Streram needs to win over at least 20% of Malay voters

07 Apr 2019 / 20:06 H.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Dr S. Streram needs to win over at least 20% of the Malay voters if he is to wrest the Rantau seat from incumbent Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan of Barisan Nasional (BN).

And that is assuming that he already has the non-Malay voters solidly behind him, a quick observation by research firm Ilham Centre recently shows.

Of the 20,926 registered voters, 55% are Malays, 26% are Indians and 18% are Chinese.

“The Malay voters are expected to remain with BN because the Malay-Islam issues are still very significant at this moment,“ said Azlan Zainal of Ilham Centre.

“Assuming that there is a 70% or higher voter turnout, and Streram already has the non-Malay votes, he will still need a 20% swing in Malay votes in his favour to win the seat,“ Azlan told theSun.

The race, it seems, will be decided along racial lines. “The Malays are strongly behind Mohamad while the non-Malays are for PH,“ Azlan added in a statement.

But, he said, all is not lost for Streram. A disruption by the two independent candidates could work in his favour.

In the 13th general elections in 2013, Mohamad won 10,126 votes to beat Aisah Lamsah of PKR. Aisah managed to garner only 5,513 votes.

Azlan said another advantage that BN has over PH is the difference between the two candidates. Mohamad was the mentri besar of Negri Sembilan for three terms before BN lost the state to PH. On the other hand, Streram is considered an outsider.

“BN’s policy of repaying the voters for their support is seen to be very effective,“ he added.

For BN, it is also crucial that Mohamad emerges victorious. A win by him will inject some morale into the party that has suffered its worst defeat ever and is even losing some of its MPs.

Mohamad is Umno deputy president but is serving as acting president while incumbent Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is on garden leave to face corruption charges in court.

Azlan said Mohamad’s victory would “restore the members’ confidence in the leadership which has been plagued by integrity issues and misconduct”.

But if BN loses this state seat, it will expose the much-battered coalition to instability. For PH, it will be a huge win.

“Streram will be seen as a ‘giant killer’ given who Mohamad is,“ he added.

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