Thursday, 28 September 2017


It's always interesting to read what the Chinese language newspapers in Malaysia have to say about Malaysian politics, translated into English and published on the Malaysian Chinese News portal, and I must say they have some pretty astute analysts.

Following the fairly recent fallout between the secular-oriented Democratic Action Party and Islamic-oriented Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) since the 2013 general elections and the subsequent breakup of the Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact) coalition of which DAP, PAS and People's Justice Party (PKR), especially the Selangor state government or more particularly its Chief Minister Azmin Ali have been very worried about the possibility of losing seats to the Barisan Nasional (National front) coalition, especially coalition partner the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which has been winning elections and the control of the Federal government since 1955, two years before Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957. Following the breakup of the Pakatan Rakyat, a breakaway faction from PAS formed a party called Parti Amanah Negara ("PAN" or "Amanah" for short) which formed a new pact the Pakatan Harapan (Pact of Hope) together with the DAP and PKR. Then following the departure of former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir and some comrades from UMNO, they formed a new party called Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (roughly translated as "Malaysian United Indigenous persons Party" or "Pribumi" for short, which subsequently became the fourth member of Pakatan Harapan with Tun Dr. Mahathir as Chairman.

The Pakatan Harapan in Selangor or more particularly its pact member PKR is especially concerned over the possibility of losing to the UMNO/BN especially in three cornered fights for a state seat between UMNO, PKR and PAS and has been desperately trying to convince PAS not to split the opposition vote and let the UMNO/BN candidate win the seat, even is only with the largest minority of votes.

To understand their fears, just take a look at the results of elections for the Kota Damansara state seat in 2008 and 2013.

In 2008, it was a one-on-one contest between Dr. Nasir Hashim of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia who however contested under the PKR banner versus Zein Isma Ismail of UMNO/BN. Dr. Nasir received 11,846 votes of 52.38% versus 10,771 votes or 47.62% to Zein Isma, so Dr. Nasir won Kota Damnasara with a slim majority of votes in this marginal state seat.

However, in 2013, PAS contested in a six-cornered fight between Dr. Nasir who ran under the PKR banner, Halimaton Saadiah Bohan of UMNO/BN and three independent candidates and Dr. Nasir got 14,860 votes or 38.33%, Ridzuan Ismail of PAS got 7,312 votes or 18.86%, Halimaton got 16,387 votes or 42.27% whilst three independents got a total of a mere 212 votes or a total of 0.55%. So Halimaton of UMNO/BN won Kota Damansara with the largest minority or 42.27% of the votes in Kota Damansara.

At that time, PAS was still a member of the Pakatan Rakyat, so except for Kota Damansara, there were one-on-one contests (not counting the independents who win an insignificant number of votes anyway) in most other Selangor state seats contested.

However, now that PAS is on its own, it has said that it will contest in 42 of Selangor's 56 state seats and if the above result in Kota Damansara is repeated, with three or more cornered fights in the 42 seats contested, PAS may well lose but let the UMNO/BN candidate win with the largest minority and Selangor could fall back into BN hands.

Without PAS, the Pakatan Harapan has a slim majority of 29 out of 56 seats in the Selangor State Assembly, PAS has 13, Barisan Nasional 12 and two independents, so the loss of a few seats to UMNO BN in the upcoming 14th general elections in 2018 can well result in the BN winning Selangor.     

On the other hand, Pribumi could well split the UMNO vote, since Dr. Mahathior still retains some appeal amongs UMNO voters though there has been no precedent of this before, so itis hard to say how well or badly Pribumi will fare in three-cornered fights with UMNO/BN and PAS, assuming that no other Pakatan Harapan member party will contest against anoter in a given seat.

Given the very different political scenario in Malaysia today, the outcome of the 14th general elections will be very interesting to watch.

Kwong Wah Daily's take on this question follows below.

