Welsh: Pakatan, be clear on succession plan; BN, don’t gloat over Tg Piai win

Welsh: Pakatan, be clear on succession plan; BN, don’t gloat over Tg Piai win

PUCHONG: Time for Pakatan Harapan to have a clear succession plan and prioritise policies for the future, said University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Asia Research Institute (UNARI) Honorary Research Fellow Bridget Welsh.

“There is a need for a clear plan of succession and future oriented policy platform. Sadly, Pakatan seems to continue to be embroiled with itself,” she said.

On Saturday, Barisan Nasional (BN) made a triumphant comeback in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election, when its candidate Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng crushed Pakatan Harapan’s Karmaine Sardini with a majority of 15,086 votes.

Wee secured 25,466 votes while Karmaine got 10,380 votes.

Gerakan”s Wendy Subramaniam garnered 1,707 votes.

The election results sent shockwaves to Pakatan leaders and supporters who did not expect their candidate to lose with such a huge margin.

Even BN leaders admitted that they were surprised by the results. Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak commented that the opposition was an underdog in the election, battling a well-heeled and heavily financed government machinery.

Touching on the by-election, Welsh reminded BN leaders not to let the Tanjung Piai election results to get on their heads, as Malaysian voters did not let Wee win due to their love for the opposition.

She said that voters there were more likely casting protest votes against Pakatan for their lacklustre performance.

“Definitely against Pakatan as opposed to for BN. This is why I placed emphasis on this,” said Welsh.

Meanwhile, the longtime political observer found it was interesting that women in Tanjung Piai played a crucial role in the by-election.

“This needs more study, but it is a fascinating finding. In this seat women have swung in elections, not the norm in Malaysia as a whole.

“I believe it is a combination of mobilisation by parties and genuine disgruntlement by women with issues on the economy and governance. It speaks to the power of women in shaping outcomes,” said Welsh.

In her column in Malaysiakini, Welsh noted that women support for Pakatan dropped to 22.2% from the 46.9% enjoyed previously, a drop by 24.7% despite Pakatan’s effort to tackle women related issues in Budget 2020.

She alluded that the swing among women votes could have been contributed by Perak state exco Paul Yong’s decision to resume his official duties right before the election day, despite being embroiled in an ongoing rape case.

By Uqbah Soperi and G Vinod