In Malaysiakini Pakatan's victory signals reversal of fortunes Athi Shankar ;-) wrote “PAS' comfortable victory in Permatang Pasir, despite the low turnout, was a sweet surprise, especially so after the narrow win at Manek Urai.”
C’mon lah Athi, what surprise? How could you have compared Manek Urai with Permatang Pasir – like you could an apple to an orange?
Manek Urai was virtually (almost) a 100% Malay constituency. Permatang Pasir was 74% Malay, 26% Chinese with a sprinkling of Indians.
If we look at only the Malay constituency in Permatang Pasir we would have seen, through Ong Kian Ming’s erudite analysis that UMNO did succeed in winning back 3% of the Malay votes (since 2008). But it lost instead nearly a further 6% of Chinese votes (on top of that for 2008).
Before we get ourselves overly ecstatic with PAS-PR victory, we need to remind ourselves that UMNO started off by shooting itself in the foot, handicapping itself by putting forward a candidate who had been disbarred by the Bar for impropriety with a client's money.
What if the candidate had been one who is 'clean' and well-known/liked locally?
Then UMNO mutilated itself further with its racist campaign, virtually on an everyday basis, with its media mouthpieces concocting all sorts of imagined threat and/or insults by the DAP-led yellow peril.
They portrayed Islam and the Malay Kingdom as under siege. The DPM showed his jaguh-ness for the leadership role in this shameless ethno-centric marshalling of the faithful to the keris-ed banner.
In the process they effectively killed off any possible help that could have been rendered by their supposed allies, MCA and the already moribund Gerakan. Not only that, they ensured the political death of these two Chinese-based BN parties.
But worst of all, they sent the feared yellow peril over to the enemy camp … to become PAS' voters.
Yes, there were attempts to convince the Chinese voters of PAS' fearsome policies against pig abattoirs in Kedah and yamseng-ing in Selangor, but these porky pissup propaganda paled into comparison with the perceived (not yet proven but nonetheless perceived/believed) murder of Teoh Beng Hock.
And Rohaizat what’s-his-name wondered why the Chinese in Permatang Pasir didn’t marshal around him.
… well my dear disbarred counsellor, for the same reason the Chinese abandoned the BN sailing boat in March 2008 when they were threatened by the ambitious during the UMNO general assembly.
On the other side of the coin, in the longer term, the Chinese know they have to grapple eventually with an arrogant PAS led by the leadership triad of Pak Haji Hadi Awang, Nasharuddin Mat Is and Dr Hassan. But this will be for another day.