Friday, February 01, 2008

DAP prospects in Penang - Makkal Sakti factor

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
- old nursery rhyme

Malaysiakini tells us that MIC is running scared, with boogey man Hindraf right behind its … er … its … er … well … behind ;-)

Its news article MIC in seat swaps to regain support said that MIC has been exchanging seats with MCA, and probably UMNO as well to protect its troubled backside.

Meanwhile in Penang, the DAP is exploiting the Indian dissatisfaction with MIC, thanks to the Hindraf tsunami H-force. Perhaps for the first time since 1969, the Indian Malaysians are finally waking up from their Humpty-Dumpty induced stupor.

I doubt that PKR would be able to benefit from Indian dissatisfaction after the latter had witnessed Nallakarapan not being presented as PKR’s candidate in Ijok when ironically the BN had the guts to stand an Indian candidate there. Makes you wonder who's the multi-ethnic party, doesn't it?

To add insult to Nalla’s injury from being stood aside for Khalid Ibrahim in Ijok, Anwar Ibrahim told him not to stand for the VP position in the PKR’s last party election – see my post PKR's Sepoy Mutiny?

If Indian Penangites do vote for PKR, well, they must be yearning to be kicked as they have been for years by the MIC. Both (MIC or PKR) have done diddly squat for Indians, with PKR actually being the worse of the two.

Anyway, let’s look at two Penang federal seats, Batu Kawan and my favourite Bukit Bendera. I heard that DAP will be contesting in both, though I wonder whether the PKR had demanded the latter, or just one of the state seats within it, Kebun Bunga.

Batu Kawan is where my family (on Mum’s side) originated from – damn hardy farmers from China who cleared Malayan jungle into arable land with their bare hands in the very early 90’s. Like most early Chinese settlers they made the mistake of not having legal titles – the brave new world with its clever legal-speak saw them lose all they had invested with their backs and sweat.

According to Malaysiakini DAP all out to capture the Penang Indian voters the DAP intends to seize on the Hindraf momentum which awoke many Indians.

The DAP has always championed Indian interests and demonstrated its credential in this involvement with a number of Indian representatives at both Federal Parliament and State assemblies over the years. All its Indian members have stood in Chinese majority seats which shows the power of the DAP brand.

The Hindraf H-force has synergised the DAP appeal to Indians. Malaysiakini said:

Based on the 2004 electoral roll, Penang has 70,618 registered Indian votes, or 10.5 per cent of the 672,361 voters. Although the state does not have an Indian majority seat, nonetheless many federal and state seats have considerable presence of Indian voters, who can change the margin of losing and winning in tight contests.

May the H-force be with you for Batu Kawan has the most Indian votes - 9,818 Indian votes or 23% of its 43,055 registered voters. Man, that’s pretty significant but can the DAP convince them? Or, will the Indians still be loyal to MIC?

Then we come to my favourite federal constituency Bukit Bendera where 11.15% of the voters are the mamaks, aunties, anehs and kakas, plus some tambees and tangachees.

In DAP & PKR - blood brothers? I blogged:

The DAP may have partial claim to their avowed multi-ethnic credentials – for example, they have put up Indian (eg. Karpal Singh, Kulasegaran) and even Malay candidates (eg. Che Rose in Perak in earlier years, and Zulkifli Mohd Noor in 2004), where many of the former have been successfully elected to both federal parliament and state assemblies though unfortunately none of the latter had.

But mind you, Zulkilfi standing in Bukit Bendera (Penang), a Chinese majority federal seat (Malay:13.82% Chinese:73.97% India:11.07% Others:1.14%) won nearly 18000 of the 47000 votes, and that’s no mean feat if we look at the ethnic breakdown.

Even if all 14% Malays in that constituency had turned up to cast their ballots for Zulkifli, he wouldn’t get more than 5000 votes.

Let’s try and project some of that 2004 statistics into possible voting outcome for a DAP candidate standing in Bukit Bendera in the coming general election against the incumbent, Gerakan Chia who by the way is no sloth – he has been quietly investing for his continuing dominance in the constituency.

11% Indians of approximately 47,000 voters translate into roughly 5000 votes. If the DAP can get 80% of this or roughly 4000 that will make Zulkifli’s old total of 18,000 raised up to 22,000, which is almost 50% of the total voters. We may expect a slight Chinese swing because as I said, much as the Chinese despise the BN, Gerakan’s Chia hasn’t been resting on his laurels in the last few years, especially last year when UMNO went feral openly.

But if there is only a slight swing of the Chinese over to DAP, it could see the leading opposition party get over the 24,000 votes line into possession of a new Parliamentary seat.

I am of course just playing around with old 2004 figures, and also working on very conservative expectations of Chinese voters swing to the DAP but focusing on what a seismic shift in Indian voting pattern can achieve.

What was it that Lim Kt Siang has been sprouting recently?

Malaysiakini said:

At the recent DAP in Penang, the party supremo Lim Kit Siang cried out for Makkal Sakti (people’s power) to emulate the 1990 general election in which BN was denied a 2/3 majority in the state legislative assembly.

The 5,000-strong Makkal Sakti crowd responded with a resounding approval.

And if the DAP achieves victory in Bukit Bendera, the BN should lament that, alas, but for a horsenail nail called the marginalised Indian they lose big in 2008 .....


  1. I think DAP should consider fielding in more candidates to contest in more state seats in Penang.

    I am from Penang voting in the Batu Uban constituency. Since there is no DAP candidate in my constituency, my next choice would be PKR follow with PAS. I WILL NEVER VOTE A BN candidate. I am sure there are a lot of Penangites who will be doing the same.


    God Bless DAP.

  2. samson

    am with you though my voting station is not in the north.
    time to kick some arses, so to speak, isnt it?

  3. For those who like a copy of the Makkal Sakti GE 2008 files in the VCD format can download the image file and burn it.

    Download from this site:

    Let everyone you know watches it before 8 March!!