Questions on Kuala Terengganu (with Mandarin translation)


Even up to Friday, the eve of the by-election, we hardly saw any young Chinese in our walkabouts. We did, however, meet many young Malays who had come home specifically to vote.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

If you were to look strictly ‘on the surface’, this is what you would see.

In the 8 March 2008 general election, PAS won the Wakaf Mempelam constituency with a 1,259-vote majority. In the 17 January 2009 by-election, PAS’s majority increased to 2,061.

In the 8 March 2008 general election, BN won the Bandar constituency with a 284-vote majority. In the 17 January 2009 by-election, PAS won this constituency with a 160-vote majority.

In the 8 March 2008 general election, BN won the Ladang constituency with a 628-vote majority. In the 17 January 2009 by-election, PAS won this constituency with a 357-vote majority.

In the 8 March 2008 general election, BN won the Batu Burok constituency with a 47-vote majority. In the 17 January 2009 by-election, PAS won this constituency with a 1,006-vote majority.

More voters came out to vote in 2008 compared to 2009, which saw lesser voters. Wakaf Mempelam saw a reduction of 138 voters, Bandar 460 voters, Ladang 241 voters, and Baru Burok 569 voters. The total reduction of voters in 2009 over 2008 comes to 1,408.

The areas where the Chinese form a fair percentage (or majority) of the voters are Pulau Kambing, Kampung Cina, Pejabat Bandaran and Paya Bunga — all from the Bandar constituency — and Batas Baru and Gong Kapas — from the Ladang constituency. PAS lost in all these ‘Chinese’ areas.

The drop in voter turnout was higher in these ‘Chinese’ areas compared to the ‘Malay’ areas. In some ‘Malay’ areas, the voter turnout actually increased slightly.

Figures do not lie, as they say, but there is a story behind these figures. What appears to be so is that the voter turnout reduced and that the Chinese voted BN. But there is more to this than the figures show.

First of all, many Chinese did not come home to vote. It is estimated that at least 3,000 of the 8,000 Chinese voters work and live outside Terengganu. This was something very visible when we did our walkabouts in the Chinese areas. The Chinese we met were mostly in the 40s and older. It looked like we were walking through an old folks home.

Understandably, these outstation Chinese are those who could not find work in Terengganu. Many are, in fact, educated and there are no employment opportunities for them in a state that has no factories or multi-national companies. They, therefore, need to earn a living outside the state.

The Kuala Terengganu by-election was held too close to Chinese New Year. If they came home to vote then they would have to stay the whole stretch until after Chinese New Year — which was not possible — or go back to wherever they came from and then come back a few days later. This too would be very difficult for those who do not have leave to spare or are employed in a sales job where a day off would mean one day less income for them.

Our worry was that the outstation Chinese would not come home in the numbers needed to make an impact. MCA too would rather they not come home because they would certainly vote opposition if they did — like their Malay and Indian counterparts from the East Coast who vote in Terengganu and Kelantan but work and live in the West Coast.

Many young Malays came back to Kuala Terengganu to vote. The young Chinese, however, were missing.

Even up to Friday, the eve of the by-election, we hardly saw any young Chinese in our walkabouts. We did, however, meet many young Malays who had come home specifically to vote. Many young Malays we met stopped to shake our hand and to take photographs with us and they told us they had come home so that they can vote on 17 January and that they would be voting Pakatan Rakyat.

This was also true in Permatang Pauh where most ‘saluran 1’ saw an almost 50:50 split between Ariff Shah and Anwar Ibrahim, whereas in some ‘saluran 4’ Anwar garnered more than 400 votes against Ariff’s mere seven. It was the young or first-time voters who gave Anwar his 15,000-vote majority in Permatang Pauh. Wahid Endut would have seen a majority of about 5,000, plus a win in the ‘Chinese’ areas, if the 3,000 outstation Chinese had come home to vote in droves.

On Saturday, Polling Day, we did a tour of the Polling Stations and saw only the ‘old folks’ coming out to vote. Where were the younger Chinese? We did not see them. That was when I sent SMSess to various friends and told them to revise the PAS majority to 2,000-3,000. No longer would a 5,000-majority be possible. The younger Chinese are not coming home to vote.

