David Marshel: Urimai certainly has an impact on Indian voters in KKB polls

IN THE Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) state by-election held on May 11, the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led coalition won the contest.

The coalition was overjoyed not only because the Chinese gave their undivided support but so, too, were the Indians and to a limited extent, the Malays.

Before the polls, there was fear that Indians might desert the PH-led coalition. It was feared that the presence of the United Rights of Malaysian Party (Urimai) might dissuade Indians from voting for the PH/DAP candidate.

Although Urimai did not contest the election, its leaders went around telling primarily Indian voters not to vote for the PH/DAP candidate.

Urimai never called for the boycott of the election. However, after the DAP candidate emerged victorious, it was claimed that Indians – like the Chinese – are fixed deposit voters of the PH-led coalition.

Although by and large, Malays stuck to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, there were pockets of Malay support primarily from the armed personnel to PH/DAP candidate. The announcement of the 13% salary hike for civil servants was probably the reason.

David Marshel (standing)

‘Mosquito party with deadly sting’

A political analyst went on to claim that the Indians returned to the fold of PH in the KKB polls. He claimed 70% of Indians voted for the PH/DAP candidate.

Only 50% or less of registered Indian voters came out to vote on the election day. This means that only 30% to 35% of total registered Indian voters supported the PH candidate.

Anyhow, the last-minute announcement of RM75 mil estate house ownership scheme in five estates in the Bistari Jaya district could have swayed the Indian voters.

Even though Urimai never advocated the boycott of the KKB polls, the element of anger and distrust towards the PH-led coalition was there.

The low turnout of Indian voters – whether due to boycott or otherwise – could be explained by Indian community’s frustration and disillusionment with the Madani government.

Furthermore, Urimai campaign to dissuade Indians from voting for the PH/DAP candidates could have impacted on Indian voters not turning up to vote on the election day.

Urimai might be a new “mosquito” party but in the KKB by-election it was the only source of fear for the PH-led coalition.

This would explain why top leaders from the DAP, PKR and MIC were invited to campaign in support of the PH/DAP candidate. In all the campaigns, Urimai leaders were attacked for their revenge politics or for working closely with the opposition PN.

The fear of Urimai diverting Indian voters away from the PH-led coalition was the main reason for the announcement of the aforementioned housing project.

I think that if not for the presence of Urimai asking Indian voters not to vote for the PH/DAP candidate, the housing project would not have been announced.

The Urimai interim council chaired by former Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

No holds bar

The workers in the five estates had waited for 26 years without housing only for their so-called dream home to be realised in the midst of the KKB by-election. Isn’t this an act of “vote buying”?

The directionless leaders of the PH-led coalition might say whatever they want about Urimai and its leadership. But the fact remains that Urimai is the only political party that is independent and it is only the sole Indian-based party that speaks boldly and honestly about Indian issues.

In a way, Urimai has to some extent has better grasp of the political, social and economic problems of the Indian community better than other political parties, especially the fake multi-racial parties such as the DAP and PKR.

MIC for all intents and purposes is a party that is neither dead nor alive to quote a former Malay politician.

It must be noted that Indian disenchantment with the PH-led coalition started in the last state elections in 2023.

Essentially, Urimai is merely providing the leadership in terms of articulating the deep-seated problems of the discriminated, forgotten and marginalised Indian community. – May 19, 2024


David Marshel is the United Rights of Malaysian Party (Urimai) deputy chairman.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Main pic credit: Prof. Dr. Ramasamy Facebook

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