Pakatan may lose 9 MP seats if…

An academic says that if there is a 30% swing in Indian votes, the opposition will lose nine seats. But Ong Kian Ming predicts only a 10% shift in votes.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Pakatan Rakyat may lose nine Parliament seats if there is a 30% swing in Indian votes for Barisan Nasional, according to academic Ong Kian Ming.

Among the seats listed by the USCI lecturer were Lembah Pantai, held by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, and Sungai Siput, which is now in the hands of Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s Dr Michael Jeyakumar.

The other seven seats were Kuala Langat, Merbok, Bruas, Kuala Selangor, Teluk Intan, Hulu Langat and Nibong Tebal.

However, Ong predicted that Indian votes would swing by only 10% in the next general election based on the 9% shift in support witnessed for BN during the Hulu Selangor by election.

He was speaking at a forum entitled “13th General Election – The battle to win the hearts and minds for the Indian vote” organised by the Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba) here yesterday.

On the same note, Ong said the opposition was more secured in state seats. “Even with a 10% Indian vote swing, BN can’t win these seats,” he added.

Both sides have failed

He also pointed out that both sides of the political divide had failed to put forward the Indian agenda.

“There is weak leadership in MIC despite the change in leadership,” he said in view of party president G Palanivel not being an elected leader.

Palanivel had been appointed acting president after S Samy Vellu stepped down earlier this year after leading the BN component party for three decades.

Ong also identified Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as a factor impeding the implementation of an Indian agenda due to the latter’s fear of Malay right-wing groups.

As for Pakatan, the academic told his audience of about 120 that the opposition coalition lacked a clear Indian leader.

“Within the multiracial DAP and PKR, Indian leaders must compete against other Indians on an unofficial quota,” he said, adding that PAS and PKR were more concentrated on winning Malay votes.

Apart from Ong, Denison Jayasooria from the Institute of Ethnic Studies, UKM, also spoke during the first session of the day-long forum.

A total of six sessions were held on various aspects with regard to the Indian community. Among them were the role of the civil society and the federal government’s assistance to the community.

Other speakers included former Suhakam commissioner N Siva Subramaniam, Selangor exco Dr Xavier Jayakumar, Subang MP R Sivarasa and Sungai Siput MP Jeyakumar.

Notably missing from the list of speakers were MIC representatives but two central working committee members KP Samy and S Manivasagum were present in their personal capacity.