An­a­lyst: Turnout gives le­git­i­macy to win

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

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

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