Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Keputusan Pilihanraya Permatang Pasir - BN Candidate Blamed Chinese For the Defeat

Permatang Pasir, August 25, 2009.
It was officially announced that PAS candidate defeated BN by 4451 majority. Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Rohaizat Othman today hinted that one of the factors that could have caused his defeat was the “failure of the Chinese community to fulfill their promises of support”, in an indication that the racial rhetoric played and used against their rivals by the ruling coalition may have backfired. Rohaizat lost to PAS Penang commissioner Mohd Salleh Man by a 4,551 majority. The former garnered 5,061 votes while the PAS leader more or less retained their majority, considering the drop in voter turnout compared to the general elections last year, by raking in 9,618 votes. Speaking to a press conference here, Rohaizat revealed that his campaign's observation indicated that the support from the Chinese community here was dissapointing. “I am saddened by the fact that the Chinese community here have failed to fulfill their vows of support. They have failed to understand the concept of development that BN is trying to bring to the people of Permatang Pasir,” said Rohaizat. The Umno man, however, refused to elaborate why he thought Chinese support was not forthcoming, saying that he would leave it to the central leadership to conduct a post-mortem to reveal the reasons. “It's premature for me to give any reasons now,” he added. The Chinese make up 27 per cent of Permatang Pasir's population. BN have engaged in a vigorous attempt to regain much of the non-Malay votes that went to Pakatan Rakyat. BN have tried to depict their election rival PAS as a threat to the Chinese by using sensitive issues like the pig abbatoir closure in Kedah and beer sale issue in Selangor against the Islamist party. Analysts believe BN were making inroads among the Chinese here but efforts to translate them into votes faltered after Rohaizat's disbarment apparently became a deterrent. But as for the Malay votes, Rohaizat said the number of votes gained by both sides showed just a slight difference from that of the general elections outcome. The former Permatang Pasir assemblyman, the late Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman won with a 5,433 majority when he gained 11,004 votes against BN's Ahmad Sahar Shuib who managed to garner 5,571 votes. “So today's result show that as far as Malay support is concerned, it is still very much the same,” he said. BN deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin also thought that, in terms of Malay support, their voting pattern remained the same but claimed the ruling coalition had made slight gains. “Our studies have shown that there is not much difference in voting pattern. There are slight differences but are nominal ones,” he said, adding that the ruling coalition accepted the defeat with an open heart.
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