Wednesday, April 22, 2009

When Common Sense Is About to be Cast To the Wind

Any decision to contest a by election should be tempered by pragmatic reasoning and proper strategising. A case in point is Penanti where the opposition having deliberately engineered a by-election to prove a point, are waiting to pounce and tear to shreds the emerging reality that Malay/pribumi support has ebbed away from them as evidenced by BS, BG. BA and to a lesser extent KT. And what better place to establish the “fallacy” of the claim made by many pundits than in an opposition bastion. Win as they will surely will, and the PR band will strike up a tune that Malay support is still with them, despite the fact that the election will be held in the heartland of their bastion!!. Who is fooling who and who is fooling himself? Read on……………..

Parl /DUNcode

Seberang Jaya
Permatang Pasir


source : MALVU blogspot

In the last by-elections for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, the results were as follows:
source : Malaysiakini

On a voter turnout of approximately 81%, Anwar won by 15700+ votes. But the focus is not on Anwar but Amin Shah who garnered 15524 votes. Let us analyse the sources of this number ( again the projections are just conjectural)

I am postulating an equal 80% turnout (actual turnout = 81+%) in all three constituencies, hence:

22790 X 0.8 = 18231

20289 x 0.8 = 16231

15421 x 0.8 = 12336

Next, by my estimates, Amin Shah garnered 45% of the vote in his stronghold of Seberang Jaya and 25% in Permatang Pasir ( a Pas redoubt) and approximately 30% Penanti ( a PKR bastion), therefore:

18231 x 0.45 = 8203

16231 x 0.25 = 4057

12336 x 0.30 = 3700

When this number is posited against the outcome for the state seat of Penanti, then it is apparent that the BN task is an uphill one even before the starters gate has been swung open.

There has been a steady diminution of support since 2004 from a winning 6195 (in 2004) to 5127 (in 2008) and roughly 3700-4200 in by-election 2008 ( note: the local rivalry between jalil and Amin was also a factor). Even in the best case scenario, I would still project Amin Shah of having garnered no more than 4500 (36.5%) of the total votes cast in Penanti for the by-election. Anyway, lets analyse the racial profile of Amin Shah’s meager haul of 3700+ ,based on certain assumptions:

Penanti = 15421 registered voters

Turnout for August Permatang Pauh by election in Penanti (according to race) :

15421 x 0.73 = 11257 x 0.80 = 9005

15421 x 0.24 = 3701 x 0.80 = 2960

15421 x 0.024 = 370 x 0.85 = 314

Total turnout according to race in Penanti = 12279* ( less about 56 from the 12336 above)
* (projections based on approximately 80% turnout)
Note: This turnout is consistent with the elections for the Penanti seat in March 2008 when approximately 12500 cast their ballots.

Now from this 12279, lets look at the voting patterns according to race. Remember my assumption is that, Amin Shah garnered approximately 30% of the votes here (with a ceiling of probably 35%).

Assumption 1 = approximately 30%

12279 x 0.30 = 3683 ( 4297 if 35% of the votes were won)

Malay vote : 9005 x 0.30 = 2701
Chinese vote : 3701 x 0.25 = 925
Indian vote 314 x 0.30 = 94

Assumption 2 = approximately 35%

12279 x 0.35% = 4297

Malay vote = 9005 x 0.35 = 3151
Chinese vote = 3701 x 0.28 = 1036
Indian vote = 314 x 0.37 = 116

Comments: Either way, the diminution of support in Penanti is indicative of the overall shrinking of support in Permatang Pauh for BN, affirming the view that this is essentially a ‘black’ area . In short, discretion being the better half of valour should hold sway in any decision making for the implications of hurtling headlong into defeat in an opposition fortress is not a sign of heroic valour but rather a silly case of stuffing defeat into the jaws of victory for it to chew upon and spit out. I can already see the masthead “ Malay support still with PR” on the horizon for they surely need that fillip badly now to reassure the wavering faithful…
Revert : Better to save the money and spend it on projects worthwhile for the Pribumis. A sure-fire winning investment in the long term............

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