Kuala Kangsar, Sungai Besar by-elections: Quick comment


So it looks as if the BN is heading for a comfortable victory in both parliamentary seats, judging by the congratulatory tweets issued by the likes of KJ.

What is clear is that the BN and, let’s not forget, Hadi’s Pas have succeeded in driving a wedge among opposition supporters, who have divided their votes between Amanah and Pas. Otherwise, the total opposition votes would have been closer to the BN’s tallies.

Amidst the gloom among those longing for change, there is a ray of hope over the performance of Amanah, which has given Pas a close race for second place in both seats despite being a new party. This should encourage Amanah to build further on its more progressive approach to Islam and distance itself from the conservatives.

The results also suggest that Hadi’s bill has not gained signficiant traction among Muslim voters in these two predominantly Muslim constituencies. With Pas performing relatively poorly, what does that say about popular support for Hadi’s bill? Given Pas’ poor showing in the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat in Selangor (where it won a string of seats in GE13), will Pas now go back to being a party confined to the East Coast?

If Pas has an unwritten pact with Umno in three-cornered fights, Pas may pip Amanah to second spot here and there.

But in the long-run, will Umno actually cede any of its traditional seats in the next general election for Pas to contest in straight fights with other opposition parties? If Umno doesn’t cede more than a handful of seats, Pas might find itself with a lot fewer elected reps in both Parliament and the state assemblies at the end of the day. How will the Pas rank and file react then?

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Perhaps opposition parties need to take a step back and look at what kind of alternative economic ideology they have to offer compared to the BN’s corporate-led, neoliberal, mega project-driven approach.

If the Pakatan’s economic policies are essentially the same as the BN’s, with the only difference being their pledge of less blatant and rampant corruption, is this enough of an incentive for voters, including rural voters, who are struggling to make ends meet?

I mean, if all that is on offer is a choice between:

  • a fizzy cola drink with sugary goodies thrown in like RM400-1,050 annual Brim, the third instalment (RM200-300) for which was cynically brought forward from the scheduled 23 June to 15 June (three days before polling), and
  • ‘healthier’ diet cola with fewer calories (ie RM100 for senior citizens, etc, and supposedly minus the corruption),

should we be surprised if many voters opt for the sweeter fizzy cola?

What difference does it make to grassroots voters if there is less corruption? Under the existing model, is there any guarantee that had 1MDB money (for example) not been siphoned away, it would have been used for projects that really empowered the grassroots?

Isn’t it time opposition parties offer voters a healthier and nore nourishing option (raw fruit and veggie juice, to use the same analogy). Offer voters a different approach to development – one that is pro-people and pro-workers insteasls of adopting the same corporate-led or developer-led neoliberal, FDI-driven, trickle-down approach that perpetuates, if not widens, income inequality?

Apart from PSM, which recently held a roundtable on the causes of rural Malay poverty, have the other opposition parties really studied the root causes of rural poverty and identified the solutions?

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This is a must read: Let’s avert a complete rout of the opposition in GE14.

Meanwhile, the Malaysiakini report of selected voters lining up for post-election payouts needs to be investigated.

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    Article by Dr. Ong Kian Ming,
    Member of Parliament for Serdang on the 27th of June, 2016:

    (More than) A week has now passed since the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar twin by-elections on the 18th of June, 2016. Much commentary and analysis has been written regarding the results. Having read through most of them, I hope to set the by-election results in the larger context of by-elections which have taken place since the 1999 general elections. By doing so, I hope that we identify the factors which are important for Pakatan Harapan to take into account moving forward and some of the issues which are perhaps not as important in the larger scheme of things.

    There have been a total of 42 by-elections since the 1999 general elections – 8 between 1999 and 2004, 6 between 2004 and 2008, 16 between 2008 and 2013 and 12 since the 2013 general elections. (See Table 1 below) The incumbent party won 34 out of 42 by-elections (81%). Of these 34 by-elections, 22 were in BN held seats and 12 were in opposition held seats. In other words, unless there are unique circumstances, the incumbent, which is BN in most cases, will usually win by-elections.

    Of the remaining 8 by-elections where the incumbent party was defeated, the BN emerged victors in 5 seats (the Pendang parliament seat in 2002 after the death of former PAS president Fadzil Noor, the Pengkalan Pasir state seat in Kelantan in 2005, the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat in 2010, the Galas state seat in Kelantan in 2010 and most recently, the Teluk Intan parliament seat in 2014).

    The opposition only managed to turn the tide to create an upset 3 times – in the Lunas state seat in Kedah in 2000, in the Kuala Terengganu parliament seat in 2009 and in the Sibu parliamentary seat in 2010.

