On Apr 1, The Rembau Times predicted that the then widely disbelieved ‘Malay Tsunami’ was real and poised to change the election landscape. Initially, it was disbelieved and only a couple of hundred readers actually bothered to read the post.
As of today, the total views on the post has exceeded 50,000 – a record for the Rembau Times and The Editor. This is because The Editor has remained anonymous for the past 10 years as a social media commentator and not advertised himself publicly.
Fast forward 21 days, and nobody in Pakatan Harapan or even Barisan Nasional denies that there are big changes taking place in the Malay community. In fact, even though most analysts still predict a BN victory, they are now qualifying their view with their observation that there is palpable anger among the Malays towards the BN Government due to the economic hardship and rising cost of goods. As a general rule, analysts hate to predict a BN defeat as it is what they term as ‘a low probability event’ because of a behavioral bias called ‘status quo bias’.
While there has been a palpable shift towards Pakatan Harapan over the past 3 weeks, the following key questions remain unanswered.
- Has Pakatan Harapan ‘maxed’ out its support from the Malay Community?
- Will BN be able to recover some of the support or will it continue to bleed support right up to polling day.
Lets try to answer each question.
Has Pakatan Harapan ‘maxed’ out its support from the Malay Community?
With the General Elections still 2.5 weeks away, the question many are asking is whether or not Pakatan Harapan has maxed out its support from the Malay community or will they be able to continue to convert fence sitters and BN voters towards supporting their cause.
As we had noted earlier, Pakatan Harapan ‘early adopters’ comprise mainly of the largest voting segment for PRU 14, the ‘Below 40’ group. As the campaign progressed, they are winning over Male voters but still are lagging behind BN in the older voter and middle aged Female segment.
In one word – ‘No’. Pakatan Harapan has not maxed out its support from the Malay community by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, support is increasing as we examine the following segments.
(1) Below 40, Urban, semi urban voters, regardless of gender
This segment is completely dominated by Pakatan Harapan. The support is now probably trending 75% in favour of Pakatan Harapan, 20% in favour of BN. BN has lost this segment . Massively!
(2) Generasi 2 Felda Voters
These are the kingmakers in the election as they will determine the fate of 50+ parliamentary seats in the General Election. This is evidenced by the support indicated through ceramahs held in Felda strongholds throughout the country, such as in Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Selangor and Johor . Of all these events only the Ceramah at Felda Chini received lukewarm response, the rest were packed to the rafters.It is in no doubt there is a massive swing in this segment . For this segment, Pakatan Harapan will probably lead by about 60 to 65% to Pakatan Harapan vs 30 to 35% in favour of BN. This is a crucial vote bank that BN is losing day by day. This segment used to bear some loyalty to BN/UMNO, but that loyalty has been eradicated due to relentless campaigning by the NGO Anak, economic and mismanagement of Felda issues.
(3) Older Felda settlers
This is the segment that Pakatan Harapan is focusing on and through the influence of the children, Pakatan Harapan may only lose this segment slightly – 40% compared to 50% for BN.
(4) Other Males
This segment refers to all other Males not included in the above segments.
They comprise of middle aged males in urban and semi urban areas, small traders in rural areas, Government retirees and other older males throughout the country. This segment has been hardest hit by the rising cost of goods due to their role as the heads of the respective families. This segment also grew up under prosperity during Tun Dr Mahathir’s time and was previously a bedrock of support for BN/UMNO as they grew up with UMNO. However, BN is bleeding support from this segment as polling day arrives as they are influenced by their children as well as the impact of rising prices and the lack of quality in BN’s leadership. This segment will swing to Pakatan Harapan by about 55% versus 40 – 45% BN and 10 to 15% PAS. And with the unity among all races on display at PH ceramah it is working to remind many older Malays of the harmony before these kleptocrats came to town. More positive for PH
(5) Middle Aged and Older Females aka. Wanita UMNO
This is the last remaining bedrock for BN. BN will probably hold on to this segment, albeit with some difficulty. The Wanita UMNO segment has been the most loyal segment as some of them have become entrepreneurs on their own right and they relish the independence accorded to them. However, those who are housewives would feel the effect of rising cost of goods. The final analysis, BN to win this segment by about 55 to 60% compared to 40 to 45% for Pakatan Harapan.
So in conclusion, PH has yet to ‘max’ out their support with the Malays. PH can count on the youth vote as their political base and are now actively convincing older male voters to support their cause. Conservatively, PH has already tied BN in the Malay vote bank. Realistically, if the elections were held today, they are about 3 to 5 percentage points ahead. The Chinese segment is still PH, by about 75% in favour, versus 25% in favour of BN. PH is still behind the Indian segment by 40% versus 60% in favour of BN. All in all, PH is now leading BN.
Will BN be able to recover some of the support or will it continue to bleed support right up to polling day.
BN has failed to make any inroads to halt or stall Pakatan’s momentum. Additionally, they are on the backfoot due to the GST issue and also now, as a wildcard, the question of whether UMNO is itself a legal entity.
They have revealed their candidate list for most states except Sabah. Most importantly i dont remember Najib being at any of them as the candidates were announced by the respective Menteri Besar. MCA seemed to have shot their foot on the Machap Jaya . Expect some level of internal sabotage among Johor UMNO especially in Tg Piai. But most importantly the BN Bulls are keeping quiet and not sounding so sure of themselves. That is a sure sign of PANIK.
(Note to readers: Our prediction on the Tsunami Rakyat is not because we are smarter or better informed. There is only one single overarching reason which God willing, we will share with the incoming Prime Minister and Cabinet. As a precursor, it has nothing to do with anything we have written so far, nothing to do with GST, nothing to do with 1MDB. What is written below is ‘after the fact’ analysis because it is easier for readers to accept.
Btw, anybody want to venture a theory why a true Najib loyalist as in the Deputy Info Minister Jalaini Johari was dropped. This is not a small matter and the implications are huge post GE14.To me the answer is obvious.
Mainstream media e.g The Star still denies the existence of a Malay tsunami. Good on them.
When BN is defeated many will say on hindsight it was quite obvious i.e hindsight bias. After all who wants thieves as leaders?)
Updated 26 Apr: My bad, Pakatan Harapan’s ceramah at Felda Chini was quite good as well. About 2.5k audience.