The votes are finalized and announced by SPR. BN wins 133 over PR 89 seats in Parliament. BN governs all states except Penang, Kelantan and Selangor. PR gains 7 additional seats. All this with strong underlying presence of alleged fraud with phantom voters and unfair main stream media coverage.
Najib’s initial reaction is that he did not expect the Chinese votes to swing so extreme (read here). His line of reasoning was covered with racial overtones with blames on the Chinese community and voting along racial lines.
This off-the-cuff reaction speaks very loudly that Najib’s line of thinking is very racial indeed. In psychological evaluation, one is tested on quick first thing in the mind reaction which shows how Najib thinks. He forgets that there are Malays who voted PR and the popular vote for PR was higher than BN. Why must everything be racial? Because that is how BN thinks and works.
In the calling for national reconciliation, will Najib remains focused on racial lines or will he take the nation beyond race to needs? Unfortunately, not many believes he will change much. It will be flowery rhetorics with racial policies underlying national strategies. But we shall give him a chance and see.
What actually happened in GE13?
PR gained an additional 7 seats in Parliament. PR lost Kedah, failed to win Perak back, almost captured Terengganu. Well, from the net results, it seems that PR lost ground instead of gaining in an absolute way.
PR gained grounds in Johor and Sabah. PR grew stronger in Penang and Selangor, about even in Kelantan. Popular votes stay with PR. But the way the constituencies are cut, the incumbent Govt will always win unless the vote swings further more like 20% difference. A 4% difference will not make the cut. PR won almost 52% of the popular votes in yesterday’s election.
From the party level, DAP gained the most with an additional 10 seats. The final tally showed:
DAP – 38 (+10)
PKR – 30 (+7 – 8 = -1)
PAS – 21 (+5 – 7 = -2)
Again, they will most likely nominate Anwar Ibrahim as the Opposition Leader as part of the Pakatan Rakyat pact. The individual number of seats do not matter as much in PR as in BN. PR will support the one most suitable. The way PR works will always baffle BN.
BN loses 7 Parliamentary seats and some state seats in their stronghold in Johor and Sabah while they managed to wrest Kedah back into their fold. They almost lost Terengganu and Perak. None of these are racial but if Umno wants to see it through racial glasses, you can turn almost anything as a race excuse.
We shall be seeing Mukhriz Mahathir become Kedah MB given a successful campaign to run PAS out. PAS obviously helped a lot with in-fighting.
Watch out for Terengganu. The increase of Malay votes for PAS, though not enough to give them the win, was significant.
BN tried so hard to win Kelantan and managed to dent the Tok Guru armor just a bit. Notice the Chinese votes supported PAS. They seem to have no problem with PAS in Kelantan either.
MCA lost 50% of their seats from 2008. They now have 6 Parliamentary and 10 State seats.
Gerakan now has only 1 Parliamentary seat.
MIC remains status quo with 4 Parliamentary seats.
SUPP retains only 1 Parliamentary seat.
Basically, the Peninsula BN component parties plus SUPP are wiped out. BN is Umno and Umno is BN. Of course, notwithstanding PBB in Sarawak who delivered again.
It will be an interesting Cabinet this time. There should not be any place for MCA and Gerakan as they declared if they are rejected by the voters, they will stay out. They played their all-or-nothing card and they lost the game. MIC smartly remains in the Cabinet with some representation. Can the BN Govt without MCA and Gerakan representation still be the Govt of all Malaysians?
It is now a very challenging time for the BN component parties who lost their relevance within BN. Umno remains as the big brother as they managed to wrest seats from PAS and PKR while the rest lost to PR.
3. Urban vs Rural
Reject any racial reasons for voting patterns. It is not the swing of Chinese votes that cause BN to lose seats as Najib would have us believe. That is a racist view.
Observe closely that the seats that BN lost were largely cities and large towns. The seats that BN wrested from PAS and PKR were largely rural. The socio-economic reason is most plausible and consistent.
BN losing Miri and Sibu and not able to win Kuching and Kota Kinabalu shows loss of BN in urban areas.
BN losing Gelang Patah, Kluang and Kulai are all urban areas. PR took the fight to Johor and they won some and lost some, notably Chua Jui Meng in Segamat by 1,200+ votes which means he managed to bridge the gap with Felda voters. Same with the Labis seat which BN won by 300+ votes.
This is political warfare and PR took the fight to Johor and some other areas just like Umno via Mukhriz taking the fight to Kedah. In other areas, BN waffled. Teng says he will resign as BN Lead in Penang. Will Najib do the same for the loss in Selangor and admit defeat? Urban is BN’s loss to PR while PR is making inroads in rural but not enough.
It so happens that there is a large Chinese population does not mean anything. It so happens that DAP and PKR dominates urban areas. The voters in urban areas voted largely for PR. Perhaps, they know what they are facing with BN and they are well-informed through alternate media. Maybe they have access to more information to make their decisions on and those in rural did not. Let’s see what the details show in the coming days.
The small Chinese population in Kelantan did not fear to vote PAS. The Malays had swung in Terengganu for PAS. Then the Malays in Kedah went for BN this time round. So it is clear there is no voting along racial lines. It is about governance and leadership, about information and about fairness.
The voters in Kelantan rooted for PAS way of governance and leadership even after so much promises were thrown at them.
The voters in Penang rooted for PR way of governance and leadership even after so much money was thrown at them, including promises for affordable homes.
The voters in Selangor rooted for PR way of governance and leadership even after making a great issue with water.
The reason they stayed by PR was because there was information shared and they actually did a good job without fear or favor for everybody, not along party or racial lines.
The reason voters switch to BN in Kedah was because they were not happy with the PAS leadership there which was quite different from Kelantan under Tok Guru. The internal struggles caused the downfall of PR in Kedah which was predominantly PAS.
But BN retained the rest of the states by fear mongering, limiting information, cash handouts, all which worked with the less informed. The way to keep the voters from switching to PR is to ensure they keep believing what they are told, appreciate what they are given and all will be fine. There is no corruption, no fraud, and stability and growth only works with Umno. This messaging worked with these voters.
Lessons to be learnt
Allegations and police reports of fraud and phantom voters must be answered, explained and actions taken. Else the win is hollow, filled with doubts. It is clearly not a free and fair elections this time. Even the indelible ink is not indelible so SPR gave lip service to compliance of the PAC recommendations.
Every time the truth comes out, a whacky excuse is given as if there is so much to cover up. All of the excuses and hiding must be clearly explained so that there is no doubt of any foul play which is fast spreading across the internet. Avoiding this means admission of guilt. So silence is not golden in this case. The new Govt must act on these reports and provide a clear explanation to show that they are clean, fair, deserving and open and that they will be the Govt for all Malaysians.