Malaysian Indian vote swing will cause PR politician casualties

September 11th, 2011 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
 Subscribe in a reader | Subscribe by Email

I think this is quite clear as in some of the constituencies, Malaysian Indian voters account for between 10 to 30% of the voters.

Some Pakatan big names may lose their seats if Indian votes were to swing back to the BN in the upcoming general election, said political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

The political casualties of such a swing in the Indian votes may include MPs Nurul Izzah Anwar of Lembah Pantai and Dzulkefly Ahmad of Kuala Selangor, as well as state reps Khalid Ibrahim (Ijok) and PKR information director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Seri Setia).

“BN can win as many as nine parliament seats with a 30 percent (Indian vote) swing to the ruling coalition,” said Ong at a forum in Petaling Jaya today.

He said this may also cause 14 state seats revert to the BN.

Ong said he had identified nine parliamentary and 14 state seats where Indians form the tipping point that can decide the winning vote, including the Pakatan seats mentioned earlier.

He further explained that his study of voting pattern data has shown that Indian support peaked at 80 percent in 2004 with the feel good effect when former PM Abdullah Badawi first took office. 

However the support level dropped to 50 percent in 2008, following the political tsunami.

This, he said, was mainly caused by dissatisfaction with the way the government is handling Indian issues.

Ong (left) was addressing a forum organised by the Malaysian Indian Business Association (Miba), aimed at gathering politicians across the divide, academia, civil society and businesspersons to give their views on ‘the battle to win the hearts and minds for the Indian vote’.

BN wooing Indians

Ong said the 30 percent swing in Indian votes mentioned is based on BN possibly restoring its pre-2008 80 percent support from the minority community.

This, he said, could be the end result of concerted efforts that the federal government has been mounting to match Pakatan’s efforts, and an increased focus on addressing Indian issues.

Ong said the results of the by-election in Hulu Selangor last year supports his hypothesis, where a marked increase of nine percent in Indian votes helped BN regain the seat.

He said such a scenario may replicate in the next GE and cause Pakatan to lose in the critical seats he had mentioned.

The Indian community that numbers nearly 2 million is a minority in Malaysia’s 27 million population.

As explained, they have a potential to be crucial kingmakers in mixed seats as well as a majority in some seats.

As such the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Indians is crucial for both BN and Pakatan in their battle for Putrajaya, which has been the subject of political campaigns, policy decisions, allocation hand-outs as well as forums such as these.



Comments are closed.