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Chinese votes PH's fixed deposit no more

  • The PH government believes that no matter how much it has failed the Chinese community, they will still support it loyally.

By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily

One afternoon before the by-election, I was chatting with a group of local Chinese residents at a coffee shop in Rantau.

A middle-age man was talking in high spirits about the upcoming by-election.

He said he used to be a staunch DAP supporter and was aggressively campaigning for the then opposition party in every past general election.

“To be honest with you, I now support Tok Mat, and hope he wins big!"

For the first 15 minutes or so, he was talking non-stop to explain why he supported Tok Mat, from how the former MB mingled so well with the local Chinese kids when he was young, including the fact he didn't stay away from eating fruits having been offered to Chinese deity, and how he helped build Chinese temples and schools after he became MB.

For the next 15 minutes, he began to tabulate the deficiencies of DAP and PH after taking over Putrajaya, and how the current government has failed to address the problems encountered by the local Chinese community, not to mention the deteriorating economy.

“During the election campaign, I attended not fewer than 10 ceramahs of PH, and listened to their tons of promises that have yet to be fulfilled today.”

To be honest, I do not think he was absolutely right; much of what he said was emotional.

However, this is what politics is all about. It's how the people feel that decides everything. And the people's feelings have experienced such a dramatic change in under a year!

Changes within the Malay society have begun to take shape as seen in the recent by-elections in Cameron Highlands and Semenyih.

And what pops up now is a shift in the attitude of the Chinese community, as evidenced by the results in Rantau by-election.

I would have been very worried about the fate of this gentleman if during last year's general elections he had praised BN and hit out so hard at PH. He could have been told to shut up or called a traitor or even thrown out of the coffee shop.

But when he was giving his narrative now, the entire coffee shop was listening attentively. Surprisingly, not one shouted at him and no one came to PH's defense.

Several days later, the results showed that Tok Mat won by a landslide. Returns from different polling stations showed that indeed some Chinese and Indian voters have turned back to BN again.

Sure enough this has something to do with Tok Mat's personal image and track record. Nevertheless, during the last two general elections, Chinese votes almost without fail went to PH and its antecedent Pakatan Rakyat.

Unfortunately, this fixed deposit is beginning to crumble barely a year later.

Chinese voters are indeed very disappointed. They used to have very high expectations from PH, believing it would not only lift the economy after taking over Putrajaya, but would also treat everyone in this country fairly and equally.

The reality is: the economy remains sluggish, and social inequality is still very much evident.

UEC certificate is yet to be recognized, and government contracts are getting harder to approve, AP is still very much rampant, radical foreign clerics are allowed to speak freely here, and ICERD and Rome Statute can be withdrawn so easily.

Strong opposition from the Malay society prompts the PH government to give in to the demands of extremist and religious conservatives more easily.

The Malay society is well aware that the more they reject the PH government, the more it will give in to their demands and provide them with more privileges and perks.

The PH government believes that no matter how much it has failed the Chinese community, they will still support it loyally.

But some of the Chinese residents in Rantau said they refused to be led by the nose again and that they too wanted to make their own decisions.

I wonder whether the big guns at PH have heard that.

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