Teluk Intan, formerly known as Teluk Anson, is set for an interesting fight between two individuals this 27th May. This small town, popularly known as “Anson” by Perakians is also known for its legendary “Chee Cheung Fun” (steamed rice roll filled with dark brown aromatic shallots and dried shrimps served with pickled green chillies).
There are, of course, many other mouth-watering foods such as rojak, confectioneries, tomyam seafood, soya bean milk, tau fu fah, nasi kandar, charcoal char kuey teow, and whatnot. Besides foods, this town is equally famous for its “Leaning Tower of Anson”, rivalling Italy’s “Leaning Tower of Pisa”.
Unlike other by-elections, this one is perhaps the most interesting, challenging and unpredictable contest of all. First, it is interesting because of the huge difference in personalities between both candidates. Opposition PR via DAP is sending a young 27-year-old Perak-born lawyer babe, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud. On the other hand, BN sends veteran Gerakan President Mah Siew Keong, 52, to the battlefield.
It’s a battle between a young, first timer beautiful female against an experienced (some said expired) uncle who had been MP and deputy minister for years. It was like a clash between Paris Hilton and former President Bush. The decision to send Dyana was a brilliant tactical move. Again, the tactician was none other than Liew Chin Tong, the same person who cleverly attacked Johor when it was least expected during last year’s election.
Secondly, this is a challenging by-election because both Dyana and Mah will ferociously deploy ”lock and switch” strategy. Dyana needs to lock in existing pro-opposition voters – primarily Chinese voters – while trying to switch as many Malay voters as possible. Mah needs to lock in existing pro-government voters – majority Malay voters – and tries to switch as many abandoned Chinese voters back to BN.
Thirdly, the results is unpredictable simply because of the present ecosystem in Anson. With 60,439 voters, the composition of Chinese, Malay and Indian votebank are 42%, 38% and 19% respectively. PR controls the Chinese votebank while BN controls the Malay votebank. Malay and non-Malay composition are almost balance. DAP won by 7,313 majority last year, a 12% of total voters in Anson.
PM Najib and Mahathir like to blame ungrateful Chinese, so let us assume the Chinese Tsunami will hit again. Assuming 90% of Chinese will vote for opposition again this round, 22,845 votes is in Dyana’s bag. Assuming Indian voters are undecided and will split their votes equally for both Dyana and Mah, that would be 5,741 votes to Dyana, bringing the sub-total votes to 28,559.
With 28,559 votes in her pocket, Dyana is a winner. But wait, the Chinese Tsunami will not happen again this time simply because PAS plays with hudud toy. That was why Dyana was sent to do the damage control. Like it or not, DAP would be DOA (death on arrival) if a Chinese candidate, says Superman Hew Kuan Yau, was sent instead.
Since the Perak state political landscape will not change even if DAP were to lose this seat, Anson Chinese may send a “strong” protest vote to DAP (and PR for that matter) about their displeasure over hudud law. What DAP will lose in its Chinese votebank will be (hopefully) compensated with young Malay votes through Dyana’s “youth, beauty and brains” image. Forget about Malay Pakcik and Makcik votes. They would believe even if PM Najib says he’s still a virgin.
What makes DAP strong today is not because of Lim Dynasty. It was due to the pool of young talents that the party grooms and treasures over the years, but despises by UMNO, MCA and MIC. If UMNO has a strategist like Liew Chin Tong, PM Najib doesn’t need to beg and force himself to attend former MB warlord Ahmad Said’s daughter’s wedding (*tongue-in-cheek*).
Realizing that DAP could afford to lose Teluk Intan, Dyana was sent to deliver multiple roles. How do you know such strategy would work, let alone deadly to your opponent? Well, when you see cowgirl Shahrizat and dictator Mahathir foaming at mouth attacking a 27-year-old first-timer innocent Dyana, you know DAP did the right thing (*grin*).
It was a win-win strategy for opposition PR (Pakatan Rakyat). If Dyana wins, PR can get ready to take over the federal government in the next general election, just like how Indian’s opposition Narendra Modi (Namo) won the recent Indian’s national election. The reason is simple – the hudud game will have no effect to the end results. Perak will be the next state to fall.
One has to remember BN (Barisan Nasional) won tons of seat with wafer-thin majority during last 13th general election. Opposition’s future strategy would be very obvious should Dyana wins with increase majority. After all, Narendra Modi won primarily because of youngsters’ vote. The same voters topology applies to Malaysia come next 14th general election.
If Dyana loses, which PR can afford to, DAP and PKR can prove to PAS once and for all that the hudud card does not, and will not work. It will send PAS the clearest signal, which the Islamic party still refuses to acknowledge until today. If PR does not perform this experiment, PR will be split with PAS going alone or even joins BN, in the name of, well, hudud.
In short, it was a “killing multiple birds with a stone” strategy. PR can test the impact of hudud among the Muslim and non-Muslim voters. PR can test the acceptance of young candidates among the young voters. PR can estimate its future chances using Teluk Intan model since this parliamentary seat can be considered a rural area.
But most importantly, PR via DAP can test its popularity and image as an allegedly Chinese-based party. If Dyana wins with a good majority, there would be more professional Malay candidates representing DAP. This is important to boost DAP’s coverage since PAS can always split from the PR partnership, in case Nik Aziz is no longer around.
It was a brilliant strategy by DAP to fill the gap in case of a PAS’s defection or a total collapse in PR partnership. Of course the primary objective was to glue PKR, DAP and PAS together for as long as possible. If this doesn’t work, then the fallback plan was for PKR and DAP to move forward, minus PAS. And to do that, DAP will have no other choice but to propose many more Malay professionals to the battlefield.
Dyana is the pioneer for this grand plan. And she would start the engine in attracting young and liberal Malay professionals, specifically to DAP. And it seems the plan is working great, judging by how Mahathir felt threaten by DAP’s candidate Dyana. To suggest that Dyana’s mother, Yammy Samad, be sacked from UMNO shows how panic UMNO is.
Dyana is a strong symbol, similar to Nurul’s branding, the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim. Isn’t it interesting that while PKR has Nurul Izzah as the darling of the party, DAP can now boast that it has an equivalent darling – Dyana Sofya? Could it be this reason that cowgirl Shahrizat blasted Dyana, thinking she was also a young, charming and beautiful UMNO darling (*grin*)? Whether Dyana wins or lose, my money is on her.