Some of my Chinese friends placed bets with bookies for a 2,000-vote majority for PAS and won the bet hands down. On Friday, I walked into one Chinese coffee shop and a total stranger held my hand and asked, “Boss, PAS boleh menang 2,000 undi ke?” I smiled at him and said, “5,000 undi pun boleh.”

5,000 tak boleh,” he replied. “Cina ramai tak balek undi. 2,000 undi boleh menang.” He told me he planned to make some money for Chinese New Year and had placed a bet on a 2,000-vote majority for PAS.

Last night, a Chinese businessman who had placed a bet on a 2,000-vote majority for PAS invited me to dinner. He had ‘won big’ because of my ‘tip’, he told me, and he wanted to belanja me makan. He never told me how much he had won but I believe it must have been sizeable seeing that he was beaming from ear to ear.

Another Chinese from Kuala Terengganu phoned me on Monday to congratulate me. He too had won his bet. I told him I was actually quite disappointed with the result and had hoped for a 5,000-vote majority. “No way,” he replied. “The Chinese did not come home to vote because the by-election was too close to Chinese New Year. If not then your 5,000-vote majority would have been possible.”

As they say, if you want to know what the outcome is going to be, ask the gamblers. They know what the score is going to be because they place money on the probable outcome. And they do their research and maths before parting with their money.

But the ‘Chinese factor’ is not the only factor that influenced the result. At 3.00pm on Polling Day, the police set up ten roadblocks all over town. Kuala Terengganu was practically cordoned off and no one could get in or out. We tried to make our way to the PAS IT Centre in Kuala Ibai but were turned back. We tried another route and were turned back again. We just went around and around town at slower than walking pace trying to find a way to get out.

In the meantime, those who wanted to get to the polling centres were also turned back and diverted away from town. No one could reach the polling centres and those of us stuck in town could not get out either.

At 4.00pm, voting almost ground to a halt. The voter turnout was only 74% and this was very worrying. The low voter turnout means they can pad the ballot boxes with ‘phantom voters’. One hour later, when polling ended, the voter turnout spiralled to 79%. We were perplexed. Where did the extra 5% come from? This represents about 4,000 votes. Traffic was at a standstill and no one could enter or leave town. How did these 4,000 voters get to the polling stations?

Three days before Polling Day, we were told that the 1,100 postal votes had been counted and that more than 300 votes had gone to the opposition. The Elections Commission issued a statement denying this and said that the postal votes had not been counted yet. When the official results were announced, 1,039 votes went to BN and only 86 to Pakatan Rakyat.

What was more alarming was that if you added the BN votes to the PR votes, the sum total does not tally with the total number of postal votes cast. This issue was raised with the Elections Commission who promised to look into the matter. Rest assured there will be NFA (no further action).

Around mid-morning of Polling Day, the PAS workers discovered the back gates to the polling stations all unlocked. Suspecting that this may be the route the ‘phantom voters’ would use to get into the polling stations, they locked the gates and stood guard the whole day. Invariably, the ‘phantom voters’ somehow got in between 4.00pm to 5.00pm to boost the voter turnout from 74% to 79%.

So, there is more to the Kuala Terengganu by-election than what the figures show. Sitting in Kuala Lumpur and analysing what happened based purely on figures does not give you the real picture. You have to be there to see the Chinese ‘old folk’ voters as opposed to the younger Malays who came home to vote to understand what happened. You have to be caught in the traffic gridlock where no one in town could get out and those outside town could not get in to also understand what happened.

Officially, Pakatan Rakyat won with just 2,631 votes and the Chinese voted BN. Unofficially, the figure is much higher and what BN got was only the votes from the older Chinese residents of Kuala Terengganu who had been threatened by BN. The younger Chinese from outside the state who would have told BN to go to hell did not come back to do just that.