    In other words, it was very unlikely that the opposition would pull off an upset in either Sungai Besar or Kuala Kangsar when we examine the history of by-elections since 1999.

    Of course, the presence of a three corner fight in both seats made it all but impossible for the opposition to capture either seat given that the pro-opposition votes were split between PAS and AMANAH.

    The 3 corner fights in both seats which led to a big increase in BN’s majority masks the fact that BN’s vote share increased by only 3.5% in Sungai Besar and 3.6% in Kuala Kangsar. It is not unusual to see BN increase its vote share during by-elections where specific promises can be made to voters in the respective constituencies whether it is in the form of a new community center (in Jerlun, Kuala Kangsar) or to promise to allow fishermen in Sungai Besar to employ more foreign workers. In fact, in the 22 by-elections won by BN incumbents, BN’s vote share increased by an average of 5.5%. BN’s vote share increased in 18 of these by-elections (compared to the general election) and decreased in only 3 (with one seat being previously uncontested during the general election).

    This does not mean that the opposition has no chance to win these seats in the next general election or to win other seats that are currently being held by the BN. One can look to the example of the Ijok by-election held on the 28th of April 2007. The MIC candidate won this seat with an increased vote share (from 55.8% to 58.6%, an increase of 2.8%) during this by-election. But less than a year later, in the 2008 general election, this result was turned on its head and the PKR candidate (former MB, Khalid Ibrahim) won this seat with 56.8% of the vote. The question and the challenge for Pakatan Harapan is this: How do we create the conditions for the Ijok experience to be repeated nationwide in the next general election?

    I fully admit that the challenges faced by Pakatan Harapan in the lead up to GE14 are far more serious compared to when the opposition sprung an unexpected surprise on the BN in GE12. The objective in GE14 is to capture Putrajaya compared to when the best the opposition could hope for in GE12 was to deny the BN a two thirds control of parliament. The opposition is divided both externally (PH and PAS) and internally. But I do believe that if we address three main challenges, this would make capturing Putrajaya a distinct possibility rather than what many perceive to be an impossible task as things stand right now.

    Firstly, Pakatan Harapan needs to be strengthened as an opposition coalition. This means that there cannot be any 3 corner fights featuring component parties of PH like what happened in the recent Sarawak state elections. Many of our supporters were very critical of the decision by both PKR and DAP to field candidates in 5 state seats in Sarawak. Most voters were not interested in the internal dynamics of what led to this decision or the fact that multi-corner fights were avoided in the other 77 state seats. What they wanted to see was a united PH going up against the BN. While pro PH voters were more accepting of the 3 corner fights in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar (since it involved PAS, who is not a member of the PH coalition), there were still critics who said that PH was not giving voters the impression that it was campaigning together. This impression has to be overturned and a new spirit or ‘semangat’ of PH needs to be created in the run-up to GE14 if we are to have any chance of defeating the BN.

    Secondly, PH needs to create a compelling alternative narrative or narratives to voters who want change. Some commentators opined that the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar campaigns were too focused on national issues such as 1MDB and the GST and not enough attention were being paid to local issues. In the same vein, some commentators also said that PH should provide concrete alternative policies to the BN rather than just criticizing the BN on issues of corruption and abuse of power. Having been at the Sungai Besar campaign for about a week, I can safely say that local issues to do with paddy production and subsidies as well as fishermen issues were brought up by the AMANAH candidate as well as by the various PH leaders via ceramahs, press conferences and hand phone messages. Also having been part of the policy team in Pakatan Rakyat and now Pakatan Harapan, I can also safely say that most voters get bored when one talks about policy issues whether in ceramahs or even in press statements. What voters want is to have confidence that PH can govern effectively as a coalition. The policy positions have to be discussed and then announced together over a sustained period of time in order to create this confidence that PH is a cohesive coalition capable of overcoming their internal differences to govern together. And these policy positions will then form the compelling alternative narratives to the BN’s platform. I say narratives because there needs to be targeted messages and positions for the rural as well as the urban audience, for voters in Peninsular Malaysia as well as for voters in Sabah and Sarawak.

    Which leads me to the third and final point – that PH needs to use Penang and Selangor as showcase how the coalition can govern together and govern well. The impression that the Penang state government is a DAP government and that the Selangor government is a PKR government needs to be dispelled. Policies which reflect the aspirations of the rakyat at the national level needs to be pushed through and showcased as concrete examples of a PH government at the federal level can govern better than the BN.

