The next general election: Why 2017 is not the same as 1990

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In a blog post today, Ong Kian Meng has responded to a blog post by Salleh Said Keruak, who had argued that the breakway parties from Umno such as PPBM and Amanah today may be likened to the period in the late 1980s, when Semangat 46 broke away from Umno. Umno still managed to win in the 1990 general election despite a decline in Malay support of just 2.4 per cent. Kian Ming argules that the political landscape in 2017 is a lot different from that in 1990.

This is Ong Kian Ming’s blog post:

Message to Datuk Seri Panglima Said Salleh Keruak: 2017 is not 1990

I was a little surprised to read that the Minister for Communications, Datuk Seri Penglima Said Salleh Keruak, responded to my media statement on the possibility of a 15% swing in the Malay vote against BN in the 14thGeneral Election. Usually, Barisan National (BN) Ministers do not like to respond to my media statements which contain facts and figures. I congratulate the Minister for Communications for his awareness of the swing in the Malay vote as we approach the 14th GE.

I agree with a number of points he made in his blogpost.[1]

Firstly, I agree that Pakatan Harapan (PH) cannot assume that young voters are more supportive of the opposition even though in GE2008 and GE2013, based on research on the voting streams, the support level for the opposition in the younger voting streams was higher than that in the older voting streams. It cannot be denied that the BN’s main weapon to court younger voters, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin, is well received among the younger generation, especially through social media. In my opinion, Khairy’s social media strategy is more effective than that of our Prime Minister’s. His popularity has taken another step upwards after ‘going to the ground’ to encourage and support our SEA Games athletes as well as representing our country in the sport of polo.

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Secondly, I agree that our country is not currently experiencing an economic crisis, at least for now, unlike the situation approaching GE1999.

But Said Salleh should be aware that 2017 is not 1990.

Prior to GE1990, the opposition parties only held 27 out of 177 parliament seats or 15% of total parliament seats. Prior to GE14, the opposition parties (including independent MPs) hold 89 out of 222 parliament seats or 40%.

Prior to GE1990, the opposition did not control a single state government. Prior to GE14, the opposition are the state governments in three states.

Prior to GE1990, all the media were controlled by the government. Prior to GE14, the online media is giving the mainstream media a run for its money in terms of the number of users. Social Media has given another channel to the opposition to send its message to voters.

Prior to GE1990, the opposition was led by a former Minister of Finance who had left UMNO. Prior to GE14, the opposition is led by a former Prime Minister, two former Deputy Prime Ministers, the leader of the opposition, a former Menteri Besar (Kedah), a Menteri Besar (Selangor) and a Chief Minister (Penang).

Prior to GE1990, the young leaders in the opposition were not well known by many. Prior to GE14, the young leaders in Pakatan Harapan who are 40 and under include Nurul Izzah, Syed Saddiq, Nik Nazmi, Wong Kah Woh, Hannah Yeoh, Zairil Khir Johari, Steven Sim, Yeo Bee Yin, Kasturi Patto and many others. Other than Khairy Jamaluddin, the most well-known young leader in the BN is arguably Jamal Yunos who aspires to run for the UMNO Youth Chief position.

Prior to GE1990, GST did not exist while petrol, sugar, cooking oil and other subsidies were still in place. Prior to GE14, the implementation of the GST and the withdrawal of various subsidies have decreased the income of the people and increased the cost of living from the cities to the kampungs.

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Prior to GE1990, the Prime Minister at that time was not involved in any mega scandals which stained the country’s reputation all over the world. Prior to GE14, Malaysia is more well known as a kleptocratic state as a result of the 1MDB scandal where billions of ringgit are suspected to have been stolen from the Malaysian people and used to buy diamonds, bungalows, paintings and posters, and yachts, among others.

All these factors do not mean that a Malay swing of 15% from the BN to the opposition will take place. But, one wonders, does Said Salleh’s blogpost show that UMNO itself is afraid that this Malay vote swing to the opposition will become a reality in GE14?

