Sg Bakap polls: Pakatan didn't lose voters, it was the low turnout, says Chow

GEORGE TOWN: Several factors including the low turnout among non-Malay voters contributed to Pakatan Harapan's defeat in the July 6 Sungai Bakat state by-election, says Chow Kon Yeow.

The Penang Pakatan chairman and Chief Minister said the no-shows could have cost the coalition at least 2,500 votes.

He said while they have yet to carry out a post-mortem on the defeat, he said from his observations, voters who used to turn up did not come out to vote this time.

"If we analyse the results, it suggests that voting along racial lines was prevalent.

"Perikatan Nasional garnered 83% of the Malay votes while Pakatan garnered 85% of the non-Malay votes," he told the press after launching the electric cross-border truck from Malaysia to Singapore at the Lava Mansion here on Wednesday (July 10).

Chow said several factors could have caused the low turnout.

"Maybe it could be because it was a by-election, so they felt it would not make a difference who won or lost.

"It could have been because DAP was not contesting there.

"It could have been because they were unsatisfied or did not want to travel back home to Sungai Bakap to vote," he said, responding to questions about the low turnout among Chinese and Indian voters.

Perikatan Nasional retained the state seat when its candidate Abidin Ismail secured 14,489 votes against Pakatan candidate Dr Joohari Ariffin’s 10,222 votes.

The 4,267-vote majority was nearly triple the 1,563 it obtained in last year's state elections.

Chow said despite the low turnout, Pakatan did not lose the non-Malay votes in Sungai Bakap.

He was also asked if Chinese voters stayed away because there were two camps in DAP and only Chow's camp had turned up to campaign.

Chow, however, said both national and state party leaders supported the campaign.

"Lim Guan Eng (national DAP chairman), Gobind Singh Deo (national DAP deputy chairman), Anthony Loke (DAP secretary-general), Lim Hui Ying and M.Kulasegaran turned up (at various events).

"Even I was there for 11 of the 14 days of campaigning.

"Sometimes during the day, and other times at night during the ceramah," he said.

"There is no single formula to approach a campaign.

"We did not lose voters – there was a low turnout," he said.

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