70 percent Chinese, 60 Indian and 30 percent Malay votes.

"If the Chinese votes dropped by 15 percent, we will lose the seat," said Pua, who is also DAP Teluk Intan by-election campaign director.

Sivamurugan added that the lower turnout of voters during by-elections could also help improve BN's fortunes.

"In 2013 the turnout was about 80.4 percent and in 2008 it was 70 percent. For this by-election, I believe the turnout will be only between 66 and 70 percent even though the Election Commission (EC) expected a 85 percent turnout," he said.


The analysis of the 13th General Election results in each polling district centres (PDM) revealed that BN has to work hard to increase the Chinese and Indian votes if the ruling party is to improve its result like how it did in Kajang.

There are 37 PDMs in Teluk Intan with 19 of them located at the Chinese majority state constituency of Pasir Bedamar and 18 being predominately Malay PDM under the Changkat Jong constituency.

A BN insider told Bernama the Chinese still hold the trump card in deciding the winner.

"The Malay votes is already reaching its maximum in terms of support with some Malay areas like Changkat Jong already hitting 80 percent. There is limit to how far BN can push further with the Malay votes," said the party insider.

Based on GE13 result, BN won all the 10 PDM in Malay majority seat of Changkat Jong state assembly seat with average support about 70 percent while DAP recorded between 20 and 30 percent support in these PDMs.

However, DAP made up the loses in Malay areas with the majority support from the Chinese, Indian and mixed PDMs. DAP won 17 Chinese PDMs with an average of 80 percent support and three out of six Indian PDM with average 50 percent support.

Not only that, DAP also won all the five mixed PDM Jalan Laxamana, Kampong Guru, Taman Seri Setia, Taman Cecily and Kampong Banjar with average support of 60 percent.

In total, DAP won 25 PDMs as compared with only 12 for BN and this explained why DAP won the seat with a 7,313 vote majority.


In order to capture the Teluk Intan seat, BN needs to increase at least another 10 to 15 percent of votes in addition to the previous 15 percent support it received, and this is not going to be an easy task looking at BN's low support in the Chinese areas.

Most of the Chinese PDMs are located in Pasir Bedamar constituency except PDM Batu Dua Belas Utara, the only Chinese PDM in Changkat Jong.

The GE13 result showed that BN only obtained between 18 and 30 percent support in Chinese PDM namely Sg Suli, Pasir Bedamar Barat, Pasir Bedamar Utara, Pasir Bedamar Tengah, Pasir Bedamar Selatan, Jalan Market Barat, Jalan Canal, Jalan Market Timor, Jalan Anson, Jalan Speedy, Jalan Sg Nibong and Eastern Garden.

"An increase in Indian and Malay votes is still not good enough to help BN recapture the seat and if the increase from the Chinese votes is less than 10 percent. This is a huge challenge for the BN," said a local Gerakan grassroots leader.


It appears that BN candidate, Mah is going for broke as Gerakan badly needs to recapture the seat in order to revive its flagging fortunes.

In the last general election, the party won one federal seat in Simpang Renggam through Liang Teck Meng.

Mah may have taken a bold but a very risky decision to contest in the by-election as his defeat will probably affect his presidency and spell doom for his political career.


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