DAP’s failed promises cost PH votes, says analyst

(FMT) – The failure of the DAP to deliver on its general election promises last year was a factor in the swing against Pakatan Harapan in the Tanjung Piai by-election, according to political analyst James Chin.

The massive majority won by Barisan Nasional in the by-election tonight showed that Chinese voters had swung against DAP. It also showed that the partnership between Umno and PAS is working, he said.

The BN scored a massive victory tonight with its candidate, Wee Jeck Seng of MCA, obtaining a 15,008 majority against PH contender Karmaine Sardini of PPBM. Wee polled 25,466 votes to the 10,380 for Karmaine Sardini (PH-PPBM). The other candidates were:

  • Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan) 1,707;
  • Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz (Berjasa) 850;
  • Ang Chuan Lock (Independent) 380;
  • and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar (Independent) 32 votes.

Chin said the PH loss was related to national issues.

“For the Malay voters, it has to do with Umno-PAS working together, and a protest vote against prime minister and Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad. For Chinese voters, it’s a stand against DAP,” he said.

“When the Chinese community supported DAP almost 100% (in the 2018 general election), they expected DAP to deliver on all their promises.

“If you look at all the Chinese core issues, the DAP could not deliver anything,” he said.

Major Issues included government recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (of independent Chinese-medium schools), business opportunities, less discrimination and such, he said.

“They are also unhappy with what they perceive to be DAP’s inability to stand up to Mahathir. Some want to send a signal to DAP that they should not behave like MCA under the BN, when it was often accused of being Umno’s running dog who could not stand up to defend core Chinese interests. Some think this is happening to DAP under PH,” he said.

Another political analyst, Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, agreed that the result had to do with national issues, noting that there was a major swing among non-Malay voters.

“When our team went on the ground, Malay voters that we surveyed showed that those that previously voted BN maintained their support while those who voted for PAS said they would vote for BN,” he said.

Kamarul said voters had stated that Wee, who was MP for two terms from 2008, had taken good care of them previously. “Not just the non-Malay voters, the Malay voters as well,” he said.

Economic concerns were also raised by the voters when his team did the survey, he said.