LABIS, Jan 30 — Informal results from the 12 polling districts show that Barisan Nasional (BN) has retained the Tenang state seat with a 3,735-vote majority.
Results sent through the Twitter micro-blogging service have put BN’s Azhar Ibrahim at 6,698 votes against PAS candidate Normala Sudirman’s 2,963 votes in the Umno stronghold.(From Malaysian Insider)
Commentary: The failure to penetrate BN fortress by the PR as reflected by the loss of Tenang means that the PR need to relook its unspoken strategy to go South instead of go East. By electoral logic change will come first from constituencies with less majority than those with large majority and thus more voter resistance. Some how an unspoken policy has been adopted by PR to bet on the Southern strategy based on familiarity of terrain and conveniences of the campaigners. While these are factors to take into consideration they cannot compare to voters sentiments. The voters should be put on top of all considerations compared to conveniences of the campaigners.
On top of the above factor the PR strategy should also consider the need to right historical wrongs that had been done by the government up to now. Such historical factors eg no Borneonisation of the civil service has irked many voters in Sabah and Saraawak. So is the low oil royalty given to the 2 states -at only 5%. Similar complaints can be heard about the language and religion policy where the Penisular centric biases are resented by the East Malaysians. PR should consider these factors seriously -compared to the lesser considerations like conveniences to the party campaigners.