Politicians from both sides of the divide have different takes on the Chinese support in the Sungai Limau by-election.PETALING JAYA: The dust has settled on the Sungai Limau by-election but questions abound as to whether Barisan Nasional is slowly regaining the Chinese votes.
PAS retained the seat with its candidate, Mohd Azam Abdul Samat, polling 12,069 votes against BN’s Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim who received 10,985.
The victory was, however, a bitter one because Mohd Azam won it with a reduced majority of 1,084 votes, down from 2,774 in May 5 general election. PAS lost in some polling stations where Chinese make up 10% – 26% of voters.
There are 27,787 voters in Sungai Limau, of which 7% are Chinese.
Does an increase in BN votes in these polling stations mean a growing Chinese support for the ruling coalition?
Gerakan deputy president and Kedah chief Cheah Soon Hai said BN had boosted its Chinese support to 60% -70%, up from 10%-15% in the last general election.
He said this was evident as the increase in BN votes came from polling stations where Chinese form the significant number of voters such as Sungai Limau, Kabo Sepuluh and Simpang Tiga.
He said for example BN lost the Sungai Limau station by 12 votes in the last general election, but won by 265 votes on Monday.
“If you say the increase was due to Malay votes, then it should be in the areas with overwhelming Malay voters.
“There is a return of Chinese votes and you cannot deny the fact,” he said, expressing his disappointment that certain Umno leaders still doubted the figures.
Yesterday, Jerai MCA division chief Huang Keng Chow said BN bagged 892 out of the 1,185 Chinese votes cast on Monday.