TELUK INTAN, May 31 — DAP lost Teluk Intan due to a turnout of just 66.7 per cent, lower than the 80 per cent in Election 2013, party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today in early assessment of the by-election.
Lim also said there was a Chinese swing of 10 per cent to Barisan Nasional (BN), after unofficial results showed DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud losing to Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong by 238 votes.
“The voter turnout dropped by 14 [percentage points], that’s 7,000 to 8,000 less voters compared to the previous general election,” Lim told a press conference at the DAP operations centre here today.
DAP’s Seah Leong Peng had defeated Mah in the 13th general election last year by 7,313 votes.
DAP secretary-general Lim said most of those who did not turn up on polling day were the largely pro-opposition outstation voters.
“As Mah Siew Keong has mentioned, those who come back naturally vote for DAP,” he said.
Lim also said the Chinese swing to the ruling coalition was due to BN’s promise of development and the choice of Dyana Sofya — a new face in the constituency — compared to Mah, a Teluk Intan local who served the federal constituency for two terms before losing the seat in 2008.
“There are various factors. The fact that she’s new, development, and sometimes they’re not used to a young female candidate,” he said.
When asked if Dyana Sofya’s ethnicity played a part in the Chinese swing, Lim answered: “Perhaps”.
The 26-year-old Dyana Sofya said in a speech to DAP supporters that she would remain in Perak and focus on Teluk Intan.
“This is not the end of Dyana Sofya,” she declared.
“We must end race politics... We will continue this struggle because it’s not over yet,” she added in a soft voice, pausing as she teared up.
Official results later confirmed that Dyana Sofya lost to the 53-year-old Mah by just 238 votes.
Dyana Sofya bagged 19,919 votes to Mah’s 20,157.