• Battle for Selangor Part 3

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 29th of September, 2017

    Battle for Selangor Part 3

    In this concluding part on the “Battle for Selangor” in GE14, I analyse the projected outcomes for the state seats in Selangor under three possible scenarios which are summarized in Table 1 below.

    Table 1: Projected Change Malay, Chinese, Indian and Other support in GE14 (compared to GE13)

    I assume that PAS (and its coalition partners) will contest in ALL 56 state seats in Selangor. In the seats which PAS contested in for GE13, I project that the level of Malay support for PAS will drop by 15%, 20% and 25% respectively in GE14. This means that if PAS obtained 40% of the Malay vote in GE13, its share of Malay support will drop by 25%, 20% and 15% respectively under Scenarios 1, 2 and 3. I also project that PAS’ non-Malay support will take a tremendous dive – by 80% among Chinese voters, by 60% among Indian voters and by 50% among Other voters.

    In the seats contested by the DAP and PKR in GE13, I project that PAS will win 25%, 20% and 15% of Malay support in Scenarios 1, 2 and 3. I project a negligible level of non-Malay support (at around 1%) for PAS in GE14.

    Are these realistic projections? Keep in mind that PAS’ Malay support in the Sungai Besar by-election dropped by 10% from 40% to 30%. Given the inclusion of BERSATU in Pakatan Harapan (PH), the strengthening of the PH leadership and the breaking off of ties between PAS and PKR, it is not unrealistic to think that Malay support for PAS will drop further in GE14. And in the case of a Malay tsunami, which is what is projected in Scenario 3, it is not unrealistic to see many PAS and even UMNO supporters throwing their support behind PH in GE14.

    The non-Malay support for PAS in the Sungai Besar by-election was negligible. There is nothing which PAS has done since this by-election which can convince non-Malay voters to keep supporting PAS in GE14.

    There are many indications that overall Malay support for the BN will fall in GE14. The impact of the GST and the increase in the cost of living have been felt by rural and urban voters. Support for Najib among the Malays is far lower than what it was in GE13. BERSATU, led by Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin, have allowed PH to venture into UMNO strongholds that were previously closed to the opposition coalition.

    The question now is not if the Malay support for the BN will drop but by how much. In Scenario 1, I project a loss of 5% Malay support for the BN, a not unrealistic figure given that voters in Selangor are more ‘sophisticated’ (a point I argued in Part 1 of the “Battle for Selangor”) and hence, more aware of not just the impact of the GST but also other issues to do with good governance such as 1MDB and FELDA. The Malay support for the BN remains unchanged compared to GE13 in Scenario 1.

    In Scenario 2, I project a slightly larger decrease in the Malay support for the BN – a fall of 8% – and a smaller drop in non-Malay support of 3%. And in Scenario 3, which my colleague Liew Chin Tong has termed a ‘Malay tsunami’, the Malay support for the BN falls by 10% (with a drop of 5% support among non-Malays).

    What are the projected outcomes under Scenarios 1, 2 and 3? The results are summarized in Table 2 below.

    Table 2: Projected BN and PH state seats won under Scenarios 1, 2 and 3

    In Scenario 1, PH is projected to win 35 out of 56 state seats. Even though this is less than the 44 state seats Pakatan Rakyat won in GE13, it is still sufficient for PH to form the next state government in Selangor.

    In Scenario 2, which is a mini-Malay tsunami, PH is projected to win 43 state seats, one seat short of what PR achieved in GE13.

    In Scenario 3, which is the Malay tsunami scenario, PH is projected to win 50 state seats.

    I want to highlight three points from this analysis.

    Firstly, the projections clearly show that PAS cannot prevent PH from forming the next government in Selangor, even under the most pessimistic scenario (from PH’s perspective), which is Scenario 1.

    Secondly, the projections show that PAS will be left with no seats after GE14 in Selangor. The reason is simple. PAS will be left with almost no non-Malay support which is important in a multi-racial state like Selangor where non-Malays comprise 49% of all voters. And it cannot win enough Malay support on its own to win any state seats.

    Thirdly, PH is in the best position to capture the political dividends in the event of a Malay tsunami. PH can campaign credibly to change the policies of the federal government which are unpopular with the rakyat. PAS cannot campaign in the same manner. PAS cannot even say that it will be the kingmaker in Selangor because it is not likely to win even a single seat. With a strategic campaign, PH can reap the benefits of a possible Scenario 3 by winning more state seats than even the 2013 general elections in GE14.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

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