Indian Voters Kingmakers Once Again 

Currently just relying on the Malay and Chinese support is not going to be enough either. PR will still require the support of the Indian voters at levels similar to which it had in the 2008 GE. The 99.5% geographical distribution of Indian voters in the bread and butter states of Peninsular Malaysia, gives it added strength in the collective voting strength in the next General Election. 

Paraman Subramaniam 

165 out of the 222 Parliamentary seats in Malaysia lie in Peninsular Malaysia. This translates to 75% of all seats. Focusing valuable resources and campaign time on Sabah and Sarawak may be necessary but it cannot be done at the expense of Peninsular Malaysia. First of all Sarawak state elections is already over. PR’s influence on East Malaysia is not as strong as it is on Peninsular Malaysia. The city/town seats are winnable but the interiors are impenetrable, not just logistically but also due to poor Internet/alternative media coverage. Polling agents and counting agents from PR in these areas are also minimal. The elections in these areas are literally at the mercy of the heavyweight BN machinery on elections day. The internal politics within these states are complicated and they do view politicians from Peninsular Malaysia with suspicion. 

The 9 states in Peninsular Malaysia (Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, W.P, N.S, Malacca, Johor and Pahang) contain 140 Parliamentary seats which is 85% of all Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia. In fact these states in total consist of almost 2/3rd of all Parliamentary seats in Malaysia hence the term “bread and butter states” is best applicable. A strong showing of PR in these bread and butter states will draw all victors/political parties post GE like a magnet towards PR, especially those from East Malaysia. It is as simple as that. Moreover PR’s potential nadir strength also lies in these bread and butter states.

99.5% of the more than 950k Indian voters reside in these states (as of June 30, 2012). Indians average around 7% of total voters in Malaysia but in these bread and butter states the Indians average 10% in number as far as voters are concerned. There are MORE than 70 Parliamentary (50%) constituencies in these ‘bread and butter states’ that have Indian voter strength of greater than 10%. Out of these there are 11 Parliamentary seats that have more than 20% Indian voter

The table below is data obtained up to Dec 31, 2011

States In Malaysia 

Percentage of Indian Voters
No of Indian Voters 

Total Number of Voters 

Negeri Sembilan 
















Wilayah Persekutuan 










































Both NS and Selangor consists of more than 14% Indian voters. NS has the highest percentage of Indian voters in a state (14.75%). Selangor however has the highest number of Indian voters in a state. Selangor has 12 Parliamentary and 29 ADUN seats that consist of Indian voter population above their state average of 14%. Where else NS has 6 parliamentary and 15 ADUN seats, and Perak 11 Parliamentary and 9 ADUN seats above their state average of 14% and 12% respectively.


Selangor new voters from 2008 up to Dec 31 2011, show that almost 50k new Indians voters have registered to vote. This accounts to almost half of the new Chinese voters and also almost 1/3 of new Malay voters in Selangor. 25% of the 200k new Indian voters are concentrated in Selangor.


Remarkably Indians have also registered the highest percentage rise per race in new voter registration since 2008 in all the bread and butter states. Selangor registering a 22.40% rise with Perak and NS recording 16.03% and 16.82% rise respectively since 2008. Malacca has recorded a 45.91% increase in new Indian voters. For comparison sake Selangor only registered a 5-6% rise in new Indian voter registration during the period between 2004 and 2007. 

dun selangor

It is apparent that there has been a lot of new Indian voter awareness and enlightenment of their political plight and strength. This spike in new Indian voter registration can be attributed to Hindraf’s emergence as the front leader in the Malaysian Indian political landscape and dynamics since 2007.

dun selangor 2

The 15/38 Hindraf project appears to have also contributed to this rise in new Indian voter registration. Hindraf has paid paramount importance in voter registration as well as responsibility as a voter to the Indian community as a means to increase its political weight in the arena of Malaysian politics so that political solutions of the marginalized Indians problems can be expedited.

dun n9

BN has for decades ignored these problems and allowed the marginalized Indians issues now to tilt towards critical point. PR’s emphasis on Indian representatives as versus Indian representation has not given these critical issues its due importance. For these reasons Hindraf has filled this vacuum of Indian leadership with their selfless sacrifices. 
dun perak