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

This was Salleh Said Keruak’s blog post:

Sunday, August 27, 2017
ANALISIS ONG KIAN MING MENARIK TETAPI JAUH TERSASAR

Salleh Said Keruak

1. Ong Kian Ming dalam analisisnya tentang PRU ke-14 menyatakan akan berlaku 15% peralihan undi Melayu kepada Pakatan Harapan seperti mana yang berlaku pada tahun 1999 dan 2008.

2. Hujah beliau mudah: setiap kali parti UMNO berpecah akan menyebabkan orang Melayu menolak BN. Ini dapat dilihat dalam PRU 1999 apabila peralihan undi Melayu berlaku sebanyak 27%. Dalam PRU 2008 pula, BN hilang majoriti dua pertiga apabila 6% lagi pengundi Melayu beralih menyokong pembangkang.

3. Pertanyaannya, bolehkah dicapai 15% peralihan sokongan Melayu ini? Kian Ming kata tidak mustahil jika melihat kepada sikap pengundi Melayu dalam PRU 1999 dan 2008, dan juga jika melihat kepada munculnya PPBM.

4. Benarkah andaian Ong Kian Ming tersebut? Hasil semakan saya kepada data lepas mendapati analisis Kian Ming tersasar dari fakta sebenar.

5. Untuk analisis yang lebih tepat, kita perlu melihat senario tahun 1988-1990. Situasi inilah yang perlu dijadikan sandaran untuk membuat analisis perubahan undi Melayu kerana sejarah perpecahan politik Melayu bermula di sini.

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6. Pada tahun 1988, UMNO berpecah setelah Dr. Mahathir dan Tengku Razaleigh bertanding merebut jawatan Presiden UMNO. Selepas pemilihan itu, kumpulan Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah keluar daripada UMNO dan menubuhkan parti Semangat 46.

7. Dalam PRU 1990, S46 bergabung dengan PAS, HAMIM, DAP dan PBS, namun adakah pakatan pembangkang memenangi pilihan raya tersebut? Jawapannya tidak.

8. Kemerosotan pengundi Melayu hanya 2.4% berbanding PRU 1986. S46 pula hanya memenangi 8 kerusi parlimen daripada 61 kerusi yang ditandinginya. Bagi peringkat DUN pula, S46 hanya memenangi 19 kerusi daripada 152 kerusi yang ditandingi.

9. Situasi tersebut sama seperti hari ini yang mana UMNO mengalami perpecahan dengan melahirkan PPBM. Maka, bagaimana dengan PRU ke-14 nanti?

10. Jika melihat kepada realiti sekarang, sukar untuk berlaku peralihan undi Melayu lagi. Dalam PRU 1999, senario berlakunya peralihan undi Melayu ketika itu adalah berbeza dengan situasi sekarang. Tahun 1999, negara baharu diserang krisis kewangan dan ada isu mata lebam. PRU ke-14 isu tahun 1999 dan 2008 sudah jauh kita tinggalkan.

11. Analisis saya sebelum ini telah menggariskan lima faktor kenapa anak muda akan menyokong BN dalam PRU ke-14 nanti. Dalam analisis ini, jika mahu bersandarkan kepada hujah “UMNO berpecah maka Melayu akan mengalih sokongan kepada pembangkang,” itu adalah generalisasi.

12. PRK Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar telah membuktikan walaupun UMNO berpecah, parti pembangkang masih tidak mampu menumbangkan BN. Tambahan pula, parti pembangkang kini mempunyai pecahan parti Melayunya sendiri seperti PAN yang lahir hasil perpecahannya dengan PAS. PPBM dan PAN juga adalah parti baharu yang masih tidak mendapat sokongan meluas. Politiking pembangkang yang terlalu banyak juga menyebabkan rakyat bosan kerana rakyat mahu terus bergerak ke depan membangun Malaysia yang maju dan sejahtera.

13. Maka, kenyataan bahawa akan berlaku perubahan 10-15% undi Melayu kepada pembangkang dalam PRU ke-14 adalah jauh tersasar.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Mahathir, just one more sincerity from you – Say “I’m sorry”.
    This will definitely make your cause all the more relevant to our fight against an evil.
    Many will see you as a gentleman & believe in you & will support you comes GE!
    Just say “I’m sorry”. It is not the hardest word.

