The recent Sarawak election and the by-election results in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar show that the Malaysian Chinese electorates are adventurous and strategic, and will not hesitate to change or shift their support on issues, says an MCA leader.
Ti Lian Ker said that Malaysian Chinese voters “moved silently and insidiously”.
“The Chinese have supported BN in the past, but in 2008 and 2013 they boldly voted for a change. This so called ‘Chinese Tsunami’ can blow either way as there are no sentiments attached to, or entrenched in, any political party,” he said.
“In other words they follow the flow or where the wind blows,” Ti said in a statement.
The Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections concluded with victories for Barisan Nasional yesterday.
Budiman Mohd Zohdi in Sungai Besar and Mastura Mohd Yazid in Kuala Kangsar won with a significant increase in majority.
Ti, who heads the MCA’s religious harmony bureau, said that the DAP had lacked any firebrand Umno rhetoric to use against the ruling coalition by provoking Chinese sentiments at the by-elections.
Instead, he said, Najib Razak, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other Umno leaders had shown that they were willing to listen.
“There was more humility on the BN side. Instead, the arrogance or pomposity this time seems to be on DAP’s side,” he said, accusing his rivals of an aggressive and confrontational style of political campaigning.
He said the DAP had lost its sail and could no longer sell. “The Chinese are giving up hope on their ‘UBAH’ (the DAP’s slogan) as they slowly realise that ‘UBAH’ is just an empty shell.”
He said Chinese voters were dismayed at the perceived corruption among DAP leaders in Penang, Selangor and Perak, said Ti.
He praised MCA president Liow Tiong Lai as being able to read the minds of the Chinese voters after being a full-time political worker with former MCA deputy presidents Lee Kim Sai and Lim Ah Lek.
He said Liow had been seen to be working tirelessly; avoiding controversies and exercising “profound diplomacy” and had won over many undecided Chinese voters by openly protesting against the PAS private member’s bill on hudud Islamic criminal penalties and by threatening to resign if the bill was passed by Parliament.
Ti said DAP had in the past convinced many voters by repeatedly saying that MCA was just an Umno stooge, and MCA leaders desperate to cling on to their government posts and perks.
“In this instance, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and other parties had in unequivocal terms stated that they would resign if the bill was passed against BN’s traditional practice of acting in consensus,” said Ti.