Note that Ahmad Said told the Chinese: if you are nice to me, I will be nice to you, and if you are not nice to me, I will be ten times more not nice to you. And Rosmah Mansor reminded the voters that the government knows whom you voted for. While her husband, the Deputy Prime Minister, told the Chinese, you must show your gratitude to the government. And without the 3,000 outstation Chinese to ‘balance’ the votes of the ‘old folks’ who remember only too well the aftermath of the 11 May 1969 general election, the ‘Chinese’ areas ‘fell’ to BN.


The above table is based on votes garnered in the Parliamentary constituency, which differs from votes garnered in the four State constituencies. For the state constituencies, PAS, not BN, won Batu Burok and Ladang. The voters voted BN for Parliament and PAS for State in 2008.



即使到了补选前夕的星期五,我们在走访时段都很少看到有华族青年的出现。我们 反而看到许多马来青年特地回来投票。




回教党以1259张多数票赢得了 Wakaf Mempelam区。而在117 瓜丁补选,回教党的多数票提高至2061张。

在三八大选,国阵以284张多数票赢得了Bandar区。而在117瓜丁补选,回教党却在 这个区以160张多数票胜出。

在三八大选,国阵以628张多数票赢得了Ladang区。而在117瓜丁补选,回教党却在 这个区以357张多数票胜出。

在三八大选,国阵以47张多数票赢得了Batu Burok区。而在117瓜丁补选,回教党 却在这个区以1006张多数票胜出。

比起2008年,我们在这补选中看到更少的选民出来投票。Wakaf Mempelam区少了 138人,Bandar区460人,Ladang区241人,而Batu Burok区则是569人。比起2008 年,减少的人数共有1408人。

那些被认为是华人区的有Pulau Kambing, Kampung Cina, Pejabat Bandaran和 Paya Bunga,全都是属于Bandar区。还有来自Ladang区的Batas Baru和Gong Kapas。回教党在这些'华人区'全败北。

比起'马来区',这些'华人区'的投票率跌得更多。在一些'马来区'投票率则稍微提 高。

他们说,数据是不会说谎的,但这些数据背后都有一个故事。那就是说投票率减低 了,以及华人都投了国阵。当然,除了所显示的数据,这里还有更多的讯息。

首先,许多华人都没有回乡投票。在8千名华人选民中估计至少有3千名是在外州工 作及居住。我们走访这些华人区的时候,这些都很明显。我们遇到的华人大多是 40岁以上,让我们好像进入了老人国的感觉。

很明显地,在外州工作的华人都是那些不能在丁州找到工作的人。他们许多人都受 过教育,但却在一个没有工厂或国际公司的州属里找不到工作,因此就得离乡背井 了。

瓜丁补选的投票日太过接近华人新年。若他们回来投票的话,就只好放长假直到 华人新年过后。这当然是不可能的。不然他们只好倒回去工作,然后过了几天,再 回来过年。对一些没有年假的人就很难了,或者那些作销售的,放一 天假对他们 来说就是少一天的收入。

我们的担忧是外州华人不会回来投票,达成任何效果。马华却担心他们回来投反对 党的票,就如大多数在西海岸工作的东海岸马来人和印度人选民那样。

即使到了补选前夕的星期五,我们在走访时段都很少看到有华族青年的出现。我们 反而看到许多马来青年特地回来投票。我们所遇到的马来青年都停下来和我们握手 拍照,并告诉我们他们是回来给民联一票。

同样的事情也发生在峇东埔。许多'第一通道'的票都对半分给安华和阿立夏。而在 一些 ' 第四通道',安华得到的票数几乎是400张对阿立夏的7张。安华在峇东埔的 1万5 千张多数票,都是来自初投选民和年轻选民。若3千名外州华人回来投选的 话,Wahid Endut应该可以拿到约5000张的多数票,以及在'华人区'胜出。

在投选日的星期六,我们走访了一些投票站,看到只有'老人家'出来投票。华人青 年都到哪里去了呢? 我们没有看到他们。那时我就发短讯给我的朋友,告诉他们回 教党的多数票要减低至2000到3000张,不可能再有5000张了。华人青年都不回来投 票。

我的一些华人朋友与卜基下注说回教党有2000张多数票,结果都轻易的赢了。在星 期五,我走进一间华人咖啡店时,一名陌生人握着我的手说,"老大,回教党可以 赢 2000张票吗?"我笑着对他说"5000张都可以。"

