PKR Lily Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh but with reduced majority

May 8, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

PKR Lily Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh but with reduced majority

by Sheridan Mahavera and Looi Sue-Chern

wan azizah 1

With a smaller voter turnout, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had its absolute majority slashed by more than 3,000 votes in Permatang Pauh yesterday, but analysts dissecting the by-election said Barisan Nasional (BN) was still the bigger loser.

There are also warnings for both sides, as BN’s losses came from among Malay votes, while Pakatan Rakyat (PR)Dr Wong Chin Huat appeared to concede some Chinese votes to BN. BN’s failure to get more votes in Permatang Pauh, especially from Malay areas, mirrored the cold shoulder it got from the largely Malay seat of Rompin in the by-election there three days ago, said political analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat (right). Although BN was the incumbent in Rompin, its support level went down by 5% from 2013 levels.

BN failed to take advantage of the infighting between PKR and ally PAS, and despite a strident machinery, did not manage to erode support for PKR’s Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. She won by a margin of 8,841 votes against BN’s Suhaimi Sabudin.

Given the lower voter turnout, her win translates into 57% of all ballots cast, roughly the same vote share PKR had in the 13th general election. In the national polls two years ago with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as candidate, it took 58.56% of votes.

In contrast, BN received 40.1% of all votes cast in Permatang Pauh this time, slightly less than the 40.3% it received in 2013.This is despite BN pouring vast amounts of resources into its campaign and the disunity in the PR machinery, which saw some PAS allies threatening to boycott PKR.

“BN campaigned hard and we expected PR to suffer. But they did not increase their votes even with all the PR infighting,” said Wong, of the Penang Institute. Noth BN and PR have internal struggles, the former from attacks against its chairman, who is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and the opposition from discord over hudud and threats of sabotage by some segments of PAS against PKR in Permatang Pauh.

Yet, even with internal strife in both camps, BN was the weaker of the two, Wong said. It failed in this by-election to capitalise on the chaos and disillusionment with PR to garner more votes.

PKR outpolled Suhaimi in Permatang Pasir and Penanti, constituencies with majority Malay populations of 72% and 76% respectively. Dr Wan Azizah won 63% of the popular votes in Permatang Pasir and 57% of all votes cast in Penanti.She won majorities in 16 out of 19 polling districts in those two constituencies. In at least eight of those districts, she managed to beat Suhaimi by a vote margin of 2 to 1.

Dr Wan Azizah said after the results were made official last night, that Malay votes went up by 4% to 5%, mostly among young voters.“At the end of the day, people may not like the PR but they hate BN more,” said Wong.

Wan Saiful Wan JanTaking a different view was Wan Saiful Wan Jan (left) who said PR had nothing to shout about since it did not increase its vote share even with all the issues plaguing BN, such as the unpopular goods and services tax (GST) and scandals involving government-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

PR’s infighting prevented it from getting more support from a public disenchanted with BN, Wan Saiful said. (Permatang Pauh) showed that even if people are angry with BN, they are not convinced enough to vote PR. This is why PR really needs to resolve its internal squabbles soon.”

Those squabbles, he argued, were starting to eat into its support base among the Chinese.In Sungai Lembu, a polling district which is 98.7% Chinese, BN managed to increase its support of the popular vote to 30.4% compared with the 16% it garnered in 2013, according to Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.

Wong, however, said this did not represent a true swing of the Chinese vote towards BN but more of a reluctance to vote for PR this time. This is based on lower turnout – 75% of Sungai Lembu’s 533 voters came out to vote in the by-election, compared with the 90% in 2013.

Also, there was no swing apparent in Seberang Jaya, a constituency with a 23% Chinese population.“There were ads in a Chinese newspaper that said that ‘both sides are disappointing’, so it could have swayed Chinese voters to stay home and not go out and vote,It is unrealistic to expect Chinese voters to go back to BN, but realistically, they could stay home and not vote.BN does not need the Chinese to vote for it, all it needs is for the Chinese to not vote for PR.” .” said Wong.

