‘Minimal voter turnout contributed to PN's loss’ - Analyst

Subdued voter turnout tips scales in PH’s favour, leaving PN to rethink strategy

SHARIFAH SHAHIRAH
12 May 2024 07:30am
PH candidate Pang Soc Tao won the by-election with a majority of 3,869 votes. - Photo by Sinar/ROSLI TALIB
PH candidate Pang Soc Tao won the by-election with a majority of 3,869 votes. - Photo by Sinar/ROSLI TALIB
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SHAH ALAM - A minimal voter turnout was a crucial factor in Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) defeat in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, according to analyst.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Centre for Communication and Media Studies, College of Computing, Informatics and Media, Professor and political analyst Datuk Dr Ismail Sualman said while both Pakatan Harapan (PH) and PN demonstrated substantial strength in strategic political marketing and propaganda, the low voter turnout, which hovered between 57 to 58 per cent, ultimately favoured PH.

"The lower turnout likely tilted the scales in PH's favour, particularly among non-Malay voters who comprise a significant portion of the electorate here," Ismail told Sinar Daily.

He further suggested that while the majority of Muslim voters might prefer PN, especially Pas and Bersatu supporters, non-Malay voters—primarily Chinese and Indian—likely rallied behind PH.

"PN could still stand a chance in future contests if voter turnout were to increase significantly," he said.

Despite the area’s diverse demographic, Ismail pointed out that Pas's influence remains limited, as the majority population is Chinese.

He stressed that an increased voter turnout, potentially exceeding 67 pervcent, could boost PN’s performance against PH.

Meanwhile, political analyst Dr Oh Ei Sun said that the by-election was largely PH's to lose, having secured victories in the last three elections.

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"This result mirrors the outcome from six months ago, making PH’s win unsurprising," he said.

PH candidate Pang Soc Tao won the by-election with a majority of 3,869 votes.

She polled 14,000 votes, defeating PN’s candidate Khairul Azhari Saut (10,131). Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s Hafizah Zainuddin (152) and independent candidate Nyau Ke Xin (188).

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