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Possible low voter turnout concern for Selangor Pakatan incumbents seeking re-election



MALAYSIA – Malaysis’s opposition coalition Perikatan Nasional (PN) can win Selangor if non-Malay voter turnout is low and if a third of PH-BN’s Malay voters back the opposition coalition, survey finds.

The survey, conducted by Endeavour-MGC Research Centre, involved 1,068 people from various races in Selangor. Malays made up 724 of the respondents while non-Malays made up the remaining 344.

According to Free Malaysia Today, the survey – which analysed 34 marginal seats in Selangor – found that PH-BN is very likely to retain Selangor, which has a 56-seat state assembly.

The research centre predicted that PH will win 21 seats and PN one seat in Kampung Sijangkang. The rest of the 34 seats do not have a clear winner.

A spokesman said that if PH is to retain Selangor, it has to ensure that turnout rates for Malay and non-Malay voters are identical.

The survey found that most residents from the 34 marginal seats in Selangor intend to vote on Aug 12.

About 84% of those interviewed said they are certain they will be voting in the state election while another 16% said “they may vote”.

As for Malay voters, 85% of the interviewees said they will vote while the other 15% said they might vote.

Regardless of race, support for PH is significantly higher than for any other coalition or party, the survey determined.

As much as 62% of all voters said they will vote for PH, 22% for PN and 11% for BN. The remaining 5% did not reveal their choice.

Among the voters, 52% of Malays said they would vote for PH, 31% for PN, 10% for BN and 1% for Parti Rakyat Malaysia. About 6% did not reveal their choice.

The survey also found that more than half of the voters (61%) said the political party they are voting for would be the most important factor to consider when they are casting their ballots.

About 25% said they would base their vote on the candidate in their constituency, with 10% of them answering religion, 3% economy and 1% race.

As for Malay voters, 58% said they will consider the political party first before anything else while another 24% said they will consider the candidate. Around 14% said they would consider religion first, with 3% giving importance to economy and 1% to race.

Selangor incumbents seeking re-election concern over voters turn out

With campaigning for the 12 Aug state elections in full swing, concerns over voter turnout remain an issue, especially among Pakatan Harapan incumbents seeking re-election in Selangor state, with apparent signs of election fatigue or unawareness observed amid voting constituents.

According to Malay Mail, Subang Jaya incumbent Michelle Ng Mei Sze, the one-term assemblyman disclosed a troubling finding over her constituency’s postal voter registration.

Subang Jaya incumbent Michelle Ng Mei Sze

She further remarked that the findings reflected the present sentiment on the ground and possible turnout percentage come polling day, and may jeopardise the ruling coalition’s chance of retaining the state for its fourth term.

“So in the 15th General Election (GE15) the total number of postal ballots issued [for Subang] was 2850.

“Subang has two state constituencies, Kinrara and Subang Jaya. So if we assume half for each constituency, that’s about 1,425 for Subang Jaya.

“However, this time now, we have 398 ballots issued for Subang Jaya which is scary and our calculation shows a 70 per cent reduction,” she said when met during a walkabout at SS17.

Yet, Ng’s concern is one of much inherent unease among the ruling coalition of a repeat of previous elections, the 15th General Election (GE15) last year, and the Johor and Melaka state polls in 2022 and 2021, respectively where a low turnout among supporters had adverse effects on the results and favoured their biggest rival — Perikatan Nasional.

As for Subang Jaya itself, Ng said the low voter turnout could be attributed to several factors, including election fatigue, the presumption on Subang Jaya being a safe seat, and being oblivious to the ongoing state elections.

While Ng had won her seat with a resounding majority of almost 48,000 votes in the 14th General Election, there exists a widely held belief amongst constituents that the urban seat is largely immune from swings in voting choice with DAP retaining it for three consecutive terms.

“As we go down to the ground, people are saying ‘I have already voted once, why do I have to vote again?’, so we need to overcome these factors.

“I do not think all hope is lost, it is a good wake-up call,” she said, adding that her ongoing campaign trail aims to ‘get the word out’ to urge people to exercise their constitutional rights.

As for Kampung Tunku incumbent Lim Yi Wei, the one-term assemblyman too revealed a significant decrease in postal vote registrations of almost 55 per cent from 368 in GE15 to just 169.

Kampung Tunku incumbent Lim Yi Wei

Kampung Tunku is one of three state seats — the other two being Bandar Utama and Bukit Lanjan — that falls under the Damansara federal seat.

“I guess it is a different experience for Selangorians since this is the first time in a lot of people’s recent memory that a state election was held separate from the General Election.

“The perception of the state election is that it is not as important as the federal election, but if you don’t decide through the ballot box then someone else is going to make the decision for you.

“But they (voters) cannot take this for granted and the state election is equally important as well and I urge everyone to come out to vote,” she told Malay Mail during a walkabout at SS2, Petaling Jaya recently.

As concerns over low turnout persists, Lim however expressed optimism over constituents residing in the state and Kampung Tunku in particular, would make up for the reduced postal ballots which she claims would be highlighted more in states beyond the Klang Valley.

Seeking re-election for a second term in Bandar Utama, incumbent Jamaliah Jamaluddin echoed her fellow Pakatan Harapan candidates, conceding that voter apathy is primarily associated with elections that do not coincide with the general elections.

Bandar Utama incumbent Jamaliah Jamaluddin

“Yes, we do worry about that because this time around (the state elections) are not together with the general election,” she told Malay Mail during a walkabout in Kampung Cempaka, Petaling Jaya.

Bukit Gasing incumbent Rajiv Rishyakaran revealed many of his constituents were apathetic towards his re-election as presumptions of him retaining the seat remained high.

This presumption, he said, was prevalent throughout Selangor and not confined to his constituency alone.

“People question why I do a lot of walkabouts as their opinion was that I would easily win Bukit Gasing.

“They should not be complacent and when we do walkabouts we tell people that every vote matters.

“And that is why we keep the campaign schedule hectic, to create awareness that the election is happening and how important it is,” he said after a campaign event recently.

Izham Hashim, who is Pandan Indah incumbent, also acknowledged the issue of lower turnout for those contesting in the ongoing six state elections but later stressed such concerns were a ‘non-issue’ in his constituency.

Pandan Indah incumbant Izham Hashim. Photo by Bernama

“[The low turnout] is one of our worries but from my discussions among voters, they are excited (to vote) and I do emphasise to them to bring out the numbers to cast their vote and they are indeed aware of that.

“I am confident for the remaining days, more interest will be generated (from our campaigns) and this will encourage more people to vote,” said the Parti Amanah Negara Selangor chairman.

The state elections for six states, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, are on 12 Aug.

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