May 1, 2007

Ijok - The Post-mortem round of Updates

The result is confirmed. K. Parthiban (BN) is the "ULTIMATE" winner with the majority of 1,850 votes. So what are some of the post election updates available out there?

Ijok result: Does it mean a thing?
In Pekan Ijok, the polling district with the highest concentration of Chinese voters at 61.7% (or 958 Chinese voters), BN lost to KeADILan with 605 votes compared with the Opposition's 624 votes.

At a glance, the two Chinese-dominant polling districts -- Berjuntai Bestari Selatan and Pekan Ijok - have voted against the ruling party in unison.

Do today's results indicate that the Indians have chosen to remain as hardcore MIC supporters, while the Malays, even in PAS/KeADILan strongholds, have all taken in to money politics? Notably, the initial resistance from the Kuala Selangor Umno division against an Indian candidate had visibly vaporised as money were pouring in by the millions in the constituency that was bypassed in development over the last few decades.

One thing appears to be indisputable: The Chinese are voting against the government.

10 reasons why Parthiban won
Here are 10 reasons why Barisan Nasional’s MIC candidate K Parthiban defeated Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Khalid Ibrahim in the Ijok state seat by-election last Saturday.

  1. Cikgu vs corporate figure
  2. Locally born and being there with them
  3. Parthiban had always tried to do something whenever he was approached to solve a problem.
  4. Samy's personal touch
  5. Indian voters won’t change
  6. Money, money, money
  7. Three-term representative K Sivalingam
  8. The Najib-Anwar proxy fight
  9. Abdullah’s surprise visit
  10. One-sided media coverage

High voter turnout key factor in BN victory
While the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition has won a key by-election with an increased majority, analysts said it was only a temporary setback to former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim's hopes of a triumphant return to politics.

The poll on Saturday in the semi-rural seat of Ijok in Selangor was widely touted as a litmus test of popularity for both sides ahead of a general election expected before 2009.

People's confidence with the current government
BN retained the seat against opposiiton Parti Keadilan Rakyat with an increased majority up 210 from the 2004 general election.

The Barisan Nasional victory in the Ijok by-election is proof of the people's confidence in the coalition Government, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

“People believe that we will serve them well and we really appreciate their strong show of support,” he added, saying that Barisan would deliver on all the promises it made in Ijok.

List of Promises made by MB Selangor Khir Toyo to Ijok voters
For Ijok by-election, promises after promises were poured in by the MB Selangor Khir Toyo for Ijok Voters. It certainly made some impacts toward the decision at the polling day.

Is there life for the opposition after Ijok?
Leaders and supporters of Barisan Nasional (BN) see their victory in the Ijok by-election as signifying that it is as unbeatable as ever, and that “the people” have rejected the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) - above all, its adviser Anwar Ibrahim.

Anyone in their position would dutifully proclaim these messages for public consumption, whether or not they have a sound basis for it. This is done to boost the morale of their rank- and-file members and as an attempt to sow pessimism, fatalism or defeatism among those on the other side of the political divide, ahead of the next general election.

Coincidentally, both Pekan Ijok and Batang Berjuntai are Chinese-predominated areas. It means there was a rather strong Chinese swing away from BN.

Moreover, according to one calculation, the relative strength between BN and PKR in four Malay-majority areas - Jaya Setia, Kampung Ijok, Bukit Badong and Simpang Ijok - stands at only 52.5 percent and 47.5 percent respectively.

It means that not all Malays are pro-BN and that Malay support for PKR is not insignificant.

There is certainly life for the opposition after this.

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