Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Rantau - the likely winner

Malaysiakini - Rais warns 'Malay anger' could hand Harapan third consecutive defeat (extracts)

Rais Hussin
strategist for Pribumi

Still licking its wounds from two consecutive by-election defeats, Pakatan Harapan will once again march onto the battlefield against a confident Umno and PAS in the April 13 by-election for the Rantau state seat in Negeri Sembilan.

Gazing into his crystal ball, Bersatu Pribumi strategist Rais Husin said the ruling coalition possessed a 50 percent chance of wresting the stronghold of Umno acting chairperson Mohamad Hassan.

He cited how the Malays, who make up 53 percent of the electorate, are vexed with the current administration.

"Rantau will be very challenging (for Harapan) ...

“There is a good chunk of Malay anger towards Harapan due to insecurity (over the state of the Malay community post-GE14). There is a 50-50 chance (of Harapan winning the seat)," he added.

He pointed out that the formal alliance between Umno and PAS, two of the biggest Malay-Muslim parties in the nation, would bolster Mohamad's chances as well.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Malaysian Strategic Financial Outlook Forum in Petaling Jaya today, Rais said his predictions were spot on with regard to Harapan's defeat in the Cameron Highlands and Semenyih by-elections.

"My advice to Harapan is to form a task force to understand the Umno-PAS alliance and understand its ramifications on Malaysia as this will help (in the Rantau by-election),” he added

The way I look at it, PKR has made the right choice in selecting Streram Sinnasamy as its candidate for the Rantau by-election. Thus I agree with Rais Hussin that Streram may well have a 50% of being elected.

I have to admit I was a bit worried that PKR might do an 'Ijok 2007 by-election' on him. If you recall, in the Ijok by-election, in a Malay majority state constituency (52% Malays, 28% Indians, 21% Chinese) PKR attempted to play safe by parachuting in Khalid Ibrahim and discarding a jilted Nalla, wakakaka, whilst BN was courageous in putting up an Indian candidate Parthiban. BN candidate leng chai Parthiban won, wakakaka.

BN candidate leng chai Parthiban

Yes, as with most things in Malaysia especially elections (including by-elections) it's all about "race". But I have to salute Anwar this time for putting Streram up - it's not only brave but also just because Streram has been the person putting in the most effort in having the 2018 decision for Rantau declared null and void.

Mind, I wonder whether it's a by-election or a delayed state election, because the original election was declared null and void because of the EC's ballsup when it barred Streram from entering the Nomination Centre to file his papers.

Whichever, Rantau's electorate has the following ethnic breakdown as of 2018 - we may take that as reasonably close to what the candidates will face on the coming by-election day. 

Malays (54%)
Chinese (19%)
Indians (27%)
Other ethnicities (1%)

The above stats must have been rounded "UP" in each category because we're getting a total of 101%, wakakaka.

The above stats (Malays 54%, nons 46%) has been the one Mahathir loved during his earlier regime days, where he expected the Malays to split up into two in their choice for either UMNO or PAS, and the nons to come to his UMNO's rescue because of their fear of PAS.

On that basis, even with the PAS-UMNO pact in collaboration and unless they can secure most Malay votes (at least 51%), PKR should win. But there are a few variables as follows:

(a) Mohamad Hasan the UMNO candidate and a well-liked 4-term MB of Negri Sembilan, is very popular in Rantau even with the non-Malays.

Lawyer James Chai wrote glowingly of Mohd Hasan in Malaysiakini in an article titled The quiet power of Mat Hasan.

Extracts: If you ask the people of Negeri Sembilan what they think of their former MB, Mat Hasan (Umno acting president Mohamed Hasan), they would say he was one of the best. If you ask people outside the state if they’ve heard of Mat Hasan, they would probably tell you they haven’t.

That is the quiet power that has served Mat Hasan well his entire political career.

People who know him speak highly of his work and his character. They are typically drawn to his easy charm and his illustrious corporate career that earned him respect in politics – he is a doer you can count on.

People who know little of him would still be accepting of him. He looks like a person who deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I write this article for one reason only: so that the impending turnaround of Umno under the quiet operation of Mat Hasan wouldn’t go unnoticed.

