PETALING JAYA: Indian voters can be the deciders in constituencies where they number more than 5,000, says academic Prof Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (pic).
The principal research fellow at UKM’s Institute of Ethnic Studies said this would be more apparent in marginal seats that were won with a majority of 1,000 votes or fewer in the last elections.
“There are times when people say that Indians are not significant but with 5,000 and more voters, they could swing the results if there is a split among Malay and Chinese voters,” said Denison.
He added that based on his research, there were 33 parliamentary seats where Indian voters number between 10,000 and 19,000, and seven with 20,000 or more.
He said the Kota Raja seat in Klang would be one to watch as Indian voters made up 27.68% of the electorate.
Other significant seats are Petaling Jaya with 27,535 Indian voters, or 19.54% of the electorate; and Klang, with 25,523 Indian voters (17.9%).
Denison predicted that Barisan Nasional would regain the parliamentary seats of Tapah, Hulu Selangor and Segamat.
“However, it may struggle in constituencies such as Batu Kawan, Bukit Gelugor, Ipoh Barat, Batu Gajah, Puchong and Sungai Buloh. Klang will continue to be held by the Opposition,” he said.
He added that hot contests with both Barisan and Pakatan Harapan fielding Indian candidates would be seen in the Federal seats of Jelutong, Sungai Siput, Cameron Highlands, Sg Buloh, Port Dickson and Segamat.
“In Sungai Siput, three Indian candidates are contesting; likewise, in Cameron Highlands. In both cases, the fight involves Barisan, Pakatan and Parti Sosialis Malaysia,” he noted.
“There has been intense campaigning to capture Indian votes. There is now another opportunity to see how this minority community will vote and who will be their representatives in Parliament as well as in the next government,” he added.