Home  >  Opinion

How to win without a Malay tsunami

  • Pakatan Harapan can still win even without a Malay tsunami if its supporters come out in droves to vote.

Sin Chew Daily

This country seriously lacks reliable polls, and the turnout at ceramahs therefore becomes a common yardstick to gauge voters' support, in particular among the Malays.

The recent two ceramahs by Pakatan Harapan in Guar Chempedak, Kedah and Kangar, Perlis, managed to draw impressive crowds at about 15,000 and 5,000.respectively.

PH chairman Tun Mahathir joked that if Najib saw the crowd, he would be scared to death.

Guar Chempedak is a state constituency under Jelai parliamentary seat. Currently held by Umno, it had 79% Malay voters, 15% Chinese and 6% Indians in 2013.

Meanwhile, Perlis is a tiny state with a small population which is mainly Malay. An attendance of 5,000 should qualify as an overwhelming response.

Both Kedah and Perlis are predominantly Malay states, and the encouraging turnout at these two PH ceramahs should say something about the opposition pact's popularity there.

On PH's claim of an imminent Malay tsunami in the coming general elections, communication and multimedia minister Mohd Salleh Said argued in a statement that the number of people at a ceramah should not be construed as confirmed votes.

The minister cited the example of Indera Kayangan state assembly seat in Perlis in 2002, when almost 30,000 people packed the PKR ceramah versus only about 300 at then MB Shahidan Kassim's event. In the end, PKR lost to MCA.

Some BN leaders might also argue that PH was mobilizing its supporters from other states to create that mass.

Meanwhile, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan said the huge crowds at PH ceramahs were only a psychological warfare aimed at giving the public an impression that people indeed wanted to change the government.

BN will announce its election manifesto on April 7 at Bukit Jalil National Stadium which can seat 100,000 people. However, this is only a kind of rally to bring BN component party members under one roof in an ostentatious show of force, and must never be compared with the number of people turning up out of own accord to show their support for a party.

Parties on both sides of the divide are so obsessed with crowd size because they hope the voters can be influenced by the "Malay tsunami" presumption.

While BN leaders have squarely denied the existence of Malay tsunami, PH insists it is fast taking shape. Indeed, it is not easy to read the mines of the largely quiet Malay majority.

Some say while the Malays are not happy with the government, they are not resolved enough to abandon the Umno safety net. Meanwhile, the other side claims that Malays have become increasingly disenchanted with the government especially after the implementation of GST which has further aggravated their financial burden.

If the Malay tsunami really exists, putting high concentrations of Malay voters in specific constituencies is without the slightest doubt suicidal.

I personally feel that what tourism minister Nazri Abdul Aziz said is more realistic, that the Malays are now divided and no one can obtain two-thirds majority in the coming elections.

If PH and PAS get 30% of Malay votes each, Umno with 40% of votes will win in a three-cornered fight. If these three parties get only 33% of votes each, then PH may win from non-Malay votes.

Some others are of the opinion that at least 5-10% of Malay voters have yet to make up their minds, and any party that manages to win them over will claim the ultimate victory.

The voting trends among Malay voters vary from state to state. In KL and Selangor, PH is poised to win big among Malay voters and is believed to retain the Selangor administration.

The opposition camp has good chances of capturing Kedah as a result of the Mahathir factor. Nevertheless, it is not expected to outdo Umno and PAS in both Kelantan and Terengganu.

As a matter of fact, tsunami is a phenomenon whereby overwhelming majority of voters suppport the opposition, for example 80% of Chinese and urban voters voted for Pakatan Rakyat in the last general elections in 2013. As such, a Malay tsunami (with 70-80% shift towards the opposition) is unlikely to happen because both Umno and PAS have had their own strong support bases.

Nevertheless, PH can still win without a Malay tsunami. All it needs is higher voter turnout from its supporters than Umno or PAS in order to take Putrajaya. And the keywords here are: high voter turnout!

Umno won easily in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, but the situation is different today. Umno is divided and life is getting tougher for people in these two constituencies. An Umno victory is no longer a sure bet there.



Copyright © 2019 MCIL Multimedia Sdn Bhd (515740-D).
All rights reserved. Contact us : [email protected]