Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 31th January 2011:
With 10% increase of Chinese voter support for Pas/PR candidate, will Chua Soi Lek have the political courage to tell UMNO that the increased Chinese support for PR in Tenang is not for hudud and Islamic state but for PR policies for change, justice, democracy and progress?
I had said at the close of the Tenang by-election campaign that Pakatan Rakyat would have cause to celebrate if it could achieve three of four aims – firstly, to debunk Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s boast of winning 5,000 majority in Tenang which he had described as a Barisan Nasional “fortress”; secondly, to slash the BN’s 2,492 majority won in the 2008 general election; and thirdly, to secure the votes of more than 55% of the Chinese electorate who voted for the PAS candidate in the 2008 general election.
The fourth aim is to win the Tenang by-election, which I had not considered as likely.
In the event, only two of three aims - debunking Muhyiddin’s boast of 5,000-vote majority and increasing Chinese voter support for the Pas/PR candidate from the previous 55% - were achieved in the by-election yesterday.
I have no doubt that all the three goals would have be achieved if not for the climatic disaster, resulting in incessant rain and heavy flooding aggravated by selective and discriminatory assistance given by various government agencies ferrying only Barisan Nasional voters to the polling stations. All this caused unprecedented low voter turnouts, especially in Chinese and Indian areas.
MCA leaders have claimed that BN has recaptured three of the four Chinese-dominant polling stations it had lost to the DAP in the 2008 general election but they have studiously avoided the issue of a higher percentage of Chinese voters in Tenang voting for the Pas/PR candidate in the by-election.
In the Bandar Labis Tengah centre, which has 95.7 of Chinese voters, Chinese voter support for Pas/Pakatan Rakyat had increased by 3.2% from 66.7% in 2008 to 69.9% in the by-election – despite a 20% reduction in the voter turnout.
Preliminary analysis show that there is a 10 per cent increase in the Chinese voter support to some 65% for the Pas/PR candidate in the by-election as compared to 55% in the 2008 general election.
The first question that arises after the Tenang by-election is whether, with the 10% increase of Chinese voter support for Pas/PR candidate, the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek would have the political courage to tell UMNO that the increased Chinese support is not for hudud and Islamic state but for PR policies for change, justice, democracy and progress?
Or is Chua Soi Lek going to continue to misinterpret and distort the political wishes and hopes of the Tenang voters, by persisting in the false and fraudulent claim that the increased 65% of Chinese voter support for the PR candidate is support for hudud and Islamic state?
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor