Azmin says Tenang a victory over MCA

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said today that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can still claim a victory within the Tenang by-election loss — the gain in Chinese votes.

PR’s PAS candidate was able to garner an increase in Chinese votes despite the state seat being a MCA strong-hold.

“Overall I must say, even though we lost in the by-election but we have seen a major shift of support especially among the Chinese voters in Labis.

“That is a good sign because you must understand that Labis used to be a stronghold of MCA. (Tun Dr) Ling Liong Sik, (Datuk Seri Dr) Chua Soi lek are from Labis and now his (Dr Chua) son (Chua Tee Yong)is also the MP of Labis,” he told reporters after attending a Chinese New Year celebration organised by PKR.

He admitted that the party needs to work harder to get support from Malays, however pointed out restricted acces to Felda settlements hindered their efforts.

Barisan Nasional (BN) retained the Tenang seat with a 3,707 vote majority, short of the 5,000 majority the ruling coalition had expected from the Umno stronghold.

BN’s Azahar Ibrahim polled 6,699 votes against PAS’s Normala Sudirman, who took 2,992 votes from the 12 polling districts.

The latest polls result from Tenang appears to reflect that BN is regaining most of its support from the Malays, who deserted the ruling coalition in 2008, and the Indians who appear to have benefited from the Hindraf march in November 2007.

However Azmin does not believe that BN was regaining Malay support and doubt that the ruling coalition can repeat the feat in a general election.

“They can’t pour millions of dollars in a general election. They can do during a by-election. So I am not worried at all about the outcome of Tenang,” he said.