If MCA leaders are to be believed, UMNO is the biggest loser and MCA the biggest winner in the Sungai Limau by-election on Monday.
Are MCA leaders to be believed?
MCA leaders, including the Kedah State Exco-designate Dr. Leong Yong Kong had told Chinese media that Barisan Nasional secured 75.27% of the Chinese votes, i.e. 892 out of 1,185 Chinese votes cast and that BN did not win a single extra Malay vote in the by-election.
This is an increase of over 732 Chinese votes cast for the BN in the 13th general elections, as MCA claims that BN did not secure more than 10% of the 1,600 Chinese votes on May 5, 2013, i.e. from 892 – 160.
But the Barisan Nasional candidate, Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim, despite BN’s expenditure of over RM15 million, only managed to get an additional 465 votes in the by-election as compared to the general elections. i.e. 10,985 votes in the by-election as compared to RM10,520 votes in the 13GE.
If MCA leaders are to be believed, that BN had an addition of over 732 Chinese votes in the by-election as compared to the 13GE, this could only mean that the BN had lost at least 267 Malay votes, as BN vote in the by-election would have fallen from 10,520 to 10,253 without the increase of at least 732 Chinese votes.
So, is UMNO the greatest loser and MCA the greatest winner in the Sungai Limau by-election?
I leave it to UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders to decide whether to accept the MCA’s analysis of the voting trends in the Sungai Limau by-election as there could be different interpretations in the absence of specific information about the voting (which is not completely possible as voting is secret), and the low percentage of Chinese voters in Sungai Limau.
But what is plain and obvious is that the Sungai Limau by-election had been a major test for PAS and Pakatan Rakyat on the one hand and UMNO and BN on the other six months after the 13GE, and PAS and Pakatan Rakyat had come out of the test with a significant victory considering the money politics and the mountain of lies and falsehoods mobilised during the by-election to hold both the Malay and Chinese voters to ransom.
PAS and Pakatan Rakyat must cherish the victory in the Sungai Limau by-election, learn from the electoral weaknesses highlighted by the by-election so that PAS and Pakatan Rakyat will be stronger and more formidable as an electoral force in future tests whether in urban or rural areas, or whether among Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban voters.
Lim Kit Siang
DAP Parliamentary Chief and Gelang Patah Member of Parliament