PELANGAI: Strong support from the Chinese community saw Barisan Nasional (BN) retain the Pelangai state seat in the recent by-election.
An estimated 94% of Chinese voters supported BN candidate Datuk Amizar Abu Adam, who secured 7,325 votes (61.7%) while Kassim Samat from PAS garnered 4,375 votes (36.9%) and Haslihelmy DM Zulhasli 47 votes.
Amizar won the by-election with 2,949-vote majority.
According to Institut Darul Ehsan, the think tank of Selangor state government, 52.1% of Malays and 93.8% of Chinese supported Barisan Nasional, while 46.8% of Malays and only 6.2% of Chinese supported Perikatan Nasional (PN).
In last year’s general election, the late Datuk Seri Johari Harun secured 7,308 votes in a four-cornered fight and won the state seat with a majority of 4,048 votes, while Kassim Samat from PN polled 3,260 votes.
PN secured additional 1,115 votes in the by-election while the majority votes of BN was down by 1,099 votes this time.
Judging from the votes, the gap between both sides is small.
Nevertheless, this is a BN stronghold which means that the coalition is losing Malay votes.
PN secured 25.4% of votes in the last general election and 36.9% votes in this by-election. The increase in votes came from Malay voters.
For BN, it secured 56.9% of votes last year and 61.7% of votes in this by-election. The increase in votes came from Chinese voters.
It is clear that BN is relying on DAP and MCA to campaign in Chinese areas in this by-election.
DAP has been reminding its Chinese supporters to vote for BN to prevent the penetration of PAS in Pahang.
The number of Chinese voters unable to accept Umno remained small, as the Chinese were basically against PN.
BN secured 2,722 votes in four Chinese villages where PN only received 234 votes.
BN should review the result of the by-election immediately to address the loss of Malay votes in Felda settlements or the battle in the next election would be a much tougher fight.
The Pelangai by-election was called following Johari’s death in a plane crash in Shah Alam, Selangor, on August 17.
Last year, Johari, who represented BN, won with a 4,048-vote majority, defeating Kasim, PH’s Ahmed Wafiuddin and Pejuang candidate Isa Ahmad.