"AMK Selangor Teraju Perubahan"

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ijok By Election: A Fair Analysis

The BN has won the Ijok by-election with a bigger majority, an increase of 201 votes.Interestingly,KeADILan have also increased their vote tally by around 500 votes. This could partly be due to the higher voter turnout of 83.08% or 10,196 voters out of 12,272 on the electoral roll, a record high in by-election history. There was also no spoiler in the form of independent candidates.By popular votes,PKR obtained 40.1% (4,034 votes).However, looking into each of the balloting districts, new dynamics have cropped up.Let's take a look at the poll results recorded in the 2004 general election and the one captured today
:SUNGAI DARAH 2004: BN 629; KeADILan 144
2007: BN 730; KeADILan 192

2007: BN 1,486; KeADILan 979

2007: BN 1,025; KeADILan 641 (Berjuntai Bestari Utara)
2007: BN 461; KeADILan 338 (Berjuntai Bestari Selatan)

JAYA SETIA 2004: BN 417; KeADILAN 458
2007: BN 618; KeADILan 327

2007: BN 838; KeADILan 826

2007: BN 376; KeADILan 492

PEKAN IJOK 2004: BN 761; KeADILAN 306
2007: BN 605; KeADILan 624

2007: BN 529; KeADILan 490

TUAN MEE 2004: BN 594; KeADILAN 116
2007: BN 665; KeADILan 145
On the surface, the 2007 results indicate that:
1. KeADILAN has retreated in its 2004 Malay stronghold areas in Jaya Setia, Bukit Badong and Kampung Ijok2. KeADILan has failed to penetrate BN's Malay/Indian stronghold in Sungai Darah3. KeADILan has failed to penetrate BN's Indian stronghold in Tuan Mee.
However, BN's performance in its 2004 Indian/Chinese stronghold in Batang Berjuntai has somewhat sent out some interesting signals.The Batang Berjuntai polling district has since been split into two for the 2007 by-election, namely Berjuntai Bestari Utara (a 51.4% Indian-majority area with 2,236 Indian voters and 31.1% or 1,142 Chinese voters) and Berjuntai Bestari Selatan (a 45.8% Chinese-majority area with 534 Chinese voters and 30.6% or 384 Indian voters).In today's results, Batang Berjuntai, with Berjuntai Bestari Utara and Selatan read together, the indication is that BN has retreated on a higher voter turnout, returning BN 1,486 compared to 2004's 1,447. In contrast, KeADILAN has improved to 979 compared with 2004's 658 votes.Looking at the general trend in Ijok 2007 where BN has significantly eroded KeADILan's stronghold in the Malay-dominant areas, the swing has apparently come from the Chinese basket of votes, notably from the Chinese-dominant Berjuntai Bestari Selatan. Voter turnout in this polling district was the lowest among the nine, at 68.6%.Today, voters' apathy in Berjuntai Bestari Selatan gave BN a return of 461 while KeADILan trailed in with 338 votes in its basket.Polarised: Chinese support eroded; Malays swing towards BNIn Pekan Ijok, the polling district with the highest concentration of Chinese voters at 61.7% (or 958 Chinese voters), BN lost to KeADILan with 605 votes compared with the Opposition's 624 votes.At a glance, the two Chinese-dominant polling districts -- Berjuntai Bestari Selatan and Pekan Ijok - have voted against the ruling party in unison.Do today's results indicate that the Indians have chosen to remain as hardcore MIC supporters, while the Malays, even in PAS/KeADILan strongholds, have all taken in to money politics? Notably, the initial resistance from the Kuala Selangor Umno division against an Indian candidate had visibly vaporised as money were pouring in by the millions in the constituency that was bypassed in development over the last few decades.One thing appears to be indisputable: The Chinese are voting against the government.The anti-Government sentiments among the Chinese constituents reflected in the Ijok by-election results will pose a major headache for MCA leaders to answer to their BN boss: Despite the RM36 million by-election goodies thrown in, why the inconsistency in the the Chinese community's voting pattern just within two weeks after a walkover victory in Machap?In contrast, Gerakan can take it a little easy as it has chosen a multiracial stance in its political philosophy, and secondly, it has little impact in Ijok with its marginal political presence at the local level. The fact that Gerakan acting president Koh Tsu Koon had to adjourn to MCA's operations room to greet the Prime Minister during his 11th-hour visit to Ijok speaks volume of realpolitik on the the ground.Suffice to say, if Ijok is a win for Abdullah Badawi, it then must be an equally big headache for him to fathom why Ijok's Chinese voters revolted so angrily against his administration?Is this a single swallow that makes a spring about the disquiet among the Chinese constituents? God knows.In reality, the Chinese community in Ijok can make no distinction between having an Indian or a Malay as their elected representative if race-based politics were allowed to supersede all else. That stark reality had helped them cast vote to truly reflect their inner voices on how the country is being run.That's the the impact a double-edged keris when you play divide-and-rule, race-based politics. The dagger cuts both-ways. Whether it was Najib or Anwar who was the bigger devil that caused the 1987 racial tension over Chinese education issues that later developed into Operasi Lalang -- a corpse raised incessantly towards the last laps of campaigning in Ijok by no less a personality than Najib and MCA leaders, and rebutted by DAP and KeADILan -- was evidently no longer relevant to the realpolitik faced by the vote-holders. The way they repulsed and rebelled at the ballot box today had landed the target audience with a big thud. It warrants acute attention as the next general election draws nearer. The signal is none other than a new form of polarisation coming to a crescendo. And there is no quick fix in sight.

1 comment:

keADILan_SriGading said...