DAP, PAS and PKR achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly results during their tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections
In the 1999 General Elections, faced with the challenge of the four-party Barisan Alternative comprising DAP, PAS, PKR and Parti Rakyat, UMNO/BN strategists and propagandists launched a fork-tongued campaign, warning the Malays one the one hand that “DAP Plus PAS Equals Islam Hancur (destroyed)” while on the other hand warning the Chinese that a vote for DAP was a vote for PAS and an Islamic State where there would be no pork, no alcohol, no temples, no churches, no karaokes, no Chinese schools, women would have to cover their heads, beautiful women could not find jobs and that there would be the chopping of hands and feet.
By and large, the Malay voters in the 1999 general elections did not take the bait but the non-Malay voters, particularly the Chinese voters, fell victim to the campaign of falsehoods and fear generated by the Barisan Nasional, resulting in an outcome where PAS was the biggest winner in the Barisan Alternative as the largest parliamentary opposition with 27 MPs and 98 State Assembly representatives, capturing Terengganu state government in addition to Kelantan while DAP suffered severe setbacks, securing only 10 parliamentary and 11 state assembly seats. PKR won 5 parliamentary and 4 state assembly seats.
In the recent 2013 General Elections, faced with the challenge by Pakatan Rakyat, Umno/BN strategists and propagandists returned to their traditional fork-tongued campaign of lies and falsehoods, warning the Malays on the one hand that PAS would be a puppet of DAP while warning the Chinese on the other hand that DAP would be a stooge of PAS.
Unlike the 1999 General Elections, the Chinese voters did not take the Umno/BN bait in the 2013 polls. However, unlike the 10th General Elections, the UMNO campaign of lies and falsehoods made some impact on the Malay voters.
As a result, UMNO emerged from the 13GE stronger than 2008, up 10 seats from the 79 to 88 seats, benefitting from the shift in rural Malay votes.
Based on the present constituency delineation, and taking more than 55 per cent vote secured as a “safe” seat, presently BN has 82 safe seats and 51 marginal seats while Pakatan Rakyat has 60 safe seats and 29 marginal seats.
The 82 BN safe seats comprise five urban and 77 rural constituencies, or 53 Malay-majority, 0 Chinese-majority, four mixed and 25 bumiputera constituencies.
The 51 BN marginal seats are 30 Malay majority, 0 Chinese majority, 9 mixed and 12 bumiputera.
The 60 PR safe seats comprise 16 Malay majority, 25 Chinese majority, 18 mixed and 1 bumiputera constituencies.
The 29 PR marginal seats comprise 20 Malay majority, 4 Chinese majority, 5 mixed and 0 bumiputera.
The 13GE results of 89 Pakatan Rakyat MPs, comprising 38 DAP MPs, 30 PKR MPs and 21 PAS MPs have been exploited and distorted by Umno/BN plotters and conspirators for their campaign of lies and falsehoods, like the baseless accusation that PAS is a puppet of DAP.
I am not surprised that UMNO cybertroopers have distorted my statement after the 59th PAS Muktamar to give the impression that I had declared that PAS could not develop without Pakatan Rakyat, when what I had said was that all the three parties of DAP, PAS and PKR have benefitted from the partnership in Pakatan Rakyat.
From a regional party confined largely to its “northern” heartland of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, PAS has gone “national” in the 13th General Elections with parliamentary and/or state assembly representation in every state in Peninsular Malaysia, except for Negri Sembilan.
For the DAP, our partnership in Pakatan Rakyat has enabled the DAP to win 38 parliamentary seats and 107 State Assembly seats, including 16 ethnically-mixed parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia with less than 60 per cent Chinese voters (nine with less than 50 per cent Chinese voters) and 44 “ethnically-mixed” State Assembly seats with less than 60 per cent Chinese voters (15 of which with less than 50% Chinese voters).
PKR Performance (1999 to 2013)
PKR leveraging Pakatan’s strength in ethnically ‘mixed’ constituencies
Like DAP and PAS, PKR has also benefitted from the partnership in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, and this is not just about Pakatan Rakyat retaining the Penang and Selangor State Governments.
Ethnically mixed constituencies – where no one race is more than 60% of voters – used to be BN’s stronghold. However, with UMNO’s increasingly right wing positions and the poor record of governance by the BN, the opposition has capitalized by capturing a majority of these mixed seats in Peninsular Malaysia.
PKR best represents the model of leveraging on Pakatan’s inclusive message and the grassroot mobilization ability of the individual Pakatan parties in these ethnically mixed seats. These are the seats which PKR has managed to capture in the past two general elections.
In 1999, the only parliament seat which PKR won that had less than 70% Malay voters was Permatang Pauh (67% Malay). The only state seat which PKR won that had less than 70% Malay voters was Penanti (68% Malay) which is located in the parliament seat of Permatang Pauh.
PKR was decimated in the 2004 Abdullah Badawai ‘tsunami’, being reduced to just one parliamentary seat – Permatang Pauh.
In 2008, PKR emerged as the largest opposition party by winning 31 parliament seats. Out of these 31 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, 20 (or 65%) were ethnically mixed seats where Malay and Chinese voters are less than 60% of voters. Out of the 40 state seats which PKR won in 2008, 29 (73%) were ethnically mixed.
In 2013, PKR won 28 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia out of which 22 (79%) were ethnically mixed seats. Out of the 42 state seats won by PKR in 2013, 29 (69%) were ethnically mixed seats. (See Table 1 below)
Table 1: Number of Parliament and State Seats won by PKR (1999 to 2013) including the number and % of seats which have less than 60% Malay and 60% Chinese voters (Peninsular Malaysia)
|Parl, <60%M, <60%C||0||0||20||22|
|State, <60%M, <60%C||0||0||29||29|
|Parl Mixed %||64.5%||78.6%|
|State Mixed %||72.5%||69.0%|
Of the 4 new parliament seats won by PKR in GE2013, which it did not win in GE2008, 3 can be described as ethnically mixed – Lumut, Bukit Katil and Batu Pahat. The fourth, Alor Star, just falls outside the categorization but barely, with 61% of Malay voters. (See Table 2 below)
Table 2: New parliament seats won by PKR in GE2013
|State||Parliament Code||Parliament Seat||Malay%||Chinese%||Indian%||Others%|
This is part and parcel of PKR’s winning formula which is the ability to win a significant percentage of support from voters from all races by leveraging on the appeal and grassroot mobilization ability of all three Pakatan parties.
PKR is the main beneficiary of this winning formula but it can easily be applicable to PAS and DAP too. Indeed, in the 2013 general elections, out of 62 parliamentary seats with less than 60% Malay and Chinese voters, Pakatan won 41 (66%). PKR won 22 of these seats, DAP won 16 and PAS won 3.
Pakatan’s challenge in the next GE is to extend this winning formula to the remaining 21 parliamentary seats which are also ethnically mixed.
Johor requires special attention since 12 out of these 21 parliamentary seats are located in Johor.
Pakatan came close to winning a few of these seats in GE2013 including Cameron Highlands, Bentong, Labis and Pasir Gudang, all of which were won by the BN with less than 1000 votes.
Another four seats – Setiawangsa, Segamat, Ledang and Tebrau – were won by the BN with between 1000 and 2000 votes.
Another way to illustrate the point that all the three Pakatan Rakyat parties of DAP, PAS and PKR have benefitted from the coalition partnership is the following table of the election results in the past thirteen general elections, showing that it is during the tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections that the DAP, PAS and PKR achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly results:
|2008||(1+) 28||47||(1+) 23||66||31||97||222|