Either way, if PR’s internal discord continues and makes voters feel it is no better than BN, it could hurt the opposition pact’s ability to hold on to marginal seats.

14 thoughts on “PKR Lily Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh but with reduced majority

  1. The message is clear. PKR must get its act together by playing a meaningful role in Pakatan Rakyat. Wan Azizah cannot be expected to do this galvanizing job that Anwar was able to do in 2008 and 2013. She must now look seriously at her role as party president with a view to handing it over to her Deputy President who has political cloud as Menteri Besar of Selangor.

    I feel that if she remains at the helm of the party and contests in the same constituency in GE 14, PKR will lose to BN. Strategists in UMNO know that PKR is vulnerable, if Wan Azizah takes instructions from Anwar Ibrahim in Sungei Buloh. She must not be a fragile lily; in stead she has to play hard ball politics. I wonder if she is up to it.–Din Merican

  2. Like the new look for your website, Dato’ Din……fresh, clean and contributes to easier reading for those visitors like me who are in our roaring ’60s. Kudos & Wassalam.
    I am glad youou like the new format. Thanks for reading the blog. Your comments are welcome. Don’t self censor your views and thoughts.–Din Merican

  3. Compare and contrast Wan Azizah and Rosmah Mansor.
    Whom would you prefer as a role model for your daughter ?
    And a role model for the Malay-Malaysian woman of the 21st century ?

  4. Forget the internal squabbling within PKR and PR. One must remain focussed on the ultimate aim i.e. to throw out the ruling government. We shouldn’t be distracted by the daily bad news which are expected and unavoidable. No battle is won without small losses.

  5. The Pakatan leaders actually know what they need to do to get back on their feet. They need to decide whether or not PKR/DAP should go separate ways with Hadi/PAS. It is the elephant in the room and they are trying very hard to turn a blind eye at it. No one wants to take the first step to deal with the issue conclusively because it could potentially rip the coalition apart. However, Pakatan has to go through this “crisis” and it has to happen quickly for the wounds to heal in time for the next GE.

    DAP probably read the problem better. The non-Muslim voters accepts PAS but they will no longer trust Hadi and his ulama team. So, if Hadi and his team remain in control of PAS, we can be rest assured that in the next GE, the non-Muslims will not vote for any PAS candidates. It doesn’t matter if PAS puts someone from their “progressive team” as candidate. People will still look at the moon when they chose which box to tick. So, all the marginal seats that Pakatan won this round on PAS candidacy will be at risks.

    Some could say that there is a middle road to keep the coalition intact which is to resolve the hudud issue. But this is water under the bridge as far as the non-Muslim voters are concerned. They have seen how Hadi and his ulama team carried themselves on the hudud matter (and also the Selangor MB saga). To put it politely, they are not impressed with what they saw and continue to see.

    The billion Ringgit question is whether Pakatan has any leader who is prepared to bite the bullet.

    What is really interesting is that both Pakatan and BN are going through their own crisis at the moment. So, the party that could resolve its crisis quicker is likely going to win the next GE.

  6. Quote:- “Compare and contrast Wan Azizah and Rosmah Mansor” “…Whom would you prefer as a role model…”?

    If I understand women correctly, deep down it is better to be the jet-setting, Birkin-carrying wife of a fabulously rich prime minister than that of a convicted and jailed sodomite.

    Any female here who do not secretly envy Rosmah Mansor, please put up your hand.

  7. To those who fear PAS:

    PAS is internally divided, it is not monolithic.

    In the next GE, if the Hadi Awang camp persists in its treacherous behaviour,
    I would ask Chinese, Hindu Indian and other non-Muslim voters to vote for
    a PAS candidate only if he/she is a progressive like my
    Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, but turn up and spoil the vote if
    a Hadi-type person is the PAS candidate (in a two-person BN versus PAS race).

