PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan is depending on the non-Malay voters who can help it win the Rantau state seat, say party insiders.
A PKR leader who was at the Pakatan supreme council meeting which was attended by party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the consensus among PKR leadership was that the candidate for the seat should be a non-Malay.
“The electorate in Rantau is made up of 47% non-Malays - Indians, Chinese and others. As there is the PAS-Umno tie-up, we think that the non-Malays will vote for Pakatan,” claimed the leader when asked why Pakatan decided to select a non-Malay to go for the seat against Barisan Nasional candidate and Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
Another Pakatan leader said that the Pakatan supreme council had asked for a winnable candidate.
However, Dr S. Streram was the only name proposed by PKR despite there being six Indian representatives in Negri Sembilan.
“There are already six Indian representatives in the state assembly and some of us thought Rantau should have a Malay candidate to face off Tok Mat (Mohamad).
“Right now, support from the Malay for Pakatan is waning,” said the leader.
“However, under Pakatan, Rantau is deemed to be a PKR seat. So, we just have to respect its choice, even if we do not really think it is a good choice.
“It is a tough fight against Tok Mat in Rantau.
“It’s an Umno fort and Tok Mat is popular there,” said the anonymous Pakatan leader.
Dr Streram was Pakatan’s choice for the seat in GE14.
He said he has a 50-50 chance to win the seat.
“I believe I can get enough Malay votes as I have worked with all the communities there,” he added.
Political analysts say that fielding Dr Streram looks like a ploy by Pakatan to “scrimp” any vote that it can get from the Indian voters as Malay voters seemed to shy away from the coalition now.
Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian from Universiti Sains Malaysia believes that Dr Streram is not a winnable candidate against a former mentri besar who is seen as a popular Malay leader.
“As almost 75% of Malay voters are with Barisan and PAS, Tok Mat only needs about 20% of the non-Malay votes, which he can achieve if the Rantau voters decide to vote for personality rather than party.”
Another political analyst Dr Mazlan Ali from Universiti Utara Malaysia said sympathy votes might go to Dr Streram as he has always portrayed himself as being unfairly treated during GE14.
Did you find this article insightful?