“PH wins by-election not because KKB folks fancy unity gov’t but they’re tired of PN’s hate politics”

MANY analysts had expected the Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) by-election to be a fierce contest between the unity government (UG) and Perikatan Nasional (PN). While majority of them agreed that UG could win, the margin would be very low, probably less than 1,000 votes this time around.

But something else happened. Although the voter turnout declined by almost 10% compared to last August’s six state polls, UG won in style with a majority of 3,869 votes.

All UG vote categories increased from popular votes to those based on racial breakdown. While it was said that Indians would flee to PN, apparently their votes for UG were higher than during the six state elections.

Surprisingly, UG received 70% of civil servant votes – the first this happened in a by-election. Adding salt to the wound, there were five Malay majority polling stations whereby the electorate had begun voting for UG again.

PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang showed up in KKB to campaign for the Bersatu candidate of Perikatan Nasional (PN)

Even considering that this was just a by-election, the feat was by no means small. In fact, one can take pride of such outcome. Except for the four PAS-ruled states (Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu) which need to be dealt with differently, the other 10 Malaysian states are expected to vote in a similar pattern.

I believe PN was shocked by this outcome, too. On the final week itself, PAS secretary-general (Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan) had sounded desperate which gave me the hunch that PN was already on the losing end.

Shooting one’s own foot

KKB voters were threatened that if PH won the by-election, the latter would drag its opponent to court. This is as if implying that one has to vote for PN if one does not intend vote again (should the court rule a new by-election to be staged). This is indeed a crazy and ugly statement.

In my opinion, the UG’s victory has nothing to do with the people being ‘crazily in love’ with the government of the day. Many of them are far from reaching that stage.

But they are simply aghast with the opposition who continues to bang on the politics of hate and the triggering of incessant friction/conflict between the opposing sides. Or even play the issue of race and religion. Frankly speaking, the people are really tired of such maneuver.

Liyana Marzuki

PN lost because many of its leaders are gifted with mulut puaka (suggesting a sniveller or a bellyacher who has an excessive inclination to whine and rebuke others) or a case whereby “kerana santan pulut binasa” (literally because of the coconut milk, the glutinous rice becomes bad”). Below are three instances:

  1. It was in such a bad taste that by (PAS information chief) Fadhli Shaari brought up school and certificate issues (linked to DAP candidate and eventual by-election winner Pang Sock Tao). He found himself cornered when he hit out at vernacular schools. Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fahysal Wan Ahmad Kamal tried to cover him but also found himself opening a can of worms by contradicting himself.
  2. The PAS secretary-general had not ceased “bragging” and threatening voters who include PN supporters. Even on the eve of the by-election, he was still displaying hate politics by repeating the old case of the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim). This would have backfired if done excessively for instead of making people hate them, people would feel sorry for them instead.
  3. The campaign by Wan Ahmad Fahysal was inflicted by ‘foot-in-the-mouth’ syndrome. From disrespecting the call to prayer to belittling civil servants’ salary increases. The campaign by Armada (Bersatu Youth) looked super unprofessional. Just like BBNU (abbreviation for budak baru nak up). This was far different from that of UMNO Youth and DAPSY (DAP Socialist Youth).

It turns out that the people’s referendum in KKB is not directed at UG but against the opposition. Don’t be a mediocre opposition. There was nothing much to shout about its candidate. The way of campaigning was still outdated which was to stir up issues pertaining to race and religion. This will not be sustainable to administer a multi-ethnic country.

Gone are the days of hate politics. Voters these days desire service-oriented politics. We vote not only for race and religion. More importantly, the vote is to ensure the country’s well-being. – May 14, 2024


Liyana Marzuki is a political analyst and social media influencer in the realm of politics. The above view was translated into English from a recent tweet on the X platform.

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

Main image credit: Zunar

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