08 July 2013

A key study of the past general election results that was released yesterday could put to rest the idea that it was mainly the Chinese only who voted against the ruling coalition to help the opposition win the popular vote.

That was a notion held dear by some mainstream media who belted the Chinese community for what they called a betrayal of the ruling Barisan Nasional.

But what do Barisan Nasional members themselves say? Was it a Chinese tsunami or not?

"Of course it was, and what is wrong with calling it that?" asked the Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

However, Abdul Rahman was quick to add there was no malice towards the community, even with the term "Chinese tsunami" being widely used.

"Yes, the Malays and Indians also voted for the opposition but the shift was not so evident as in the case of the Chinese.

"In some areas, up to 95 per cent of the Chinese voted for the Opposition," he noted, commenting on a forum at the International Islamic University yesterday. The forum concluded that the BN performed badly in the general election because of an urban backlash and not because of a "Chinese tsunami".

Rahman said that the meaning of a tsunami was when something shifted in a big way, quoting the tsunami in Banda Aceh as an example. He declared that this was the case with the way Chinese voters voted.

Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati Samsudin insisted that the Chinese tsunami was evident in certain areas.

This, she said, was due to the intense campaigning by the opposition and the type of issues they kept harping on.

But Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup accepted that it was not only the Chinese votes that went to the opposition. He said it was unfair to call the results a Chinese tsunami.

However Kurup added: "The peoples' hearts are with BN, but perhaps they are unhappy about certain things. We must find out what the issues are and work on it."

Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abd Rahim Bakri, who is also Kudat MP, refused to get into the debate on whether it was a Chinese or Malaysian tsunami. Instead,he said: "The election is over, we have to govern the country for the next five years. I want to concentrate on my ministerial work.

Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit, MP for Mambong, said that it was wrong and unfair to term the poll results a tsunami of any race.

"It was the people's vote for change," he added. – July 9, 2013.


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