(b) Will the Chinese play mahjong on By-election Day? But I am quite sure the 27% Indians will come out in force which will bode well for Streram. And I am glad PSM has woken up to cold though sad reality, and has stayed out instead of playing a kacau part.

even at Penang Hill Station 5, wakakaka 

But Streram and PKR must work damn hard to convince the 19% Chinese to move their 6 o'clock to the polling stations or Streram will have problems.

(c) As Mohd Hasan is popular and with PAS married to UMNO, he should get a large percentage of the 54% Malay votes, though will that be enough to secure a win for him?

Mohd Hasan is unlikely to win significant Indian votes, and I suspect that while the Chinese may likely be playing mahjong, he won't get many of theirs. Mind the Chinese have lately been disenchanted with Pakatan so Streram may well not benefit from their votes due to lack of their participation.

(d) Someone has just sabotaged Streram as a bankrupt which of course is not true or he would not have been accepted as a candidate. But alas, in Malaysia if your enemies fling enough poo some will eventually stick. Just for your wild speculations, Streram has been strongly recommended by Rafizi Ramli, wakakaka.

Given these nebulous variables, I have to say Streram and Hasan each stands a 50% chance of winning.


  1. DSAI (PKR) is the only one left who can swing the Malay votes towards Steram of PH in the by-election campaign.

    Don't expect PPBM to be of any help when their Chief Strategist (what a joke) has already conceded defeat even before the battle. What was he hoping to be able to do when the time is so short before voting day? Give Dedak like BN to voters in Rantau?

    DAP and Amanah should go all out to support DSAI and Steram and prove to BN and even PPBM that Malay/Islam rhetoric ain't good enough for Rantau voters to vote BN otherwise. This time the PH candidate is from PKR and not PPBM and qualify as a good candidate to be a PH MP.

    MCA and MIC, please don't waste time, instead go play Mahjong or get drunk.

  2. Interesting contest, with so many sideshows at play.

    This election will be more indicative of the mood of the electorate than Camerons or Semenyih. Camerons just proved that DAP is still deeply distrusted by the Malays. PPBM had a poor specimen of a candidate in Semenyih with no machinery of any worth.

    Mat Hasan I would certainly not call a Good Guy, but I will accept that he is less deplorable than most of the other UMNO leadership.

    Expect the Race/Religion rethoric to be subdued in Rantau compared to Camerons and Semenyih, as UMNO and PAS realise they cannot win this constituency purely with Malay votes alone. UMNO + PAS can never get 100% of the Malay vote.

    Watch out for sabotage by the infighting between the PKR Dwarfs and Cats. Streram was nominated by the Cats, and the first shots across the bow has already been fired.

    PKR Segamat MP , Santhara making a police report last week that Streram had not repaid some debt to him. An unpaid debt is not normally a police matter, unless there was some element of theft or fraud involved.
    In any case Streram denied the episode, so its a case of who you believe.

    MCA miniature midgets as usual will be out to support their UMNO bedfellows, side-by-side with PUS.
    And there are always some Chinese who Die-Die will support MCA.
    That is how, like Zombie in a C-Grade movie, MCA will never die.

  3. The Malays are already disillusioned with the PH Government, being dominated by non-Malays and non-Muslims.
    Mahathir may be PM, but in reality it feels like a minority-controlled government.

    PKR nominating Streram for a Malay-majority seat will exacerbate the dissatisfaction.
    I think Anwar is cleverly positioning himself an excuse in the likely event that it loses.

  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sajid_Javid

    Interesting item I realised - the UK Home Secretary - roughly equivalent to the Home Affairs Minister in Malaysia is a Muslim , whose parents were Pakistani immigrants.

    A position high responsibility, especially with oversight of Britain's homeland security agencies and police.

    Nobody seems to have raised objections that he, as a Muslim of Pakistani descent, can't be trusted to oversee the UK's Home Affairs.

    Its like if Malaysia appointed an Ah Beng or Ramasamy to be Home Affairs Minister...can't imagine that ever happening, even in Pakatan Harapan.