    Overcoming these three challenges are necessary but not sufficient conditions for PH to reach its goal of capturing Putrajaya. We still have to deal with the elephant in the room which is how to deal with PAS. But that is a matter for a separate discussion and perhaps it is an issue which PH has little control over at the end of the day. But first, let’s focus on getting our own house in order. Only then do we have hope to create another Ijok in the run-up to GE14.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang


  2. Penang and Selangor governments can see clearly that BN can sway votes with goodies. So no point saving up the reserves if you do not spend the money to directly benefit your voters. Most of the Rakyat Malaysia respond favorably to Ah Jib’s Cash Is King, nevermind they get less than the corrupted politicians, as most BR1M recipients become setia BN supporters.

    • The recipients of MyDeposit were delighted with the BN government for giving them the maximum RM30,000 downpayment for their housing loan, which they need not pay back.

      They expressed their gratitude and conceded they might consider voting for BN in the next general election, but said this generous act alone would not decide their votes.

      Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/346424#ixzz4CRxX9r00

  3. After reading Anil’s piece regarding the Penang’s FOI (Freedom of Information)
    Whoever , whomever & whichever party won the recent 2 “buy elections”
    really make no differences.
    As on one side of the ring we have Barisan Kangkong and on the other corner we have the Harapan Tin Kosong .
    At least in the good old days we get to have the Democrats versus the Communist. A clear defined border of 2 systems.
    Now it is just “Roti telor” versus “Nasi lemak sans telor” .
    If the General election is to be held tomorrow, i would just play mahjong with my “kaki-nang” or go to Danok for a happier day.
    *Since the ISP would not let me view adult materials on the web .

    • anil why you want to waste your time and resources? most commentors say there is no difference between the two groups and voting is to follow a pattern. this election,vote this party and next election the other party. eat roti telor today n nasi lemak tomorrow. wasting time. people are not going to change. cash is king

      • Honestly most Malaysians do not appreciate information, prefer to get viral messages on Facebook and WhatsApps.

      • …. don’t forget that we did have a former Chief Minister of Malacca (cannot mention his name) (allegedly) did a teenager and a tokong went to jail.
        But don’t worry, it is just an open option/opinion when the GE come and how we plan to spend the day.
        Some of us are NOT going to vote .
        Unless or until Pakatan is totally opposite of BN’s policies.

    • Gerakan will give more instant goodies to Penangites.
      Those with red ICs can start register with Gerakan before the next GE.
      Mah is my candidate as the next Penang CM.

      • free dinner and psy concert. no worry about gst and oil price down. more unis in pg. as telor anson can have one. more promises words cheap from gelakan

      • How sad we still have people hoping for the ressurrection of gelakan to lead them, might as well dig a six feet hole and jump into it…

      • MCA and Gerakan will target those senior chinese uncles and aunties many if whom have no active income and taken care by their kids likely immigrated. With Dory-effect from dementia they are likely all but forgotten the ills of Gerakan era and readily support any candidate from party that can give them instant goodies. They have no issues with the mounting national debt in their twilight years where BR1M is a blessing.

  4. Wong Chin Huat wrote:

    BN’s strong showing is undoubtedly aided by its time-tested tactic of patronage politics, ranging from development projects to outright cash hand-out for returning voters.

    However, the success of the “cash is king” method in pushing aside national issues can also be understood as the lack of a “game changer”.

    From controversies over troubled state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad to hudud, none of the issues raised in the by-elections is new. With the opposition base split into two cores, it would have taken a “game changer” to alter the by-elections.

    What greater “game changer” than if the Umno rebels led by Dr Mahathir had decided to throw their hats in the ring? Imagine if Dr Mahathir’s son and former Chief Minister of Kedah Mukhriz Mahathir had contested in Kuala Kangsar. That would force Mr Najib’s hand to sack Mr Mukhriz and other rebels from Umno and formalise the split of the party.

    However, Dr Mahathir has chosen to play safe so far. He was the only senior ex-Umno leader who campaigned against the party in the by-elections.

    Mr Mukhriz, former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, former Minister Shafie Apdal all shied away from the by-elections to avoid being sacked from Umno.

    Dr Mahathir’s calculation is straightforward — he hopes to rally the ground outside Umno to force a party coup to oust Mr Najib. If that happens, Mr Mukhriz and other rebels who wait in the wings would then be well-positioned to control Umno.

    The by-elections have crushed Dr Mahathir’s calculations completely. Umno will not remove Mr Najib unless the prospect of defeat in the next general election is real, which will not be the case unless Umno is officially split.

    In the past two schisms of Umno, both Tengku Razaleigh in late 1980s and Anwar Ibrahim in 1990s had to form a new party to stage a credible challenge to Umno, then under Dr Mahathir.

