Last Updated: 8:29pm, May 18, 2014THE Teluk Intan by-election is one of the toughest battles ever faced by DAP. But if Pakatan prevails, the by-election will have a huge impact on the national political scene and on Barisan Nasional’s economic policies.
If Pakatan-DAP emerges a victor, Barisan Nasional will have to go back to the drawing board on almost everything including GST. If Pakatan-DAP loses, the repercussions are huge.
Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud is fighting an uphill battle against a very strong opponent – the president of a BN component party, backed by the full brunt of UMNO-Barisan Nasional's financial war chest and government machinery.
We are worried about the outcome of the by-election but at the same time we are excited about the opportunity to chart a new future for Malaysia.
If Pakatan-DAP prevails on 31st May 2014 and increases its vote share among young Malays without losing much non-Malay support, UMNO-Barisan Nasional will have to be worried about all similar semi-urban seats in the South Perak-North Selangor belt.
The 2013 election was an urban tsunami that saw huge swings among all ethnic groups in favour of Pakatan Rakyat in urban centres but the waves stopped short at semi-urban areas due to lukewarm response from Malay voters in those seats.
On the Perak border, Barisan Nasional won P075 Bagan Datok with a 6% margin and P077 Tanjong Malim with 8%; and across the Selangor border, P096 Kuala Selangor and P093 Sungai Besar with 1% each respectively, and P92 Sabak Benam with a 5% margin.
A win by Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud with additional support from young Malay voters in this semi-urban seat while not losing Pakatan's existing support base means an immediate threat to the cluster of BN marginal seats in the South Perak-North Selangor belt.
It also means that semi-urban seats in Northern Johor such as Muar, Ledang, Sekijang, Segamat dan Labis are within sight of Pakatan Rakyat.
Southern Kedah also has a cluster of seats with a similar pattern.
As the low-income Malay households in the semi-urban areas are worst hit by the combined impact of fuel hike, electricity tariff hike, the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the lack of decent jobs for youth, I can foresee that a Pakatan victory means the wholesale rethinking of Najib’s economic policies.
I will not be surprised if the implementation of GST would be delayed or even scrapped if Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud wins a convincing majority on 31st May 2004.
Hence the stakes of Teluk Intan are very high. A convincing win by Pakatan Rakyat would send shockwaves into Barisan Nasional semi-urban seats in South Kedah, the South Perak-North Selangor belt and North Johor which share similar characteristics.
The Teluk Intan by-election is a crucial national barometer for GE14 and a referendum for GST that deserves national attention of all.Liew Chin Tong is DAP’s National Political Education Director and MP for Kluang.
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