PETALING JAYA, Aug 8 — The collaboration between Umno and PAS in the Sg Kandis by-election was “faulty” and cost the former crucial votes, a study has shown.
According to an initial analysis by the Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS), it found that despite the increase in criticism against the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration’s inability to fulfill certain promises, voters still reject the rhetoric propagated by Umno and PAS during the campaign period.
“The current mood is still in strong (and strengthening) favour for PH. Despite PH’s increased criticism, in terms of unfulfilled promises, and backtracking of promises, voters seem adamant about refusing a BN that is now continually tainted with scandals and corruption.
“The honeymoon period for PH is definitely over. But the alternative of BN and PAS, both of which are focused on the Malay vote, is still being rejected. It may be time for BN and PAS to ease their Malay-centric rhetoric and perhaps focus on the middle ground, one that could potentially win back non-Malay voters,’’ said Cent-GPS research.
Last Saturday, PKR candidate Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni won the by-election by garnering 15,427 votes compared to BN’s Datuk Lokman Noor Adam’s 9,585 and independent candidate K. Murthy’s 97 votes, with a total of 25,282 being tallied by the Election Commision (EC)
Subsequently, the voter turnout for the by-election was the lowest in history, standing at 49.4 per cent, with the total registered voters standing at 51,230.
Although an earlier analysis by the research centre posited that a low voter turnout, PAS’ open support for Umno and playing up Malay-centric issues might have benefited the latter, the by-election results told a different story.
“Yet when we look at the results, it seems that vote shares (percentage wise) for non-PH votes actually fell from 44 per cent to 38.2 per cent. This is a clear sign that either PAS or BN (or maybe both) is losing support.
“This leads to the next question, was the BN strategy, of courting (or attempting to court) the Malay vote using racial issues and fear an effective strategy, did they achieve that objective?’’ the report asked.
“A complete turn-around needs to happen either amongst the BN or PAS narrative.
Transparency and accountability is the new hope in town whilst racialism is put with the old,’’ added the report.