PETALING JAYA: Results of the Pulai by-election yesterday show growing support for Perikatan Nasional in Johor even though Pakatan Harapan won, says a political analyst.
Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said there was an increase of almost 9,000 votes for the PN candidate, compared to the general election last year.
“It is extraordinary that they got nearly 9,000 votes extra despite the voter turnout being lower compared to November. The extra votes must be from the Malay voters in Pulai,” Azmi told FMT.
“Most probably, the Malay voters who voted for Barisan Nasional in the previous general election, now voted for PN, ” he told FMT.
Azmi said a lower voter turnout should result in both candidates getting a lower amount of votes, but only PH saw a smaller vote share this time.
He said PH and BN leaders should be worried about the numbers as these indicate that Umno supporters are moving towards PN, or PH supporters are protesting against the cooperation with Umno,
“This is a big migration (to PN),” he said.
Yesterday, PN candidate Zulkifli Jaafar of PAS polled 29,643 votes in the Pulai by-election whereas in November, the PN candidate, Loh Kah Yong of Gerakan, only won 20,677 votes.
The winning PH candidate, Suhaizan Kaiat of Amanah, polled 48,283 votes. In contrast, in November, the late Salahuddin Ayub won 64,900 votes.
The voter turnout in Pulai yesterday was 47%, compared to 71% last November.
Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said the results showed a definite sway in favour for PN despite PH getting a convincing victory.
He said the increase of votes for PN’s candidate had come about in just under one year. “In a matter of four years, if the government does not buck up, Johor might see a stronger wave of PN,” he said.
Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said the results showed that the PH-BN partnership had found acceptance among the people, despite PN trying to play off issues such as deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being granted a discharge, halting his corruption trial.
He said the results showed that PN’s claims of being able to overtake the government were starting to fade and becoming less believable. “It’s now being seen as excessive politicking,” he said.