Umno voters uncertain in Sungai Bakap, PN’s youth support wanes

Umno voters uncertain in Sungai Bakap, PN’s youth support wanes

Umno voters uncertain in Sungai Bakap, PN’s youth support wanes
Ilham Centre said the ‘buzz’ has been missing in Sungai Bakap with the two coalitions’ campaigns being rather lukewarm, and crowds missing at most ceramahs and events. (Instagram pic)

PETALING JAYA: Core Umno voters in Sungai Bakap remain on the fence as they head to the polls tomorrow, despite having voted for Perikatan Nasional during the state election last year, says a think tank.

Ilham Centre said it is too close to predict who will win the by-election, pointing to three key determining factors: how Umno supporters will vote; who the youngsters will support; and the Chinese voter turnout.

It said its survey of the Sungai Bakap electorate revealed that the Umno supporters who had cast their ballots for PAS’s Nor Zamri Latiff last year were not as inclined to vote for PN again.

While a group of them said they would still back the opposition coalition, others expressed uncertainty and were still mulling their options, it said.

“Their leanings towards PN is not as strong as before but, at the same time, they did not display support for Pakatan Harapan,” the think tank said.


Wabak Salah Najib Bermula Lagi

“Umno has mobilised its machinery in a strong and systematic manner for this campaign to canvass for the votes of its core supporters. The machinery moved from house to house to persuade these core Umno voters to vote for the unity coalition’s candidate.

“Our survey found that a part of these voters will still support PN while others are still in a dilemma. Nonetheless, it is evident that Umno’s efforts to get close to them is being more well-received.”

Ilham Centre also said the “green wave” of support for PN reached its peak during the six state elections last August and has since tapered off, even in this by-election campaign.

It said PN and PH-Barisan Nasional’s by-election campaigns have been rather lukewarm with the crowds at most ceramahs and physical campaign events largely composed of election machinery rather than local residents.

Nonetheless, it said, there was a noticeable decline in ethno-religious sentiments being enthusiastically received among voters in Sungai Bakap compared with during the state election.


Dua Survey dapati Najib terlalu popular, lalu ada pihak halang pembebasan nya.

“That sentiment is still present and being used in the campaign, but its reception is increasingly waning,” it said

Ilham Centre also said the mood has “clearly changed” among young voters who came out in droves to back PN last year.

“While youngsters had very passionately displayed their support for PN before this, the sentiment isn’t as strong this time around,” it said.

“In fact, some local youngsters can be found unashamedly donning unity government t-shirts while hanging around and chatting with their friends, a situation that was not apparent during the state polls last year.”

The think tank said the turnout of Chinese voters stands to have a significant impact on the by-election, with the community seemingly less excited about the unity government.

It said the lack of passion and enthusiasm for the PH-BN alliance was due to the government’s economic policies and the state government’s performance so far, particularly when it came to water and infrastructure issues.

“A part of the Chinese voters have hinted that they would not vote. The same goes for their children who reside on Penang island, who do not plan to come back and vote though the distance isn’t that far.

“However, other Chinese voters also stated their commitment to cast their ballots tomorrow,” it said, adding that the support of Indian voters seemed to remain with the unity government.

Based on data from the 2023 state election, Sungai Bakap comprises 59.36% Malay voters, 22.54% Chinese, 17.39% Indian, and 0.71% from other ethnicities.

The data also shows that 7.9% of the voters are between the ages of 18 and 20, while those between 21 and 39 make up 45% of the electorate.

PKR first wrested Sungai Bakap from BN in the 2008 general election and retained it for another three terms before losing it to PN last year.

Umno voters uncertain in Sungai Bakap, PN’s youth support wanes



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