Significant rise in Malay and Indian support for PH-BN partnership in KKB polls - IDE study

42 per cent of Malay votes went to PH although PN still enjoyed stronger Malay support.

14 May 2024 08:43am
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Bernama
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - Malay and Indian support for the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) cooperation in the Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) by-election increased by three and eight per cent respectively compared to the 15th state election in 2023.

Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE) senior manager (Research) Khairul Arifin Mohd Munir said in last year's state election, PH obtained only 39 per cent of Malay votes while Perikatan Nasional (PN) received 55 per cent.

However, in last Saturday's by-election, 42 per cent of Malay votes went to PH although PN still enjoyed stronger Malay support.

"The KKB by-election had 16 voting districts (DM), but out of the four Malay-majority DMs, PH-BN recaptured two DMs, namely Kampung Air Jernih and Pertak, with 49 and 78 per cent support from Malays. In the last state election, PH lost in those two DMs.

"PH also maintained strong majority support among the Chinese, winning at least 70 per cent of their votes, and also in mixed DMs, while PN retained control of two Malay DMs, namely Bandar Utama Batang Kali and Ampang Pecah,” it said in a statement yesterday.

IDE's studies also found that Indian support for PH in the by-election increased to 67 per cent compared to 59 per cent in the last state election.

It said support for PH from Chinese voters also shot up to 87 per cent in the by-election from 84 per cent in the state polls.

"Significant increases in support for PH were registered in the Pertak DM (46 per cent), Ladang Nigel Gardner (22 per cent), Kampung Air Jernih and among early voters. Military and police votes carrying the civil servant symbol have shifted to PH, possibly because special bonuses and enhanced public service schemes have had a positive impact on them," he said.

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The increase in support, he said, was driven by the success of BN's grassroots efforts in regaining Malay voter support in traditional villages, due to the return of confidence among loyal BN voters, especially those aged 61 and above.

"For PN, Malay votes are due to the Malay candidate factor compared to its fielding a Chinese candidate in the last state election. The narrative of Chinese-DAP candidate played by PN also contributed to PN retaining Malay voter support," he said.

However, in terms of voting patterns based on age, Khairul Arifin said PN dominated votes for the category aged 40 and below while PH-BN for the age category of 41 and above.

He said PH-BN needs to continue championing the cause of Malays and Islam because Malays support PN as it was seen to be more vocal on issues affecting the Malay-Muslim community.

"Current issues like prices of goods, job opportunities and cost of living also need to be resolved by the Unity Government to gain support from the people in the 16th general election,” he said.

Meanwhile, Psychology Operations Fellow of Universiti Teknologi Mara's (UiTM) Media and Information Warfare Studies Centre, Dr Noor Nirwandy Mat Noordin, said the 'politics of moderation’ advocated by the Unity Government was among the factors contributing to the success of the PH-BN cooperation.

This approach had brought positive changes to the local political landscape with its emphasis on inclusiveness, unity, development and people's prosperity instead of the 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues, he said when contacted by Bernama.

PH candidate Pang Sock Tao won the state seat with a majority of 3,869 votes, beating Khairul Azhari Saut of PN, who obtained 10,131 votes, Independent candidate Nyau Ke Xin (188 votes) and Parti Rakyat Malaysia's Hafizah Zainuddin (152 votes). - BERNAMA