PR feels that it could be able to win comfortably in the next GE with just relying on predominantly strong Malay and Chinese support. However there have been accusations and suspicions that BN is aiming to sabotage this by the introduction and injection of phantom/foreign voters together with dubious voters into the Electoral roll.

 new voters

Looking at the alarming rise and exponential growth in new voters, especially the Bumiputra voters in numbers, particularly in key constituencies that appear to be too close to call, these suspicions may have some justification. The exponential growth of new voters since 2008 is 1 : 1.8 : 5.32 : 6.5 : 8.39 is staggering! (N/p 2012 data is only up to June 30th 2012 and has been estimated to at least double 651,006 to give a 8.39% increase)

It is interesting to note that in 2008 and 2009, PR was leading BN in registering new voters. In 2010 BN had caught up with PR in registering new voters and subsequently has overtaken PR in 2011 and 2012. This also reflects in the abnormal spike in new voters from 2010 onwards. 


It has been common knowledge that BN’s primary aim in the next GE is to secure a 2/3rd majority in Parliament and to win back the rich state of Selangor. BN is also feverishly working behind the scenes to prove that the outcome of the results in the next GE will show that PR has lost a big majority of the Malay support as this will be tantamount to pulling the life support system of the PR coalition. It is also rumored that Dr Mahathir’s expertise is being sought and is still influential behind the scenes as well as calling the shots in the BN’s election machinery.

new voter seln9

Dr Mahathir has in the past been accused to have  orchestrated Sabah’s ‘Project M’ where thousands of Filipino Muslims were given Malaysian citizenship’s so that they could vote in favour of UMNO and dilute the predominantly Christian majority voters influence in the state of Sabah. During Dr Mahathir’s era also, hundreds of thousands of Malaysian born Indians were denied their citizenship’s in Malaysia rendering them stateless and having no voting rights at all. In the 1999 hotly contested GE, Dr Mahathir’s plan of calling the GE early had nullified Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters numbering 650k who had newly registered to vote, disqualifying them to vote on a technicality of not registering 6 months before the GE.

newjun 2012

Reflecting on all these factors there appears to show a certain pattern developing in the current period leading to the next GE. 

1) Dr Mahathir’s involvement.

2) Abnormal spike in new voters especially Bumiputra voters in constituencies    that are too close to call.

3) Allegations of foreigners are being made voters.

4) The potential of at least another 650k new dubious registered voters being added into the Electoral roll between the period July 1st to Dec 31st 2012, which will be too late for PR to check. This will deliver the technical knockout blow to PR’s chances of taking over Putrajaya.


It must be noted that phantom/foreign voters are suspected to have been added into the Malay category of the Electoral roll as this will dilute the PR’s Malay voters. Pekan (Najib) has had a 26.39% rise and Sembrong (Hishamudin) a whopping 34.86% rise in new Malay voters.

increase voter

DSAI himself appears to be repeating the same mistake of his 1998/1999 Reformasi movement where he then mainly focused on the Malay supporters which proved on the hindsight to be insufficient for him to win. Currently just relying on the Malay and Chinese support is not going to be enough either. PR will still require the support of the Indian voters at levels similar to which it had in the 2008 GE. The 99.5% geographical distribution of Indian voters in the bread and butter states of Peninsular Malaysia, gives it added strength in the collective voting strength in the next General Election. Currently there are no Indian leaders in this country who can muster that kind of overwhelming Indian support towards PR other than HINDRAF. HINDRAF can not only rally the Indian support but more importantly make them to turn up to vote on elections day. Delaying attempts to forge a coalition and corporation with the well oiled election machinery of HINDRAF is tantamount to shooting PR’s own two feet.


MIC claims to have almost half of the Indian voters (400k) secured (Malay Mail 15/10/12). PR is estimated to command anywhere between 30-50% of the Indian voters support. However there appears to be a significant difference in the value of both these opposing camps Indian support. MIC Indian voters support is traditionally in rural areas and in the outskirts of cities where else PR’s Indian support is in the cities. PR is expected to face stiff opposition in the rural areas and outskirts of cities and as such their lack in Indian support in these areas will be costly.

PR will require the SYNERGY of all the 3 major races in one direction against BN to topple the 55 year regime.