KKB results show Perikatan can’t penetrate mixed seats

Non-Malays continue to reject opposition, say observers.

(The Vibes) – PAKATAN Harapan candidate Pang Sock Tao’s victory in the Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) state seat in Selangor is evidence that Perikatan Nasional (PN) continues to struggle to make inroads into mixed constituencies, analysts said.

They said the results showed that non-Malays did not believe that PN could represent their interests.

Pang won KKB yesterday after receiving 14,000 votes, defeating Perikatan’s Khairul Azhari Saut, who got 10,131 votes. The winning margin was 3,869 votes.

Independent candidate Nyau Ke Xin obtained 188 votes and Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s Hafizah Zainudin, 152 votes.

There are 40,226 registered voters in the constituency, made up of a mixed electorate of Malays (53.4%), Chinese (30.5%), and Indians (15.82%). The remainder is made up of Orang Asli and others.

Voter turnout at the polls was 61.51%, one of the lowest in the by-elections held after the 2022 general election.

Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar at International Islamic University Malaysia said PN is perceived as a mono-ethnic party.

“To win in mixed constituencies such as KKB, PN needs support from pockets of non-Malay voters. But the coalition failed to obtain that,” he said.

“Non-Malays don’t see Perikatan as being serious about championing their cause,” the political science assistant professor said, saying it was no surprise DAP had retained the seat which the party has held since 2013.

Pang, who was press secretary to Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming, won the seat vacaated by the death of its assemblyman Lee Kee Hiong.

James Chin at University of Tasmania said non-Malays, especially the Chinese voters, retained the seat for DAP.

“It was very much a DAP seat and the victory showed that the Chinese were not willing to abandon the party in the by-election,” the Asian studies professor said.

Chin said PAS’ mistake was take aim at vernacular schools and Pang’s educational background, which infuriated the Chinese.

“PAS information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari annoyed a lot of Chinese voters and reinforced the view that PAS and PN are against them.

“The Chinese were already not fond of PN’s extremist views and this made things even worse. Actually, PAS did DAP a favour,” he said.

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