    Dr Mahathir cannot afford to play safe if he really wants to oust Mr Najib. Mr Mukhriz and other rebels will have to contest Umno in the next general election to stay relevant. And that cannot be done last minute.

    If Dr Mahathir does not formalise Umno’s schism before Mr Najib calls for the poll, the two by-elections on Saturday may indeed be its prelude.

    Dr Mahathir was a bold gambler. He had Umno deregistered to oust Tengku Razaleigh in 1988 and he imposed currency control before he purged Anwar with judicial means a decade later. Dr Mahathir won both battles.

    If Dr Mahathir is too cautious to place his bet this time, Mr Najib would be the first Umno leader who successfully beats him.


  5. This is all nonsense. NO ONE Is speaking the obvious – THE RESULT IS ALL HADI’S PAS FAULT.. THEY DID THIS, HANDED IT TO NAJIB ON A SLIVER PLATTER..

  6. MCA: DAP has failed to recognise that Chinese voters are pragmatic
    PETALING JAYA: Chinese voters are pragmatic and this is why DAP is losing ground, said MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.
    “The double losses in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar of which DAP are strongest in Perak and Selangor are another bitter pill for them to swallow.
    “It also shows that DAP is losing their iron tight grip on the Chinese voters so soon after their defeats in Sarawak,” said Ti in a statement on Sunday.
    He said that the by-elections showed that Chinese voters are “adventurous, strategic and will not hesitate to change or shift their support on issues”.
    Ti explained how the Chinese had previously shown no hesitation in voting parties out of office, adding that it would not be a surprise if they also “vote DAP out” of its state government positions.
    “In other words they follow the flow or where the wind blows,” he said.
    On the other hand, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has been working tirelessly to avoid controversies as well as exercising “profound diplomacy”, Ti said.
    He added that when PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang tabled the Syariah Bill, Liow announced that he would resign if the Bill was passed.
    “On the contrary, DAP had cunningly side stepped the issue and continued to govern Selangor together with PAS,” he said.
    On the just-concluded by-elections, Ti said the sincerity of the Umno candidates had “softened down the DAP hardcore supporters and won over the fence sitters”, adding that there was more humility on the Barisan Nasional side.
    “It is also interesting to note that this time round there was no firebrand or Umno rhetoric that could be used by DAP to provoke Chinese sentiments or emotions,” he added.
    Ti further noted that Chinese voters are “astute and sharp”.
    “Their practicality and pragmatism will eventually bring them back to Barisan’s fold provided there are no ‘spoilers’ and the Prime Minister continues to listen to the voice of moderation,” he concluded.

    A harsh reality note to DAP & LGE: Listen more to the grassroots people than the Money King of developers, who have limited ‘power’ to UBAH. Time to UBAH yourself before asking for UBAH.

    • Better not to be too engrossed with The Star skewed reporting otherwise you mind will be programmed accordingly.

      • Pray with less joss-sticks (day by day) facing Komtar Tower of Arrogance Towards Irrelevance.

      • what pg people have to say? traffic jams and many cars. donr cut trees. build more low cost flats. but no brainer. if more low cost, more people move to pg island and more cars and island jam with people and cars caused by low cost housing. people are just cheap pasar traders.

  7. ‘Pakatan Harapan components should merge into one party’

    What say you?
    Now is the time for the demise of Chauvinistic Ego & a move forward to actual teamwork of truly multi-racial, diversity of cultural-religion interests minus the self-aggrandisement whatever the 308 Euphoria have had misled the masses.

  8. The Chinese dilemma – have say in gov’t, or stay out in angry isolation?
    All eyes were on the twin by-elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar as the locals headed to the polls. There were many things at stake and many parties had a lot to prove in that election. This election was also seen as a litmus test to see the public’s acceptance of Premier Najib Abdul Razak, with all the surrounding financial scandals that have plagued him for the past year.
    This election was also the first public test of the “Mahathir factor” and whether he could gain support from disgruntled Umno members as well as his supporters.
    It was also an introduction to Amanah, an infant political party, and most importantly, an indicator of how Pakatan could perform in the upcoming GE14 without PAS, which has seemed to have chosen to be in the same shack as Umno.
    The results yesterday did not come as a surprise to many.

  9. Jamal Yunos may replace Nor Omar as Selangor UMNO to recapture Selangor?

    While in Penang, Teng CY has rested (had been rested) and may be Penang-Lang may opt for Huan CG of PCM yo take on LGE? Got to go to Snake Temple to seek the answer for many local folks?