  2. My take is that while BN + PAS might be able to attract kampong votes.
    But PH is now + Mahathir.
    Furthermore, Mahathir comes with Siti Hasmah.(She is extremely respected by all level of Malaysians)
    This can very well meaning that previous BN voters would be backing Mahathir..
    Could be a major bonus for PH.
    Maybe the real answer now lies with the new voters.
    And do not forget female voters.
    If Siti Hasmah speaks out….the hippo will shivers.

  3. If Muhyiddin could capture BN’s Pagoh for Harapan, the following BN seats surrounding Pagoh could be in danger too?

    Ledang (Natural Resource and Environment Deputy Minister Hamim Samuri),
    Segamat (Health Minister S Subramaniam),
    Sekijang (Anuar Abd Manap),
    Labis (International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Chua Tee Yong),
    Ayer Hitam (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Wee Ka Siong),
    Parit Sulong (Noraini Ahmad).

    https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/394353

  4. PSM is going to compete DAP head on in Perak in GE14 to the delights of Umno-BN!

    Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) mengumumkan bertanding tujuh kerusi di Perak pada pilihan raya umum ke-14 (PRU-14), termasuk enam yang disandang wakil DAP.

    Ia membabitkan dua kerusi Parlimen, iaitu Batu Gajah dan Sungai Siput serta lima kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN), iaitu Tronoh, Menglembu, Jelapang, Buntong dan Malim Nawar.

    Kecuali Parlimen Sungai Siput, semua kerusi terbabit dimenangi calon DAP pada PRU-13.

  5. The chances of Pakatan Harapan being made an official coalition by the Registrar of Societies are “colder than water”, said DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke.

    Chinese daily Kwong Wah Yit Poh reported today that Loke used the Cantonese phrase to express that there was no hope for Harapan to contest under a single logo.

    Anthony Like also said GE14 could be in late Oct in order for Najib to capitalise on SEA Games euphoria.

    • An interesting comment on Msiakini:

      Before the last GE, Pas was able to cooperate with PKR and DAP because Pas was promoting a “Welfare State” and “Pas for All” under the Common Policy Framework of the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat. This attracts the Chinese voters. Today the scenario is different while Anwar was in jail. Now, Pas under Hadi Awang is promoting an “Islamic State” no matter how long it takes. As a first step in the long journey toward an “Islamic State”, Pas will cooperate with any party who will vote for RUU355 in the coming session of Parliament even though if that party is a corrupted party. Will the 3 PKR blind mice (Azmin, Tian Chua and Zuraida) support and vote for RUU355? Today Dr. Mahathir is going round the country campaigning tirelessly for Pakatan Harapan. Why do these 3 blind mice use Anwar’s message to sabotage PH? Is PKR blind also?

  6. The Third Force is a propaganda blog, says Rewcastle-Brown
    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/09/03/the-third-force-is-a-propaganda-blog-says-rewcastle-brown/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FreeMalaysiaToday+%28FMT+News%29
    The Third Force is not a news portal, but is just a “habitually libellous propaganda blog” that shouldn’t have been cited by any newspaper, says Clare Rewcastle-Brown.
    The Sarawak Report editor was responding to a report by the blog, which claimed she had failed to furnish evidence over her allegation that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had received RM90 million from Prime Minister Najib Razak.
    “I will not reply in detail at this point, as my lawyers are handling this matter,” Rewcastle-Brown said in an e-mail to FMT today.
    “However, this story represents malicious and highly inaccurate spinning by an anonymous and habitually libellous propaganda blog, which the New Straits Times (NST) ought never to be republishing as if it were in any way to be considered an accurate or reliable source of information.”

    Stoning the Devil doesn’t mean one can still spin a lie! God is watching.

  7. With Pakatan Harapan having officially shut its doors on cooperation with PAS, political analysts say the BN will regain a two-thirds majority in Parliament in the coming general election as a result of opposition votes being split in three-cornered battles.

    Do you agree, Mr Anil?

  8. Nothing has changed 4 years after this video is posted:



    “Today, we’re all divided by the things that should’ve united us.” – Patrick Teoh

    • We understand the desire of the Najib Razak government to ride on the burst of patriotism and nationalism. A politician looks for any edge to stay in power.

