By Election in Malaysia: A Study of Voting Trends in Kedah

Zaherawati Zakaria, Zaliha Hussin, Nazni Noordin, Mohd Zool Hilmie Bin Mohamed Sawal


Abstract: The Bukit Selambau by-election was due to the previous ADUN’s of Bukit Selambau, YB.V Arumugam’s resignation and this had caused SPR to supervise another by-election on the 7th of April 2009. Even during the naming of the candidates, the local population had shown the tendency to support the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) rather than side with the Barisan Nasional (BN). Along the campaigning period that started on the 29th of March until the 6th of April 2009, numerous strategies and issues (national and local) were played by all of the contesting candidates; however the general population was more interested in the series of speeches held by the PR openly. The findings on the observations and interviews that were done concluded that the candidates’ ethnicity, religion, and age played an important role in the Bukit Selambau by-election. As a result, the PR had won even though its candidate S. Manikumar was not well known and BN’s candidate BN Datuk S. Ganesan who was very popular, lost the by-election. BN needs to remember that after the political tsunami that hit a year ago, popular candidates do no guarantee victory to the contesting parties even though there were 50.2 % Malay voters in Bukit Selambau. BN’s failure to take back Bukit Selambau should be taken as an lesson to be learned, in which a more ’people friendly’ campaign should be done later on. In future, the Malays should stay together so that the political tsunami of PRU 12 will not take place in the upcoming PRU 13. BN should down to earth in having back the public trust.
Key words: Election; By-Election; Bukit Selambau, Voter’s; Trend, Surveys


Election; By-Election; Bukit Selambau, Voter’s; Trend, Surveys

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