Here are some of the winners and losers from today’s results:
Pakatan Rakyat (PR)
PR were still unable to make significant inroads into Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Johor fortress.
Its candidate was on the defensive throughout the campaign, and failed to set the tone of the contest.
There also appeared to be no unified message for voters except to appeal to their sense of outrage at any perceived unhappiness with BN.
PR’s campaign was ultimately long on rhetoric and short on substantive issues.
BN’s campaign was still a classic case of divide and rule.
MCA attacked PAS’s Islamist image and chastised the DAP for allegedly opening the door for an eventual Islamic state, to appeal to Chinese fears.
Umno, on the other hand, called its rivals PAS a stooge of the “communist-inspired” DAP and a sell-out of Malay rights.
Ultimately, the more rural communities in Tenang accepted the message.
The party’s machinery worked well, and there was little sign of the divisions seen in previous campaigns.
Umno appeared to be more united than ever and look to be in a strong position ahead of the rumoured general election.
But this was, after all, Umno’s fortress.
It utilised its home ground advantage by denying PAS and PR a chance to even spread its message.
It started campaigning early on, and by the time PAS set up shop, it was already too late.
Many of the Malay voters in the constituency were also Umno members.
JURY OUT ON
The MCA will certainly claim it has now turned around its fortunes after receiving more Chinese votes this time when compared to Election 2008.
But this was Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s home turf, and the margin of Chinese votes obtained by MCA was still less than convincing.
It remains clear that MCA continues to ride on Umno, with many in the BN lynchpin beginning to feel resentment towards their partners for their inability to convincingly win over the support of the Chinese, especially since this was the MCA president’s home ground.
The Malaysian Insider