Salleh: Claim of 15% more Malay votes going to opposition a fallacy

KUALA LUMPUR: An analysis claiming an increase of 10 to 20% Malay votes going to the opposition in the 14th general election has been dismissed by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak as being far off the factual truth.

Referring to the analysis by Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming, Salleh said a change in Malay voting pattern would be more accurately analysed if based on the scenario from 1988 to 1990, as Malay political split started during that time.

"In 1988, Umno became divided after Tun Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah contested for the post of Umno president. After the contest, the Tengku Razaleigh faction quit Umno and set up a new party, Semangat 46.

"In the 1990 general election, Semangat 46 allied with PAS, HAMIM, DAP and PBS, but did the opposition pact win the elections? The answer is no," he said in his blog posting today.

Salleh said the drop in Malay votes (for BN) was only 2.4 per cent from the figure in the 1986 general election in which Semangat 46 won only eight of the 61 parliamentary seats and only 19 of the 152 state seats it contested.

"His (Ong) argument is simple; each time Umno is divided, the Malays will reject BN. This could be seen in the 1999 general election where 27% Malay votes went to the opposition. In the 2008 general election, BN lost two-thirds majority when six per cent more Malay voters voted for the opposition.

"The question is, can an increase of 15% Malay votes (for the opposition) occur (in GE14). (Ong) Kian Ming says it is not impossible if based on the Malay voters' attitude in the 1999 and 2008 general election, and also the emergence of PPBM ( Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia," Salleh said.

He said the situation was the same like now where Umno was experiencing a split with the formation of PPBM, but looking at the current reality, it would be difficult for the shift in Malay votes to happen again.

"In the 1999 general election, the shifting of Malay votes then was different from the situation now. In 1999, the country had just been hit by the regional financial crisis and the 'black eye' issue. In GE14, the issues of 1999 and 2008 are left behind," he said.

Salleh said based on his analysis, he had outlined five factors for the young voters to support BN in the coming GE14.

He said the argument that with a divided Umno, the Malays would shift their support to the opposition was just a generalisation.

He also noted that the by-election results in Sungai Besar, Selangor and Kuala Kangsar, Perak had proven that although there was a split in Umno, the opposition was still incapable of defeating BN.

Salleh said the opposition now had different Malay parties in it, with Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) being an offshoot from PAS, while PPBM and Amanah being new parties, had no wide support.

"The people are also fed up with too much politicking by the opposition as they want to move forward in developing Malaysia towards success and prosperity," he said. — Bernama