PAS's Loss of Malay Votes Off-set by Increased Chinese Votes
In the Bukit Gantang by election which was won by Datuk Nizar Jamaluddin, PAS won with an increased majoirty by almost 100 per cent.
But PAS LOST some support among Malay voters, PAS deputy chief and elections director Asmuni Awi admitted at a press conference today.
In the March 2008 general election, PAS candidate, the late Roslan Shaharom won 47 % of the Malay votes. This time around, PAS only secured 43 % of the total Malay votes.
Asmuni attributed the drop to the fact that the Barisan Nasional candidate Ismail Saffian was an established local boy and that it was an uphill task to penetrate rural areas.
Asmuni also revealed that the drop in Malay votes was offset by a LARGE surge in CHINESE votes, from 65 percent in 2008 to 75 percent in 2009.
Chinese voters constitute only 27 percent or about 15,000 of the total 55,471 Bukit Gantang voters.
"The Chinese have changed the way they look at us (PAS) . Last time they were very afraid of PAS, but not anymore. They thought that we would Islamise them. But now they know PAS is more open than Umno.This is because of the performance of the Pakatan government over the past 10 months.As for Indian votes, Asmuni said the party still obtained the majority of the community’s votes, though it was reduced marginally.
Public perception is that we are religious fundamentalists and a theological kampung party. Now, (the results show) we are a progressive party that can lead all races.
The drop in Malay votes, as claimed by analysts, was not that much. We expected to get around 40 per cent but we got 43 per cent. Even if we lost some Malay votes, the urban Malay votes saw an increase, due to better access to information.
Bukit Gantang is an Umno stronghold. We have never made any inroads here since independence, until the last general election. PAS only expected to bag 40 percent of the Malay votes.
PAS will continue to explain to the Malay voters about issues raised by Umno during the campaign, namely the Chinese-stooge issue, the 'derhaka' (treason) issue and the decision by the Pakatan Rakyat state government to grant freehold status to Chinese new villages.
If every party understands the message of the people, the dissolution of the state assembly must not be delayed."
Figures released by Asmuni also revealed that PAS made further inroads in the Kuala Sepetang and Changkat Jering state constituencies - both former Gerakan and Umno strongholds respectively - and chalked up notable increases in majority.
However, the party only managed a 66-vote increase in the Umno stronghold and rural state constituency of Trong.
PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said the victory reflected the people's acceptance of the "PAS for All" concept and that the party does not only cater for the Malays. Bernama quoted the PAS spiritual leader as saying that "PAS and the opposition now move one step ahead and closer to being accepted by non-Malays ."
Bukit Gantang: BN's Problem was Getting the Chinese Votes
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BARISAN Nasional (BN) fought hard. Having gone in as underdog, the party tried its best to wrest the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat which it lost in last year’s general election.
They knew the battle would be fierce, but the battlefield isn’t alien to BN. Bukit Gantang was, after all, its stronghold, having won it the past five general elections with thumping majorities — until last year’s political tsunami.
On paper, BN had everything before going into battle ― a good candidate, good track record, a new leadership and the power to loosen up a few issues that were seen as an obstacle to victory, which it tackled by lifting the ban on Harakah and Suara Keadilan and releasing two Hindraf leaders.
Instead, its traditional rival, PAS, received better response, not just the from the Malays but specifically, the Chinese electorate.
So, what went wrong?
BN’s only problem, claimed observers, were the Chinese votes, which made up 29 per cent of the total 55,300-odd voters.
The reality is that BN failed to get the required number of Chinese votes to make up the figures while at the same time losing the Malay votes due to factionism in the Bukit Gantang Umno division.
Regardless of whether the blame lies with MCA or Gerakan, which held the Kuala Sepetang State seat before losing it in last year’s general election, the stark reality is that PAS candidate Datuk Seri Muhammad Nizar Jamaluddin had already forged a strong bond with the Chinese electorate during his 11-month tenure as Perak Menteri Besar.
True, at the last minute, the Chinese votes did swing in BN’s favour but it was ultimately insufficient. (And) the MALAY votes which BN had counted on to balance the loss, simply did NOT materialise.
Such issues aside, the general sentiment is that Pas’ victory reflected the electorates’ feelings concerning the Perak MB issue.
More specifically, that they felt they should be given the right to choose their State government. Call it a referendum or even the cliched “voice of the people”, it is simply the reflection of Perakians’ opinion, via the voting slips in Bukit Gantang.
As Nizar said following his victory:
Right or wrong, love it or loathe it, Nizar could be right.
“This is a signal that the rakyat want their right to choose the State government.
They want the State Assembly to be dissolved and a fresh State election be held.
They want the judiciary to be free of external influences.”
After all, BN did everything within its right to win, but didn’t. Internal problems aside, the real problem is still out there – dealing with the expression of the hearts and minds of the people.
Bukan Melayu Undi Pembangkang
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Calon anak tempatan Barisan Nasional (BN), Ismail Saffian, gagal menyaingi populariti calon PAS, Datuk Seri Ir. Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin – yang menjadi Menteri Besar Perak selama 11 bulan.
Dan seperti disebut-sebut sepanjang kempen pilihan raya kecil ini, pengundi Cina menjadi penentu apabila mereka beramai-ramai keluar mengundi untuk memberi sokongan kepada Mohammad Nizar yang menjadi calon pilihan DAP sejak awal-awal lagi.
Ternyata pendekatan populis yang diambil oleh Mohammad Nizar sepanjang menerajui kerajaan negeri mendapat sokongan pengundi Cina yang meliputi 27 peratus daripada keseluruhan 56,462 pemilih berdaftar.
Walaupun perkembangan dua tiga hari sebelum tarikh pengundian menunjukkan seolah-olah angin perubahan telah melanda kem BN khususnya kalangan masyarakat Cina tetapi realitinya tidak begitu.
- Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Kuala Sepetang yang mempunyai 6,276 orang atau 31.8 peratus pemilih berdaftar kaum Cina mencatatkan jumlah keluar mengundi tertinggi semalam iaitu sebanyak 15,411 pengundi atau 78.14 peratus. Dan di situ sahaja, BN kalah dengan majoriti lebih 2,000 undi.
Ini bermakna BN mengalami majoriti kekalahan lebih 100 peratus berbanding majoriti kemenangan pembangkang di DUN itu pada pilihan raya umum lalu yang hanya 564 undi.
- BN juga kalah dalam DUN Changkat Jering yang mencatat peratusan keluar mengundi 73.79 peratus atau 18,418 pengundi.
- BN hanya menang di DUN Trong – daerah terbesar dengan jumlah pengundi terkecil iaitu 10,796 orang. Itupun dengan majoriti TIDAK sampai 1,000 undi daripada 7,928 orang atau 73.8 peratus yang keluar mengundi.
Keseluruhannya 41,757 orang atau 75.34 peratus keluar mengundi pada pilihan raya kecil ini, pertambahan 2.69 peratus berbanding 72.65 peratus atau 40,299 orang pada Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) 2008.
Dan seperti yang sudah diketahui umum, calon PAS yang mendapat sokongan 100 peratus daripada parti pakatan pembangkang DAP dan PKR, menang dengan majoriti 2,789 undi iaitu pertambahan 1,223 undi berbanding pilihan raya umum tahun lalu.