Why DAP Lost Teluk Intan? What Has Gone Wrong?

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Jun 01 2014
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In most by-elections, the “unofficial results” from the government’s (read: BN, Barisan Nasional) camp normally would be final. So, when the unofficial results of Teluk Intan by-election shows BN candidate Mah Siew Keong won with a razor-thin majority of 238 votes, it was game over for DAP and PR (Pakatan Rakyat) for that matter. Congratz to Gerakan President Mah Siew Keong.


There were screams of cheating when the final total votes did not tally with the voters turnout announced by Election Commission earlier. Finally, as usual and expected, Malaysia Election Commission conveniently revised the voters turnout to 67.4% from 66.7%. The final results is BN won 20,157 votes, while DAP got 19,919 votes hence the 238 majority (plus 505 spoilt votes).


Okay, let’s assume Election Commission works hand in glove with Barisan Nasional by cheating during this by-election. So what? Haven’t you seen them cheat before? And if they can pull a trick in one small by-election such as Teluk Intan without being detected, what more during a general election when there were 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats to be contested?

Teluk Intan - 2013 General Election ResultsTeluk Intan - 2014 by-Election Results

That’s why in order to win, opposition must win with a huge majority. Election Commission is an expert in the game of numbers – early voters, absentee voters, turnout percentage and so on. A small razor thin majority will not help as the bias Election Commission is capable and ever ready of pulling rabbit out of hat – sudden extra ballot boxes after a blackout, if the need arises.


The fact that DAP couldn’t win with a big majority as compared to last year general election speaks volume about its defeat. Sure, blame it on lower turnout of 67.4% as compared to previous 80.4%. That’s a 13% (7,845 votes) difference of Teluk Intan’s total 60,349 voters. DAP won the seat last time with 7,313 majority.


Previously, we’ve written an article about why this by-elections will be the most interesting, challenging and unpredictable contest of all (read here). Now, do you understand why this is so? If the reason why DAP lost this round was primarily due to low turnout, then they’re assuming the 13% voters who didn’t turn up would have voted for DAP almost 100%.

Teluk Intan by-Election - Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud vs Mah Siew Keong

Interestingly, Mah Siew Keong, the same candidate who lost his bid previously had gotten 20,086 votes in 2013. Does this also mean the same number of voters in 2013 had turn up 100% to vote for Mah this time? Obviously not, silly. In short, the expired and recycle Mah Siew Keong’s votes remain the same despite lower turnout while DAP’s votes were slashed from 27,399 last year to 19,919 now (*wink-wink*).


Even if it’s remotely true that the 13% voters or 7,845 votes are 100% pure DAP voters, it shows a glaring weakness in the opposition. It’s a known fact that 2013 was perhaps the peak for opposition PR. What if these outstation voters refuse to return to Teluk Intan for the next 14th general election after all? And what if such sentiment is true for the whole nation?


Does that mean PR is doom and BN will get back its two-thirds majority? Interesting, is it not? Most importantly, why more than 10% swing in Chinese and Indian votes to the evil BN? Did the Chinese vote for BN yesterday because DAP’s candidate was not a Chinese? But the same Anson Chinese rejected BN’s Chinese candidate previously, and amusingly it was the same Mah Siew Keong that they rejected.

Teluk Intan - 2014 by-Election Voting Centers

And why Indian rejected Chinese Mah Siew Keong last time but welcome him this time? So, what had changed within this 12-month since the last 13th general election? Remember what we’ve written previously? When we wrote about PAS being dumb for playing hudud, many of you foam at mouth. Now, we can say “We told you so !!!”. Between an evil corrupt BN with the prospect of GST and hudud, the Chinese and Indians chose the former.


The fact that BN won many votes from the “ungrateful” Chinese this time proves the “protest votes” from the community. Make no mistake about it. This is not a vote of support for BN. This is merely a protest vote for PR, particularly PAS. And if BN chooses to proceed with its arrogant-stupid style again, then they would be slaughtered next time. Similarly, if PAS is adamant about its hudud toy, be prepare for the consequences.


But, you argue, that there were tons of Chinese who turned up at PR’s campaign while BN’s camp had more empty chairs than human beings. Aha, that’s the fun part about voters. To turn up for entertainment does not mean they would vote for you. And what better way to tell PR that they can take their hudud toy back and play it with their playstation for all they care, but protest vote they would get. Knowing the sensitivity of hudud issue, they choose to remain quiet only to show their displeasure in ballot boxes.

Teluk Intan - 2014 by-Election Dyana Fans vs BN fans

And defeat is what PR has gotten now. Nevertheless, it was a fruitful experiment. Now, PR can go back to the drawing board and decide which direction they want to go, come next general election, which could be sooner than 2018. Do they still want to play good-cop-bad-cop game, with PAS shouts for hudud while DAP against it and PKR plays neutral?


With more than 10% losses in non-Malay votes and less than 2% gains in Malay votes, the sign couldn’t be more clearer. The hudud thingy would not help balance the arithmetic. Scream as much as you like but Perakians are no idiots. Do you think by trumpeting about hudud when there were no elections but keep quiet about it when election is around the corner will do the trick?


Perakians may not be as technology-savvy as urbanites but they know when you’re taking them for a ride. If they can punish PR in Anson now, they can surely do the same to the whole state. And they just did that despite UMNO Ahmad Mazlan’s jumping over a drain fiasco, in his fleeing attempt from journalists. PR should just champion bread and butter issues without pushing religious products into peoples’ throat.

Teluk Intan - 2014 by-Election - Sign board

Fortunately, the Chinese and Indians do not wish to punish DAP forever. That was why they turn up in force during its campaign. They just wanted to teach PR a lesson. They wanted to tell PR that they can swing their votes to whomever they like. At the same time, BN should not take this as a vote of endorsement that the Chinese and Indians are now going back to BN in droves because they love BN.


Well, you can disagree these were protest votes from the Chinese. But can PR afford to find another similar topology constituency and force another by-election, just to test our theory (*grin*)? Perhaps, the ultimate weapon of GST which could demolish BN is not that lethal after all. Perhaps BN would have a smooth sailing with additional RM30.75 billion annual income in GST (at 6% rate), thanks to PAS’s stubbornness.


If hudud was PAS’s secret weapon in fishing more Malay votes, Dyana’s 10% losses in Chinese and Indian votes would have been easily offset by 10% swing of gains in Malay votes. But that didn’t happen. So does PR wants additional 2% Malay votes but losing 10% non-Malay votes? The mathematic ain’t difficult, so go figure.

Teluk Intan by-Election - Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud  2

The loss was good for Dyana too. At least she can tastes a failure before a success, and this is important especially to young chaps so that they don’t get big-headed. She also gets to learn a great deal about being humble and the danger of being over-confidence. She’s still super young and time is the luxury she could afford to lose. She’ll become a good member of parliament. But the time is not now.


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Nothing changes that favours BN this time around, in fact there are more negative issues, yet there was a +10% swing to BN among the Chinese & Indians. Just take note how ALL negative issues were thrown to the drain when Hudud became the ONLY issue for months. Many non-Muslims, especially the Chinese felt betrayed by PAS, so guess how did they react? If the Chinese could send Kit Siang and Karpal to Ho Land in 1999, what is there to stop them from doing the same in 2018? DAP has to decide this Hudud issue ONCE AND FOR ALL and not play tai chi.And PAS has to decide too whether Hudud will ADD in NEW supporters or push it back to the back water of Kelantan.
P.S. The lost of more than 7000 votes too shows that there might be sabotage. Obviously there were some who did not agree with the leadership’s decision to nominate Dyana.

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