      The mainstream media had glowing headlines. One even declared that there was a place for every Malaysian under the Malaysian sun. A subtext in all the reporting was that unity had delivered success over the decades, and unity among the races must always be treasured and defended.

      We understand that Najib wants to ride this wave for as long as he can. Some political analysts believe that he will seek a new mandate in October, just after two important events – the visit to the White House and the Budget.

      Others believe that the PM is prepared to wait till just after Chinese New Year. But that is up to him, and the results are up to us.

      Beyond all that, we should celebrate what our athletes have achieved. We should celebrate our blessed home, warts and all.

      But more than anything else, we should reflect on whether talk of unity and celebrating diversity is only talk.

      We should ask ourselves searching questions on whether the country envisioned by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj and the other founding fathers still exists.

      Or, have we gone far off track?

      We must think beyond headlines and slogans, and ask if everyone born in this country feels a sense of belonging, worth or equality.

      We must also be honest with ourselves. Have we become accomplices, or, by our silence, abetted the wrongdoings or apathy in Malaysia?

      When we look across the table and see a Malay, Chinese, Indian or Kadazan family, do we see a friend or foe?

      We understand that Najib and friends would like to milk any feel-good moment in the country. It is what politicians do. They seize moments and opportunities, not always with the interest of the majority.

      But surely, we would be failing as patriotic Malaysians if we just went with the flow. We have to keep them and all other politicians honest and accountable.

      https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/13015/

  9. How about those 3.8 million eligible young voters who did not register to vote, the majority of whom are said to be Malay?

    I young, pro-opposition political activist told me that from his experience amongst the milieu he moves around, many young Malaysians are tired of party politics and see themselves pursuing their politics through NGOs, rather than political parties.

    He also told me that amongst the young, liberal or leftist Malaysia he associates with, many still want to maintain their Bumiputra rights and position, whilst allowing more inclusion and acceptance of other ethnicities.

    I personally feel that with PKR now having officially broken off any further attempts to come to an agreement with PAS on avoiding three cornered contests for parliamentary and state seats, UMNO will win with the largest minority of votes in many seats where there are three or more cornered fights which include PAS, as happened in the Kota Damansara state seat in Selangor in 2013 which UMNO won with the largest minority, thanks to PAS drawing away enough votes from the incumber, Dr. Nasir Hashim who contested on a PKR ticket, when in a two cornered fight in 2008. Dr. Nasir won with a slim majority of over 50% of votes.

    If more situations like Kota Damansara happen in GE 14, I would not be surprised if UMNO either wins back Selangor or Selangor will have a hung state assembly, where no party or coalition of parties has over 50% of seats in the assembly.

    Also, a big difference between the run up to GE12 (2008) and GE14 (2017 or 2018) is that back then, the opposition pact and its component parties were much more united than now, with PAS falling out with DAP nd more intense rivalry between factions within the components parties,such as between Rafizi and Azmin, between Azmin and Wan Azizah, between Badrul Hisham (Che Go Bard) who was expelled from PKR. Also the festering unhappines amongst some DAP and PKR members who are unhappy with their respective party’s for its alliance with Mahathir’s Pribumi, even if it is a united front formed to fight Najib and UMNO and also to avoid having to fight enemies on two or more fronts.

    Back before 2008, the Pakatan had the upper hand on social media, but today UMNO/BN has caught up with many articulate bloggers wielding social media in support of UMNO/BN’s cause inthe battle of perception.

    Yes, circumstances have changed between prior to 1990 and today, or even prior to the 2008 GE and in the run up to GE14 and these favour the BN and Pakatan differently.

    The rising cost of living and introduction of the GST would likely work against Najib, UMNO and the BN and so does Mahaithir’s departure from and split with UMNO which will draw away some UMNO votes.

    On the other hand, splits between Pakatan member parties, factional infighting within respective parties and three or more cornered fights work against Pakatan.

    Also, let us not forget voter fatigue with all the politicking which has been going on these past few years.

    It is becoming apparent to many voters that the politicians on both sides are in it for themselves, not our interests and play issues up to win the votes of us who are just their vote fodder.

