What can we expect to see if the Perak State Assembly is dissolved later today and fresh state elections are held? Can Pakatan Rakyat increase its number of seats to 40, or maybe even 50, from the current 30? Let us analyse the possibility of Pakatan Rakyat doing even better this time around compared to the 8 March 2008 general elections.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Pakatan Rakyat started out with 31 seats and Barisan Nasional 28 seats in the aftermath of the 8 March 2008 general election. Last month, Pakatan Rakyat’s number of seats increased to 32 and Barisan Nasional’s dropped to 27 when one Umno State Assemblyman crossed over. Now, it appears like Pakatan Rakyat is down to 30 while Barisan Nasional is up to 29. This gives Pakatan Rakyat a mere one seat lead over Barisan Nasional.
A one-seat lead is almost a checkmate, a ‘hung parliament’ as they say. This is no bloody good. Like it or not, Pakatan Rakyat must go back to the voters and get a clear and fresh mandate from the people. Do the citizens of Perak still want Pakatan Rakyat as their government or do they want Barisan Nasional as their new state government? This must be decided by holding fresh state elections.
What would happen if Pakatan Rakyat dissolves the Perak State Assembly later today and calls for fresh state elections? Would they get back their 32 seats (leaving 27 seats for Barisan Nasional)? Or would they instead just be able to maintain status quo -- which is 30:29, Pakatan:Barisan? Or can Pakatan Rakyat actually increase its number of seats to 50, leaving Barisan Nasional with only nine seats?
Even if you wish to be conservative and ‘take the middle road’, Pakatan Rakyat can up its number of seats to at least 40. And the mere 19 seats under Barisan Nasional will be all Umno. There will be no seats for MCA, MIC, Gerakan or PPP. That is what can happen.
Okay, if Pakatan Rakyat wants to increase it seats to 40 or 50, which of the ten or 20 seats currently under Barisan Nasional can most likely fall? We are assuming, of course, that Pakatan Rakyat can retain its current 30 seats and none will fall to Barisan Nasional. So, the ten or 20 are added to the existing 30 to give Pakatan Rakyat its 40 or 50 seats.
First look at the 31 Perak state seats won by Pakatan Rakyat in the 8 March 2008 general election and the 27 seats won by Barisan Nasional in the table below. The 2004 general election results are also shown as a comparison and to demonstrate the slide Barisan Nasional suffered.
Now, let us look at the 20 Barisan Nasional seats that can most likely fall to Pakatan Rakyat.
The ten (10) marginal seats won by Barisan Nasional where the majority was less than 1,000 votes:
N10 – ALOR PONGSU majority 95
N15 – TRONG majority 916
N16 – KAMUNTING majority 555
N23 – MANJOI majority 348
N35 – MANONG majority 749
N36 – PENGKALAN BAHARU majority 14
N43 – SUNGAI RAPAT majority 636
N5 – SELAMA majority 355
N53 – RUNGKUP majority 454
N6 – KUBU GAJAH majority 66
The seven (7) seats won by Barisan Nasional where the majority was more than 1,000 votes but less than 2,000 votes:
N19 – CHENDEROH majority 1,039 (2,826 in 2004)
N21 – LINTANG majority 1,367 (5,839 in 2004)
N34 – BUKIT CHANDAN majority 1,694 (3,613 in 2004)
N38 – BELANJA majority 1,887 (3,143 in 2004)
N42 – TUALANG SEKAH majority 1,569 (3,311 in 2004)
N48 – SUNGAI MANIK majority 1,354 (3,599 in 2004)
N49 – KAMPONG GAJAH majority 1,416 (5,017 in 2004)
Three (3) other Barisan Nasional seats that can fall to Pakatan Rakyat:
N46 – CHENDERIANG. This is the solitary MCA seat in the Perak State Assembly but its 2004 majority (6,153) was reduced to half in 2008 (3,392). The problem is that PKR fielded an Indian candidate in a predominantly Chinese constituency. If PKR were to field a Chinese candidate this time around, then Pakatan Rakyat can grab this seat.
N47 – AYER KUNING. The Barisan Nasional (Umno) candidate beat the Pakatan Rakyat (PAS) candidate by a 3,525 majority in 2008. But this is still only half the 2004 majority of 6,887. About half the voters in this constituency are non-Malays. So the PAS candidate was a problem in 2008. This time around the non-Malays will have no problems voting for a PAS candidate.
This also applied for N42 – TUALANG SEKAH where PKR fielded an Indian in a Malay majority constituency (57%). If this time around Pakatan Rakyat fields a Malay candidate then there would be no problems.
So, that makes 20 Barisan Nasional seats in all that Pakatan Rakyat can add to its 30 which it already has. Impossible? Try and see. Dissolve the Perak State Assembly today and let’s give it a shot. I say it can be done. And even if Pakatan Rakyat can’t make it 50:9, at the very least it can turn in a result of 40:19. That will kill Barisan Nasional in Perak once and for all. I will put my money on that happening.
FULL PERAK STATE RESULTS OF THE 2008 GENERAL ELECTION WITH THE 2004 GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS SHOWN AS A COMPARISON