Analyst: Turnout gives legitimacy to win
PETALING JAYA: The best turnout of all the by-elections held since the last general election gives legitimacy to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister-in-waiting, said a political analyst.
Wong Chin Huat of think-tank Penang Institute said Anwar’s handsome victory would quell “silent protests” within Pakatan Harapan, as there were some who felt voters were already tired from GE14 and the three other by-elections that followed.
“It gives legitimacy to Anwar’s victory.
“If the turnout was below 50% like the by-elections before this, Anwar would have had to face the silent protests,” said Wong.
The by-elections in Sg Kandis, Balakong and Seri Setia saw dismal turnouts of less than 50%.
Wong also pointed out that PAS candidate Lt-Kol (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar coming in second to independent candidate Tan Sri Isa Samad showed that local loyalty has faded.
Isa was the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar and is still an Umno bigwig in the state.
He contested despite Umno staying out of the by-election.
“PAS may emerge to take advantage of Umno’s decline.
“Unless it finds its new direction, Umno may eventually be absorbed by PAS and Pakatan, much like Semangat 46 was absorbed by Umno and PAS after a brief coalition with the latter,” said Wong.
S46 was formed as a splinter from Umno in 1988.
Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 executive director Yap Swee Seng said it was a general trend that by-elections tended to have a low turnout as voters did not regard by-election results as affecting the formation of a government.
It gives legitimacy to Anwar’s victory. If the turnout was below 50% like the by-elections before this, Anwar would have had to face the silent protests. Wong Chin Huat