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Cameron Highlands: Forget MIC, BN told

 | October 21, 2017

It's better for the coalition to field an Umno candidate, says an analyst.

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PETALING JAYA: Political analyst Awang Azman Pawi has advised Barisan Nasional to learn from the last general election if it hopes to retain the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat.

Speaking to FMT, he scoffed at MIC president S Subramaniam for claiming that Cameron Highlands would remain his party’s seat.

Awang Azman, an associate professor at Universiti Malaya, said MIC’s chances in Cameron Highlands for the next general election (GE14) was slim at best, citing the party’s poor performance there in GE13.

In GE13, former MIC president G Palanivel won the seat with 10,506 votes. His rival, DAP’s Manogaran Marimuthu, obtained 10,044 votes.

“Palanivel won by a very slim majority of 462 votes,” Awang Azman noted. “That should ring alarm bells for BN. If it wants to win in Cameron Highlands, then it needs to choose another party to contest there. Just give it to Umno and forget about traditional sentiment.”

He said Cameron Highlands’ electoral demographics did not help the situation, with Indians making up only about 12% of the population, Orang Asli about 20%, Malays about 34% and Chinese about 33%.

“Remember that the Chinese harbour a strong anti-BN sentiment based on the results of previous elections,” he added.

Cameron Highlands PSM secretary B Suresh agreed that MIC would not fare well in the constituency.

“If you look at the trend of the past three elections,” he said, “the votes for MIC have been going down. I believe it will be worse for this election.”

However, he said Malays loyal to BN would still vote for MIC. “Malays will still vote for BN regardless of which party it’s fielding, especially in Jelai,” he said.

PSM has expressed its intention to field an Orang Asli candidate for the Jelai state seat.

In 2004, MIC won about 72% of the more than 14,000 valid votes cast in the Cameron Highlands contest. In 2008, it won about 60% of the 15,000-odd valid votes.

Cameron Highlands seat stays with MIC, says Subra


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