Falling flat on a pretty face


DAP’s loss of Teluk Intan was the price it paid for over-confidence

Kevin Fernandez, Free Malaysia Today

Preliminary analyses of the Teluk Intan by-election indicate a silver lining in DAP’s loss of the seat as there seems to be a 3% increase in Malay support for the Chinese-dominated party compared to the outcome in the 13th general election.

Nevertheless, an important question to ask is: Why did so many voters from the other major races decide to vote for BN this time around? Chinese support for DAP plunged by 15% and Indian support by 10%.

At first sight, the strategy of fielding Dyana Sofia Mohd Daud for the race seemed a brilliant move to prove that DAP is indeed a multiracial party. Although a political greenhorn, Dyana was the ideal Malay candidate to win a seat that the party was already confident of retaining, considering the large majority it got in the general election. Who could be more Malay than a graduate of UiTM and a member of an Umno household? And she’s pretty to boot.

Unfortunately, that face alone was not enough to help her win the seat although it must have mesmerised some of the attendees at her campaign rallies.

More unfortunate still, DAP did not seem informed enough about her past affiliations.

For starters, the ambitious young woman started getting involved in politics as a member of the BN Supporters’ Club and her decision to switch sides could be construed as lack of loyalty. In this connection, it must be highlighted that Perak is unique in that voters there have learned to be extra vigilant because they paid a hefty price for choosing perfidious characters in the 12th general election.

Additionally, Dyana was observed to be inconsistent in responding to allegations that she played an active role in Perkasa. After vehemently denying that she was not affiliated with the group, she admitted that her mother was a member.

Not many voters have forgotten that Ibrahim Ali won his former Pasir Mas seat on a PAS ticket and Zulkifli Noordin was a founding member of PKR.