In defeat, MCA says voters confused

MCA Tan Chee Teong says the party’s defeat in Balakong could be due to confusion among voters. (Bernama pic)

BANGI: An MCA veteran today said the poor voter turnout in recent by-elections including in Balakong and Seri Setia today could be due to people losing hope in the government they elected last May.

“They could be thinking that there would not be any difference whether they vote or not, so they didn’t bother to come out,” former Seri Kembangan assemblyman Yap Pian Hon told FMT.

He said the Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition should study the reasons behind the low voter turnout in the aftermath of the general election.

“Never in history there have been by-election turnouts this low. PH needs to find out why, or they will suffer in the next general election,” he added.

In the Balakong by-election today, DAP’s Wong Siew Ki, contesting under the PH banner, defeated her opponent from MCA Tan Chee Teong by a majority of more than 18,500 votes.

Only 43% of some 62,000 voters cast their ballots.

The by-election was the first time MCA contested using its own party logo.

But Yap said going to the polls with its own logo was a mistake.

“This should be a clear message for MCA that they need to change the current party leaders or risk MCA deteriorating even further.

“If they don’t change now, the people’s confidence can never be regained,” he added.

Speaking to reporters following his defeat, Tan said people were still trying to get used to MCA as part of the federal opposition.

“I can’t force the people to accept MCA (overnight). They still need some time to get used to us being the opposition,” he said.

Meanwhile, Election Commission (EC) secretary Mohamed Elias Abu Bakar said the commission was keen to study why most voters did not cast their ballots today.

He said despite its efforts to encourage people to come out to vote, the by-elections today recorded lower turnout than the Sungai Kandis by-election last month.

“It could also be the lack of interest to come out to vote. But we will conduct a study to better understand voters’ behaviours,” he said.