    Penang Relau hokkien community (migrated from SiaBoey in the late 70) now want MCA Penang to get ZhuGeLiang to entertain them before GE14 as Kuala Kangsar got OnlyYou on Friday night. ChewMeiFun do take note not to bring Hainanese singers but Hokkien ones else the community will not be happy.

    • Sekinchan chinese embraced Jamal Yunus, forget and forgave his red shirt follies. This could inspire Ahmad Ismail to win back the support of Penang Chinese? Bukit Bendera chinese will stand to get some instant goodies come GE14?

  10. As far as am concerned malaysia is finished simply because we have just too many unthinking rakyat. Whether they are malays or chinese they can be bought just too easily.

    In another word these voters they support corruption etc etc etc.

    I give up !!!

  11. To quote:
    Perhaps opposition parties need to take a step back and look at what kind of alternative economic ideology they have to offer compared to the BN’s corporate-led, neoliberal, mega project-driven approach.

    Q: Isn’t this an exact carbon-copied approach by DAP in Penang?
    The tunnel vision of CAT to focus-target the younger generation (of urban electorate) with above approaches to woo them won’t work for now. The older generations will look at it with scepticism, more so at issues concerning housing & welfare for the old folks most of whom face unaffordable living via social-engineering. Materialism ala neoliberalism is but a short feel-good solution that will inevitably widen the income inequality, esp so in low wages Penang. The feel-good 308 euphoria has dissipated (except for some minions) in the face of harsh reality & swap deals – survival-for-me, in Chinese: Chi Kei Ku Chi Kei. The best $$$-for-me provider will win their coverted votes, not saliva-frothing promises of no corruption at ceramahs from deity-like trader politicians with no shame.

    The next GE will be a new paradigm of election war game. Politicians had better ‘behave’ within vouched principles & not fall for personal lust & ego like buying bungalows at cheapo rate. Perception will be the battle weapon of BeeEnd & Dahlan Corporation.

    Time for PR to scrutinise how their recalcitrant partners ‘behave’ since the last GE & counter-check with the Rakyat how they actually perceive them. It’s not the time for another offensive strategy. House cleaning is not too early before Chinese New Year.

  12. Pakatan is still waiting for by-election or general election time to shout about manifestos, If they Win.
    David, like you said, where to get the $ for projects?
    I suggested to a Pakatan member, that they can put forward project proposals over the 5 years period, announce it in the press. When asked, their reply should be, ‘If they win’.
    BN will be pressured to take up the projects, if they are practical, therefore benefits the rakyat.
    Indirectly, Pakatan has shown to have better ideas to improve the livelihood of the people., but BN spent $ lah.

  13. I hope to have a by-election at my area soon … so that GERAKAN can help me to get my Vietnamese wife A blue Malaysian IC in order to vote for BN.

    • you get a blue ic from gelakan bur u have to que behind teluk anson people. this gelakan minister has yet to build uni there as promised in buy election. even gelakan wawasan uni scare to set up in telor anson. lucky to have a vc wife. you can migrate there. vc are smarter over there than here. migrate there. kee and lim are thinking too. if stay too long become birds of feather.

  14. Knowledge Is Power
    Cash Is King
    Know your foes weaknesses, then use $ to counter them. That’s Najibomics that pull in rural votes.

    • Voters have unchanged mentality imagine still vote the candidate who need not to go out due to mouring. Also Gomen throw some crumbles, voters take it like finger licking good. Voters love to hear their representative to sing in Tamil song aiiyo yo sami minum teddy. So this representative will ding this davali? Voters are happy with few hundreds and never mind the 12m given to Gomen for the random.

  15. If a GE is called now PH will be wiped out in Selangor and Penang and never to make a comebacj.

    LGE is a disgrace to his community, no KM in Penang had ever been accused of corruption and the way his community is deserting PH, he should know better what to do next.

    You can hear disatisfactions in the coffee shops, mamaks stalls and and popular eating joints. LGE your time is up just fade away.

    You are tokong no more.

  16. RTM 8.30pm jovial mood already indicated BN victory.

    One of the invited panelist is USM dean or prof Sivamurugam, whose head is with BN while his heart is in conflict? Anilnetto.com may one day interview him (Siva regularly eat roti canai at Sg2 Mamak store near USM) to understand his real sincere thoughts?

    • Anil, go to Roti Bakar opposite USM 2nd Gate along Jalan Bukit Gambier for an interview with this professor.
      It’s always a nice aircon place to discuss heated issues & bring down temperatures.
      And don’t forget to use parking tickets cos the MBPP parking officers are too hardworking over there.


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