Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election a yardstick for PM, MB support

Mohd Faizul Haika Mat Khazi
Mohd Faizul Haika Mat Khazi
26 Mar 2024 12:25pm
Kuala Kubu Baharu state assembly map. (Inset: Mazlan)
Kuala Kubu Baharu state assembly map. (Inset: Mazlan)

SHAH ALAM - Even though many may think that the Kuala Kubu Baharu state assembly by-election (PRK) following the death of its incumbent Lee Kee Hiong on March 21 is not that important because it will not change the status quo of the Selangor or Putrajaya government administration, but it can give a big change to the image of the Unity Government.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics Perdana Centre lecturer Associate Professor Dr Mazlan Ali said that although the result of the by-election would not lead to a change of state government, it could be a referendum and a yardstick to assess the level of support from the people for the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

Mazlan said that the results of the by-election this time could also be used by the people to display their attitude or the referendum of the Malays, Chinese and young people as well as Umno members towards political changes after the 15th General Election (GE15).

"If DAP can defend the Kuala Kubu Baharu state assembly seat with a larger majority, for example reaching 6,000 or 7,000 votes, then it shows that the people can accept the policies implemented by Amirudin-Anwar now.

"On the other hand, if the DAP candidate only wins with a majority of about 1,000 votes or less, then it shows that the people reject or do not like the policies practised by the state and federal governments.

"Hence, the result of the by-election will be significant to assess the extent to which the performance of the state government and Madani Government can influence the voters in the area involved," he told Sinar Premium.

Mazlan also expressed confidence that DAP could retain the Kuala Kubu Baharu state assembly seat based on their performance in winning the seat with a majority of more than 4,000 votes despite facing four-cornered competition in the last state election.

For the record, in the state election last August, the late Lee successfully defended her seat after obtaining a majority of 4,119 votes by defeating three other candidates, Teoh Kien Hong (Perikatan Nasional) - 10,743 votes; Chng Boon Lai (Parti Rakyat Malaysia) - 527 votes and Siva Prakash Ramasamy of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) - 1,186 votes.

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Commenting further, Mazlan said that among the factors that helped DAP won included the fact that the Kuala Kubu Baharu state assembly seat was DAP's stronghold after Lee defeated MCA's Ooi Hui Wen with a majority of 1,702 votes in the 2013 GE, in addition to the sympathy vote of the people, especially non-Malay voters, towards the party.

"I am also convinced that the non-Malays reject PN because they have played many racial issues before, including the most recent issue of socks with the word Allah written on them.

"Another factor influencing voters is the people's perception of the government's efforts to deal with various problems, particularly the issue of the cost of living, the increase in the price of goods and the mystery of the loss of local rice supply in the market today," he said.


Meanwhile, Ilham Centre's Executive Director Hisommudin Bakar said the by-election results were significant because the seat was previously held by a DAP State Assembly Member who was part of the component party forming the current unity government in Putrajaya.

He said the victory in the seat was also very significant in the context of the Selangor State Government (PH-BN) coalition which now controls 34 out of 56 state assembly seats, while PN won 22 state assembly seats in last year's state election.

"So the PH-BN coalition cannot compromise to lose a State Assembly that is a contributor to the majority in the state. Although the PH-BN state government in Selangor recently received a 'bonus' of support from Kapar, they cannot lose support from the state assembly like at Kuala Kubu Baharu.

"Even during the last state election, the total majority shown was rather shaky, which was only 4,119 votes with a four-cornered clash. If it was only a one-on-one competition, with the current issue, it might bring elements of change to the voting pattern compared to during the last state election," he said.

Lee, 58, was said to have been battling cancer for the past few years.

Lee had been a Kuala Kubu Baharu state assemblyman since 2013 and this was her third term after retaining the seat in the 2023 Selangor state election.