Yours trully


Who would win in three-cornered fights?
Posted on 28/09/2017 | 10:58 0 Posted in Kwong Wah Daily

PAS is prepared for three-cornered fights in the coming election. DAP, Pribumi Bersatu and Parti Amanah have all geared up for the tough fights while only PKR seems to be still harboring some lingering hope.

The Pakatan Harapan supreme council has recently resolved and signed an agreement to terminate relations with PAS. However, the pro-PAS faction in PKR is still unwilling to follow but continues to deal with PAS, with the support of Anwar. If that is the case, is the agreement signed by Wan Azizah still valid? Does it mean that Wan Azizah is incapable of making decisions, Azmin is weak and Anwar is blur?

This article is focus on the assessment of the politics in Selangor.

Will the PKR-led Selangor state government change hands because of three-cornered fights? Azmin does not have the full confidence. PKR Women chief Zuraida shows pessimism but Rafizi, the promoter of INVOKE opinion polls, has no fear of three-cornered fights. The two factions have opposing views.

Pakatan partner DAP will contest in Chinese-dominated constituencies. PAS said it would contest in 42 seats constituencies, of which only one will encroach into DAP domain. DAP has 15 seats which it won with high majority votes (even the lowest majority reached 1,702 votes). As such, the cutting of ties between Pakatan Harapan and PAS will not have much effect on DAP’s election results.

Pribumi Bersatu which is starting with zero seat would of course like to see the departure of PAS so that it could share with Parti Amanah the 20 constituencies contested by PAS in the last election (PKR fought in one of them). However, PKR Selangor doesn’t seem bold enough to charge ahead. It is looking back at PAS while trying to sort out the distribution of the 20 constituencies.

Based on the results of the last election, Barisan’s strength is in the north. Except for the Chinese-dominated Sekinchan and Kuala Kubu Baru which were won by DAP, it was blue all the way to the north. PKR made some gains in and around Kuala Lumpur while PAS won in some suburban areas. DAP swept all the urban and suburban seats in Chinese-dominated areas. Chinese support of DAP was at its highest.

Without the Chinese votes and the support of PKR, PAS is likely to retreat to its original spot. In 2004, it was swept aside by the popularity of the new Prime Minister Abdullah and did not win anything.

PAS has failed to assess its own strength. It is still deep in its Utopian dream and one finds it difficult to track its mindset. Three-cornered fights would be suicidal for the party.

In reality, the Selangor state government depends on how much Malay votes the PKR, Pribumi Bersatu and Parti Amanah partnership can win. There is high possibility that PKR can retain the 14 urban and suburban seats, including the seat held by Khalid who has left the party. The fight will be intense for the 13 rural seats held by PAS and similarly for the 12 UMNO seats. With all the trouble created by PAS, it would be difficult for Pakatan Harapan to take any of the 12 UMNO seats.

PAS political base in Selangor is not very strong. Nevertheless, its defeated candidates in all the past elections were able to keep their deposits. It means they still enjoy certain support, about 20 to 30 percent, of the Malay votes in rural areas while the same goes for PKR in rural areas. UMNO can win 35 to 60 percent rural Malay votes but it must be able to garner over 55 percent Malay votes to win the state constituencies as 70 to 80 percent Chinese votes would go to Pakatan.

In a three-cornered fight, PAS supporters will vote for PAS while Pakatan Harapan has to depend on votes won by Pribumi Bersatu and Parti Amanah. Based on Pakatan Harapan’s leadership structure, only two Pribumi Bersatu leaders were included in the lineup, one less than DAP and Parti Amanah. Azmi seems to look up to Parti Amanah but still has doubts on Pribumi Bersatu headed by Mahathir.

My personal assessment is that Parti Amanah can take away 20 percent of PAS votes and Pribumi Bersatu can take away 10 to 15 percent UMNO votes. After all the calculations, three-cornered fights will benefit neither Pakatan Harapan nor Barisan Nasional and a bitter fight will be unavoidable. PAS is bound to suffer massive defeats unless it has some hidden dealings with Barisan.
Original Source: 三角战谁得利?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.