    Perhaps by writing “Mr/Ms Stupid – Chopping arms cannot stop serious social problems!” 🙂

  8. Congratulation to Wan Azizah for the winning. If PKR will to continue their coalition with PAS, then many non-muslims, maybe some muslims as well may not vote for them. Pas may have some moderators, but they are also having many hardliners who will take this country to no where ( eg. look at the development in Kelantan) or worst, breed extremist. Bn is neither a good choice, so if PKR is not to be revamped, then the rakyat will really be facing a no choice situation come next GE. God save this country.

  9. Dato’ Azmin’s political cloud (cloud number 9?) or political clout? Anyway I am getting to like him. I think he is one of the few Malay politician trained in the maths disciplin. He is very calculating but is emerging with strong blows, like the for Twitter Khalud.
    Btw I just wonder if Kak Wan’s luck isn’t as strong as we wish. Just imagine if the news that 1MDB had dipped its hand on the till of Tabung Haji had come a couple of days earlguess my guess is that Permatang Pauh UMNO would have been decimated by a Malay tsunami. Can anyone imagine someone stealing from the lifetime saving for a haj? Reall, God only knows.

  10. /// And a role model for the Malay-Malaysian woman of the 21st century ? ///

    If all Malay women in Malaysia can be like Rosmah, then Malaysia would have arrived at the First World – probably richer than Singapore on a per-capita basis.

  11. “PKR Lily Kak Wan..”?

    I just wanna know whether the word “Lily” used here is meant as a pejorative (contemptuous or disapproval)?
    The same word was used by a circumlocutory journalist with predilection to Shakespearean English?
    But. the Lily of the Valley, is highly cardiotoxic to those who try to eat it, and is found in the Son of Songs (2:1).

    Well, no matter – to each his own ‘perceptions’ and hubris. Just a note in historical self-flagellation and mutilation, by those who are ‘disappointed’ with her lily white lembekness. She is probably stronger than most of us would credit her for – both mentally and intellectually. The Lily remains a symbol of Humility, not Submission. It also represents the Second Coming (Parousia) in Christian Mythology. It should not be used contemptuously.

    But i don’t know Kak Wan personally and have never had the ‘joy’ of meeting her in person. It would seem that some of those who’ve met her are most disaffected, by her noncommittal answers. That’s self-sufficiency for you. Her choices are sometimes debatable, but she remains positive in disaster management.

    What i will say, is that PKR is in good hands. The relationship between Anwar’s family and Azmin has been under intense scrutiny and speculation – but ultimately he will stand by her as a younger and deferring sibling. The Velvet Glove that covers the Iron Fist. She just proved that in this By-Election, where she garnered almost the same proportion of votes despite the chaos within PR and the Juggernaut of BN’s election machinery.

    So instead of saying ‘Lily’, i would rather say Well Done and stay the course. The Journey is more important than the Destination.

    I used Lily in more endearing terms because I know what she has been through over the years (since 1998). She is fragile at 62 but spiritually strong, albeit fragile for the rough and tumble of our politics. On her relationship with Azmin, you may be correct. But I wish to point out that Azmin is a politician with his own vision for PKR and an ambition to be the Prime Minister one day. Wan Azizah should make way for Azmin to be her successor and that should be done before the next GE, preferable in the next year.–Din Merican

  12. Oh btw, DPM is in Milan for the next few days.
    He’ll be back ‘Swinging’. Maybe do a Manny Pacquiao? Rotator cuff injury or not.
    Besides the TH black-hole, the FGV FUBAR is adding more incendiary ammunition against Jibros.

  13. Dear Datuk Din,

    I am most aware that you cannot please everybody but your blog new design is a little plain, at least on the masthead. The bright background is ok for the reading. Your previous design is nice because you put out quotes although it demanded a lot on the eyes during reading. It would be nice if you can put something visual otherwise it is lacking in character although the content won’t be lacking any punch in it. 😉

    Thank you.

    Best regards
    I hope this format is much better than the one I had before you commented. Let me know. –Din Merican

  14. Yang Berhormat, this time do not give up your seat for your husband. Like YB Lim Kit Siang he should use his pan Malaysian following to contest a key seat to become a member of Parliament.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.