"5,000张不可以啦,"他回答说。"华人很多都没有回来投。2000张就可以。"他告诉 我他打算发点新年财,所以下注回教党会有2000张的多数票。

昨晚,一名下注回教党有2000张多数票的华商邀请我吃饭,因为我的'贴士'让他赢 了不少钱。他这样告诉了我,还要请我吃大餐。他没有告诉我他赢了多少,不过以 他满脸光彩来看,我相信应该是不少。

另外一名来自瓜丁的华人在星期一打电话恭喜我。他也赌赢了。我告诉他其实我对 成绩有点失望,还希望可以有5000张多数票。他回答我说∶"不可能的啦。华人因为 投选日太接近新年,所以都没有回来投票。不然的话你的5000张多数票就有可能了。"

如他们常说的,若你想知道结果如何,就去问那些赌徒。他们都知道成绩如何,因 为他们都对最大可能性的结果下注。他们在下注之前,都做了研究和计算。

但是,影响成绩的唯一原因还不是 '华人因素'。在投选日下午三时正,警察共在 全市设立起十个路障。基本上瓜丁是被隔离起来,进出不得。我们试图过去在 Kuala Ibai的回教党的资讯技术中心,但是无功而返。我们试着利用另一条路,但 也失败了。我们以比步行还慢的速度在全市到处找寻一条能出去的路。

与此同时,那些要去投票站的也被折回,被逼驶离市镇。外来的人去不到投票站, 困在市区内的则离不开。

在下午四时正,投票几乎停止了。而投票率只有74%,非常令人担心。低下的投票 率表示说他们能够让'幽灵选民'投票。在一个小时后,投票时间完毕。投票率竟然 飚高至79%。我们都搞不清。另外的5%到底是哪里来的?这表示已经增加了约4000 张票。交通的情况已经令人出入不得。这4000名选民是如何进入投票站的呢?

投票日的三天前,我们被告知说,1100张邮寄选票已经算好,反对党得到超过300 张票。选举委员会发出通告否认这个数目,说邮寄选票还没点算。当正式的成绩宣 布时,国阵得到1039张票而民联只有86张。

更令人起疑的是,当你把国阵和民联的票数相加的时候,总数和邮寄选票数并不一 致。我们向选举委员会提出这课题,他们也答应会调查此事,不过肯定是石沉大 海,没有下文的了。

投选日接近中午的时候,回教党的员工发觉投票站的后门被开锁了。于是怀疑这就 是'幽灵选民'的进入通道,因此他们就把铁门重新锁上,并在那里看守。可惜, ' 幽灵选民'还是能够在下午四时到五时之间把投票率从74%提升至79%。

所以,在瓜丁补选,数字的背后还有很多事情发生。只是坐在吉隆坡,然后根据数 字分析是不能得到真相的。你还得到那里看看华人老选民和回乡投选的马来青年才 能明白发生什么事。你还得被困在市区交通内,出入不得,才能明白发生了什么事。

正式来说,民联只以2631张票胜出,而华人投选了国阵。非正式来说,那个数字应 该更加高,还有国阵得到的只是瓜丁华人老选民受威胁下的票。那些在外州工作, 不畏对国阵大呼‘去死吧’的华族青年,都没有回来投票。

别忘了Ahmad Said告诉华人说 : 若你跟我好,我就跟你好。若你跟我不好,我就 十倍奉还。还有Rosmah Mansor也提醒选民说政府知道你们投选的是谁。而她的丈 夫,副首相告诉华人说,你们要对政府感恩。因为少了3000名在外州的华人,来' 抵消'那些还牢牢记得1969年5月11日大选后的悲惨经历的老选民,因此国阵在'华 人区' 胜出。

以上图表是根据国会议席得到的票数。这与四个州议席的得票数有所分别。在州选 区,是回教党,而不是国阵,赢得了Batu Burok区和Ladang区。在2008年,选民国 选国阵,而州选回教党。

Translated by ecs283

Edited by Pratamad