Sandakan: Muslim-Bumiputra swing towards DAP a stark possibility

The drop in voter turnout coupled with the increase in the DAP’s majority points to the very real probability that a significant Muslim-Bumiputra swing occurred in favour of the DAP. Source (pic): The Star Online

The DAP has retained the Dewan Rakyat seat of Sandakan with a bigger majority a year after Pakatan Harapan’s unprecedented win during the 14thgeneral election (GE14).

There are two possible scenarios to be considered here, the first of which assumes that the ratio of Chinese to Muslim Bumiputras who cast ballots in this election was either the same or lower than last year’s ratio.

In this scenario, the drop in voter turnout, coupled with the increase in the DAP’s majority, points to the very real probability that a significant Muslim-Bumiputra swing occurred in favour of the DAP.


SUBANG JAYA: The DAP has retained the Dewan Rakyat seat of Sandakan with a bigger majority a year after Pakatan Harapan’s unprecedented win during the 14thgeneral election (GE14).

In what is widely being referred to as a “decisive win” for the DAP, the victory simultaneously ended Pakatan’s post-GE14 losing streak that began with the coalition’s poor showing in Cameron Highlands and ended with its dismal performance in the recently concluded Rembau by-election.

The Sandakan poll, called following the death of the DAP’s Wong Tien Fatt, saw a five-cornered fight involving Vivian Wong Shir Yee of DAP, Datuk Linda Tsen Thau Lin of PBS and three independents, namely, Sulaiman Abdul Samat, Hamzah Abdullah and Chia Siew Yung.


At approximately 9.15 pm, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal congratulated DAP on retaining the seat by saying this:

“On behalf of the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government, I would like to congratulate Vivian Wong Shir Yee on her resounding victory in the Sandakan by-election today.

“Had the voter turnout been higher, I am confident her majority would have been even greater,” he said in a statement.

The poll saw a marked 17.63 per cent drop in voter turnout compared to last year’s 72.07 per cent outing.

There are two possible scenarios to be considered here, the first of which assumes that the ratio of Chinese to Muslim Bumiputras who cast ballots in this election was either the same or lower than last year’s ratio.

In this scenario, the drop in voter turnout, coupled with the increase in the DAP’s majority, points to the very real probability that a significant Muslim-Bumiputra swing occurred in favour of the DAP.

The only possibility where this isn’t the case is if the ratio was significantly larger than in GE14, in which case, the DAP’s bigger majority was attributed to a significant number of Msulim-Bumiputras staying home, probably convinced that the DAP would win.

Under the circumstances, it’s anybody’s guess if the group that stayed home was frustrated with the DAP or satisfied with its performance.

The analysis assumes that the Chinese are still as synonymous to the DAP as they were during GE14, which is more than likely to be the case.

Last year, more than 95 per cent of Chinese voted for Pakatan Harapan on account of the DAP.

Notwithstanding, we can’t know for sure how Sandakan truly played out until the Election Commission presents us with a detailed breakdown of voting patterns in terms of race.

THE THIRD FORCE

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