Despite losing the Tenang by-election, Pakatan Rakyat leaders were elated at the much stronger than expected response from the Chinese majority areas, having increased their share of votes to an unprecedented 70 percent.
In the March 8, 2008 general election, Pakatan had won only 60 per cent of the Chinese vote, while BN took 38 percent.
“All the rain, floods to depress voter turnout and 1Malaysia goodies could not save MCA. The momentum of 308 political tsunami is very much alive,” DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said on twitter.
His PAS colleague Khalid Samad echoed his views. The results are especially sweet becaue the BN had offered Tenang voters election goodies bordering on the RM200 million mark, an enormous amount they would be unable to offer to all constituenties in the even of a general election.
For PAS, the higher Chinese support is a huge morale booster given that MCA – the BN’s Chinese component party – had tried to create fear and anti-Islam sentiment in a bid to get the community to shun PAS’ Islamic agenda.
“Even though BN spent millions of the people’s money, BN still could not achieve their target. This shows there are still many who are with the Pakatan Rakyat. BN cannot do what they have done in this by-election. Our target is the general election,” Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said on Twitter.
To focus on better strategies in rural Malay areas
Their jubilation mirrored the celebration across the Pakatan coalition. Some leaders also called for better strategies in the areas that they lost in Tenang.
“Lost in Felda areas but increased percentage in Chinese majority areas to 70 per cent. Have to improve strategies to improve in lost areas,” PKR assemblywoman Bukit Lanjan Eli Wong said on Twitter.
She was among those who went to help campaign for PAS candidate Normala Sudirman.Meanwhile, DAP Youth Chief Anthony Loke and other colleagues minced no words when they hit out at Soi Lek.
Indeed, the scandal-hit MCA president had upset many Malaysians when he attacked Normala for wearing gloves when she shook hands with the public. His son, Tee Yong, was also accused of “unmanly behaviour” when they attacked Normala on personal matters and tried to stir up Chinese hatred for her.
“No doubt BN will win Tenang but Soi Lek and MCA can pack their bags!" said Anthony.
Johor DAP chief Boo Cheng Hau echoes the same sentiments in another tweet: "PR PAS-DAP managed to get 70 percent Chinese votes in Tenang."
“(Time for Soi Lek to resign) for failing to win Chinese votes at his home ground,” said senior DAP leader Teng Chang Khim.