(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): At
the final eve-of-polling ceramah at Perting in the Ketari by-election, I had
said that Barisan Nasional leaders were preparing to celebrate a landslide
victory with a majority of between
two to three thousand votes.
had asked the Ketari voters to deny the Barisan Nasional such a victory but it
was a clear indication that the Barisan Nasionalís 2,210-vote majority was
clearly on the cards.
Ketari by-election result has far-reaching implications for DAP and opposition
politics as a whole in the post-911 Malaysian scenario in the run-up to the next
is no time for recrimination but for a deep hard look at the causes of the
10-fold increase in the Barisan Nasional majority, the respective impact of the
national and local issues, such as the sea-change in politics in
post-911 Malaysia, the Islamic state question (including the effect of
the last-minute Gerakan dirty tactics in
using the hand-shake photograph between Nik Aziz and myself), constituency
development, the Lim Ah Lek factor and the usual litany of Barisan Nasional
electoral abuses and malpractices.
The DAP post-mortem into the Ketari by-election will deal with both the plus and minus factors. Although the minus exceeds the plus factors, one plus factor is that in Perting, where the DAP successfully resisted the high-powered Barisan Nasional onslaught featuring Lim Ah Lek and involving the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself, the DAP won the highest percentage of votes among the younger voters, as illustrated by the results of the last four of the eight voting streams in Perting where an average of 71% of below-50-year-old voters voted for the DAP. The highest percentage of votes cast for the DAP was the stream of voters below 31 years where DAP secured over 74% of the votes.