KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Supreme Council member Maszlee Malik, in a Facebook post, painted a bleak outlook for his party.
The former education minister said Umno has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, as the party now is the most dominant in the informal Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, especially after it was “gifted” two states whose mentri besar are Umno members.
Perak is also largely dominated by Umno and many positions in government-linked companies (GLCs) have been filled by its members.
“Not only this serves as a lifeline, it is a re-energisation of Umno at the highest level. In this state of affairs, as we move towards GE15, Bersatu seems to be presenting their necks to be slaughtered by Umno.
“Expecting Umno to compromise by maintaining the status quo of the existing Bersatu seats would essentially mean Bersatu is giving way to Umno to return to power and ultimately appoint Zahid Hamidi as the 9th PM based on their current composition of seats.” Maszlee said.
He also called on his party members to look to the future if they truly loved their party and not be happy with their “temporary” gains.
Maszlee pointed out that Bersatu was formed because Umno was facing a trust deficit crisis among Malay voters.
He explained the rationale behind his prediction, using Bersatu’s voter demographics.
Maszlee said generally Bersatu was been given the responsibility to contest in seats traditionally held by Umno, in line with the party’s raison d’etre as a Malay party poised as an alternative to Umno.
“Of the 52 seats contested Bersatu won 13 seats, which equals to 25 per cent of the party’s victory. From the vote perspective, the total number of votes won by all 52 Bersatu candidates was 718,648, equating to 28 per cent of the total voter turnout in all areas, that is 2,573,505.
“For this point, we shall use samples from the 13 seats won by Bersatu. Overall, it involved 760,925 voters, with an ethnic demography comprising 74 per cent Malays, 21.3 per cent Chinese and 5.2 per cent Indians and others. Those who went out to vote were 625,199 people (equivalent to 82 per cent). The votes garnered by the 13 Bersatu candidates meanwhile, was 301,681 (equivalent to 48.2 per cent of the total number of those who went out to vote),” he wrote.
Maszlee said that this means that out of 100 Malays, 37 voted Bersatu, out of 100 Chinese, 83 voted Bersatu and our of 100 Indians, 58 voted Bersatu, adding that Bersatu’s vote count comes from two sources, that is; the former voters of the then Pakatan Rakyat, excluding PAS voters and those who previously voted for Umno and BN, and who changed their preference.
He then pointed out that Bersatu’s test lies in how it can retain the support it received from loyalists of Umno and BN, who turned their support for Bersatu.
However, he said, this would generally depend on the ‘mood’ of the voters.
He pointed to the by-election results in Tanjung Piai and Semenyih as examples of seats which were returned back to Umno and BN, after Bersatu failed to defend its GE14 victories there.
“As mentioned above, the seat was won by a factor of 35 per cent from the GE13 BN voters who had decided for a change and voted Bersatu instead. However, it is evident from these by-elections that BN had successfully recaptured the two seats and we witnessed the severe defeat of Bersatu due to various reasons.
“And as we all are aware, the main reason for this is that Umno-BN voters have returned to their original party. Bersatu was only getting the votes from existing PR voters there.
“In summary, Bersatu which was initially established as an alternative party to Umno had failed to retain its position and was not able to compete with Umno-BN in their traditional strongholds.
“Now, we fear their regret because in the end Bersatu is, without much guilt or remorse, conspiring with the faction that they had earlier voted against and brought down,” he wrote.