SHAH ALAM – Barisan Nasional (BN)’s strategy of placing a candidate from MCA in the Tanjung Piai by-election could be a disadvantage for the party.
Based on a research by the Darul Ehsan Institute (IDE), one third of the voters, especially those belonging to the ‘on the fence’ category place candidate as their priority to determine their support, especially among the Malay community.
Deputy Chairman of IDE, Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman said, the situation is different from the supporters of Pakatan Harapan. Although they are non-Malays, they put their party first.
The Malay voters, would be facing the dilemma of choosing between MCA which rejected hudud, or the Malay candidate from Pakatan Harapan.
“67 percent of the voters prioritise on the candidate while 33 percent put their considerations on the party.
“In the context of the UMNO (supporters), based on our observation, they wanted a Malay candidate but the BN leaders have placed a former candidate who have lost the previous election. This will affect the result.
“There is an effect when BN places MCA as their candidate. By placing a Chinese as a candidate, it will provide some advantage for the Pakatan Harapan,” he said in a press conference of the Tanjung Piai by-election: An Analysis at IDE’s office today.
BN announced its MCA Division Chief, Wee Jeck Seng, the former Member of Parliament of Tanjung Piai for two terms since 2008 until his defeat in the previous 14th General Election as a candidate for the by-election on 16 November.
Pakatan Harapan on the other hand, put their stakes on the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Tanjung Piai Division Chief, Karmaine Sardini, 66 as their candidate.
Mohammad Redzuan also mentioned about the National Cooperation Charter signed between UMNO and PAS.
According to him, the latest development does not provide advantage in Tanjung Piai although it seemed like a good picture.
“Some said that the cooperation between UMNO and PAS is good but it does not play vital role,” he said.
Despite the survey was not favourable for the opposition, Mohammad Redzuan also said that the performance of BN in the parliamentary area is stable, based on the votes they received in GE14, which was a total of 28,046 votes, GE12 (23,302) and GE13 (25,038). It did not suffer a drastic drop.
During the political tsunami in GE14, the decline of votes for BN where Jeck Seng obtained 23,255 votes was also influenced by factors such as on the fence voters and people who don’t cast their votes.
Elaborating further, he said, BN has a greater chance of winning if the more voters go out and vote on 16 November, which include, bringing back the 56 percent of voters who reside in other areas. The situation can be seen based on the observation of IDE in several other by-elections such as the Sungai Kandis, Sri Setia, Balakong and Cameron Highland.
He said, Tanjung Piai has voters who resides in Johor (23 percent), Klang Valley (7 percent), Singapore (10 percent), other states (12 percent), overseas other than Singapore (1 percent) and others (3 percent).
The details were read by Mohammad Redzuan when he presented the analysis of IDE which was carried out from 18 to 20 October, involving 1,518 respondents from the Tanjung Piai parliamentary area.
He also sees the advantage of BN in terms of the strength of its election engine. On the other hand, the PH has more room as they have the authority in the Federal and State government.
Therefore, he concluded that both parties which will be contesting for the parliamentary seats have rather equal opportunity to win the by-election.
“From the micro side, both parties have equal opportunity if they utilise the right strategies,” he added.
Tanjung Piai has a total of 53,528 voters, where more than half of them are Malays, 42 percent Chinese and 1 percent Indians. -MalaysiaGazette