    Basically, Malaysia’s current political scenario is not all that clear cut today compared to the runup to the 2008 GE.

    • Wrote so long, bottomline you still setia MO1 or alternative?

      Agreed with you many bosan with GE antics.

      Are u from Penang? Last nite got enjoy live tv Dasha Logan and her uncle Alleycat David Arumugam sampai salam Merdeka?

  10. The comparison by both sides is wrong. PH has to get Malay vote swing of 1999 and 1978/86, not compare 2013 or 2008.

    The real reason PH will fail is because, when UMNO dare not talk of PAS dropping votes, PH also not arguing it. PH is not arguing it because they are not doing it, treating them dysfunctionally with kid gloves, dare not face reality.

  11. #LoveFest 17 tonight from 7pm at Love Lane Penang, free entry, live music.
    6 live bands, 5 hours of music.

    Penang Rocks, don’t miss it especially now that most concert are not affordable to many Penangites!

  12. Where’s the data to show there’s a 15% Malay votes swing? Just plucked out of thin air to con those naive and misguided middle aged Chinese voters again? You guys kicked PAS out from Pakatan and you think PAS voters will continue to support Pakatan? Or support is going to come from the two mosquito parties, Pribumi and Amanah? Too funny. Bottom line, PKR will be smashed into pieces this coming GE with Pribumi and Amanah getting “telur”, ya, “makan telur” unless they contest in a Chinese majority seats.

    • Tipu tipu cakap kosong otak tak pikir panjang panjang masa depan terancam cucu cicik kena tanggung hutang 1MDB, retired gelakan macai now enjoy children got it to live overseas misinformed voters suffer for generations.

  13. 3 Nusantara Fishermen Story:
    Once upon a Nusantara time, there were 3 fishermen with the finest fishing rods, namely Brown Fisherman, Yellow Fisherman & Black Fisherman. Yellow & Black Fishermen believed from birth the fishes won’t swim to the dinner tables for their dinner time, so they had to fish harder. But Brown Fisherman believed otherwise from birth, i.e. the fishes were destined for his dinner table, so no need to fish at all, not withstanding having the finest fishing rod gathering rust.
    So, it turned out that Yellow & Black Fishermen had bountiful supply of fishes (like Koay Kow) to eat daily, but Brown Fisherman had none. So, using the enacted Nusantara law of sharing, all 3 fishermen had to share the daily catch caught by only 2 fishermen. Even the use of Yellow & Black fishing rods also had to be time-shared, so much so the catch among the 3 of them got smaller & smaller.
    Eventually, all the 3 rods were damaged & could not be used to good effect (to catch fish) as Brown Fisherman was not conversant with them since day one of fishing. So, no Koay Kow, not even Mud Skipper for dinner for these 3 fishermen.
    In the end, all of them had to starve to the fish bones while the fishes like Nemo swam happily in the seas of Malaya Nusantara.

    • This synopsis of 3 fishes could be the screenplay for LimKoKWing Animation Studio to create 1Malaysia Merdeka short film who knows can be shortlisted as best foreign film for Oscar Academy Awards!
      Upin Upin or Boboiboy can make cameo appearances to add colours of Malaysia? Voiceovers by Michele Yeo, Chef Wan to gain fastforward international recognition?

    • 3 fishermen “Starve to fishbone” to become dedak to be sold to Sowanikap Fishermen as baits for giant groupa.

    • Very enlightening short story, just like ‘Who Moved My Cheese’. Tunglang can find an illustrator to provide pictorial and publish the story into a pocket-sized book (Anil can write the foreword), sure become a bestseller!

  14. I still believe most malay voters will still vote for Umno to ‘safeguard’ their interests and to uphold ketuanan Melayu status. So it is important for non Malays to give full support for Harappa to effect change for a better Malaysia, however the euphoria generated by BN in SEA Games gold haul and Merdeka celebration.

  15. Pakatan Harapan should just execute it’s strategy without revealing too much to BN who has big machinery and resources to counter. Do not emphasise too much about Malay Tsunami or the 10% swing as it will unsettle the Malays and trigger their internal BTN mechanism (hardwired) to ultimately make the U-turn to Umno for ‘protection’.

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