Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On Sibu

Looking at the breakdown of voter count, 2/3rds of the voters are mainly Chinese while Malays form the minority portion of 10 percent. This means that the upcoming by-election is not going to be like Hulu Selangor where a bit more than half of the voter count are Malays and that vote forms the part of the block of Kamalanathan's win over there.

Sibu, shall I say will be somewhat similar in terms of contest in areas like Ipoh Timur, Pandan and other parliamentary areas that are mostly consisted of non-Malay voters. Based on the statistics, I see that the fight will be pretty similar to Pandan, with the exception that the Chinese voters choice at that time are split between Robert Lau Sr and Ho Leng.

But in Ipoh Timur, the number of Chinese voters there are 20% more or 4/5ths of the total voters there, but the common thing that shares between voting in Sibu and Ipoh Timur is that the Chinese voters don't buy easily into goodies by either parties like those other people races as seen in Hulu Selangor recently. It is acknowledged that voters will examine more on what the candidate can deliver over taking the bait from ang pows. Remember, things in the Borneo are not the same as in Peninsular.

I see this is Ho Leng's rematch of the seat, that's where he is based and obviously the choice was a natural given of how close he is with the community there. Again, the closest I can compare of this upcoming by-election is like in Pandan. A mixed community there, with one top MCA man (Superman OTK) and the MTUC president, it was hot fight with OTK squeezing out with a 3000 vote majority. But from some people in Pandan that I once met, I was told that some of the majority votes come from those friends, relatives and powerful connectors in business in Pandan that are close to OTK. Thus, I can see a similar pattern that could happen in this fight with votes of support for Robert Lau Jr.

In the last two elections there, 2004 and 2008, Robert Sr won with a majority range of 3200 and 3300. If the DAP can instead show better ways and how to top over existing policies like NEM, and in other words improving all existing systems instead of whacking BN, then it could be a chance to get additional support.

I once remembered of stories of the press featuring police involvement in Ops Kenyalang where mobsters in the city are captured and jailed. Let's expect of possible intimidation to voters to vote for BN by people who fear that DAP winning could jeopardize their positions in the place as well.

The kingmakers of this fight are not the Malays but those natives of Sarawak. Like in Batang Ai, whoever they vote is depending on whether they can get assurances from the candidates of getting what they needed. And base on the past statistics with factors taking into consideration, I can say Robert Jr, could come in slightly head ahead by the approximate margin of majority as in Hulu Selangor, not because of liking BN, but more or less out of sympathy, reputation, family connection and respect of Robert Sr. This would be more or less like in Bagan Pinang or Permatang Pauh or in places where the candidate is more popular than the party.

"You must choose between the two - the owner or the master of one side or the dependent and coolie on the other" - Excerpt 1915 - Charles Brooke's final meeting with the chiefs of the Council

So here's the dilemma. With that line in mind, is Sibu continuing to bend to the mob or choose to establish their own sub-camp, stand up as dictated in the 20 point agreement to the formation of Malaysia? It's like being the owner or being the coolie of BN.

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