KKB Polls: KKB by-election too close to call

Campaigns expected to kick into high gear after slow start, say analysts

HULU SELANGOR: With four days to go, the outcome of the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election is still too close to call, says analyst Tunku Mohar Tunku Mohd Mokhtar.

“There is also no guarantee that DAP will retain the seat, especially when there are worries of low turnout among non-Malay voters,” said Tunku Mohar of International Islamic University Malaysia.

“Perikatan Nasional is making steady inroads into Malay areas, and based on recent trends it would be able to get a huge chunk of the Malay vote.

“So far, the campaigns have been ethnically-based,” he added.

On paper, Pakatan Harapan – of which DAP is a component party – has the advantage as it won the seat in last year’s state elections by 4,119 votes.

But political scientist Dr Mazlan Ali said if Opposition coalition Perikatan is able to get a majority of the Malay voters, who make up 46.91% of KKB’s voters, and a majority of the Indian vote, who comprise 17.79%, it could snatch an unexpected victory.

As The Star has previously reported, significant parts of the Indian community are dissatisfied with the federal and state governments and are unsure whether they will come out to vote or support Pakatan, unlike in the state election last year and the 15th General Election in 2022.

“Some of them are disappointed due to the alleged lack of aid by the state government,” said Mazlan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

“If the government does not pay attention to them, they (Indian voters) may support Perikatan,” he added.

Mazlan anticipates that a majority of Malays voters will back Perikatan, while most Chinese voters – who make up 30.28% of the electorate – would remain with Pakatan.

“If there is a big swing from the Indian community, the possibility of Perikatan seizing this seat may be something unpredictable,” he said.

Perikatan has also reportedly claimed it is expecting about 40% of the Indian vote in KKB, based on its interactions with the community since campaigning began on April 27.

“Although on paper, the unity government candidate may still win the by-election, (they could do so) with a smaller margin of victory compared with the state polls last year,” said Mazlan.

This is since government candidates have an advantage in terms of machinery, campaign materials and narratives, he added.

In the next few days, the campaign will move into and stay in high gear after a slow start, he also said.

“Last week, it seemed lethargic but now, political parties have upped the ante by having major leaders coming down to KKB.

“The two coalitions – Perikatan and Pakatan – see the importance of this by-election and campaigns are expected to be even more intense as polling day draws closer,” said Mazlan.

In the state polls last year, DAP won KKB with a 4,119 majority against Perikatan, Muda and Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM).

This time, Pakatan’s Pang Sock Tao is facing off against Perikatan’s Khairul Azhari Saut, PRM’s Hafizah Zainudin and Independent Nyau Ke Xin.

Both Mazlan and Tunku Mohar said it is unlikely the two smaller contestants would steal votes from Perikatan and Pakatan.

“They have much smaller machinery. An Independent candidate and a party like PRM will not be able to pose a threat to Pakatan and Perikatan,” said Mazlan.

Tunku Mohar said PRM and Nyau could be the biggest losers in the KKB polls.

“It is safe to say they don’t stand a chance,” he added.

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Kuala Kubu Baharu , By-Election , KKB Polls


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