MCA presiden Dr Chua Soi Lek is happy that the Chinese votes in the Tenang by-election appeared to have marginally swung back to Barisan Nasional (BN).
He said BN's victory had denied claims by the PKR-DAP-PAS opposition pact that they had made inroads into Johor and was also a clear rejection of PAS' idea for an Islamic state.
"The DAP said we were silly to think we could win by playing up this issue. BN's victory in Tenang is also an endorsement of the 1Malaysia concept and ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) of the prime minister (Najib Tun Razak)," he said.
In this by-election, BN recaptured three of the four polling stations it lost to the DAP in the 2008 general election -- Labis Timur, Labis and Tenang. "I thank the voters in Tenang for their support for BN. The opposition has failed to reduce the majority," he told Bernama when contacted today. However, BN regained Labis Timur with a 39-vote majority, Labis (94-vote majority) and Tenang station (394-vote majority), compared to the last general election where the PAS candidate captured 53 per cent of the votes in Labis
Timur and 59 per cent in Labis.
Bandar Labis Timur has 63.4 per cent Chinese voters, Labis (58.3 per cent), Tenang station (54 per cent) and Bandar Labis Tengah (95.7 per cent). In the 2008 general election, in addition to Bandar Labis Tengah, PAS won both Bandar Labis Timur and Labis.
"We still can't retake it (Bandar Labis Tengah)," said Dr Chua. PAS had previously won Bandar Labis Tengah with a majority of 509 votes and in this by-election, they were able to garner 486 majority votes. This was despite a 20-per cent drop in voter turnout in that polling district. He attributed the success of BN to the 'low-key' approach by MCA by using mostly the local and grassroot leaders to campaign. "This shows that our strategy and tactic of using local leaders works, similarly to what we had adopted in the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections," he said.
Earlier, Dr Chua also took his message through Twitter where he first revealed that BN had won in three out of four Chinese-majority areas and tweeted that "PAS and DAP can crow, but still 'kalah' (lost)." However, DAP's claim that it won 70 per cent of Chinese votes in Tenang is based on the results from Bandar Labis Tengah, where 95.7 of the voters are Chinese. There, DAP had 69.8 per cent share of the total votes.
As for the other two Chinese-majority areas - Bandar Labis Timur (63.40 per cent Chinese) and Labis (58.3 per cent Chinese), DAP claimed that they were able to retain the Chinese votes there, but lost out in the Malay and Indian votes, resulting in PAS losing both polling districts which it won in the 2008 general election.
PAS lost in the Tenang polling district (54 per cent Chinese voters) in both 2008 and 2011.