Will MCA regain the 25 seats it lost in Election 2008?

by Lee Hwa Beng
The Malaysian Insider
MARCH 27, 2013

MARCH 27 ― In the last general election, MCA contested 40 Parliament seats yet it won only 15. Out of the 40 seats, MCA was able to win only 7 (out of 23 contested seats) from DAP, six (out of 15 contested seats) from PKR and two (out of two contested seats) from PAS.

This shows MCA won mainly in mixed seats where there are fewer Chinese voters while it lost heavily in the Chinese majority seats.

One can deduce, therefore, that MCA won with the support of Malay rather than Chinese votes.

Another major contributing factor in MCA’s drastic loss was the significant reduction of support from Indian voters who were traditionally Barisan Nasional/MCA supporters (more than 80 per cent) but have since deserted the ruling coalition with less than 40 per cent of them voting for the ruling coalition in GE12.

As in my earlier articles, “Who will win the 13th General Election?” and “How will MCA fare in the 25 seats they won in the last election?”, I will provide the reader with background information and factors to consider for my latest question: “Will MCA be able to wrest any of the 25 seats they lost in the last elections?”

1) First and foremost, the most important factor to consider in making any prediction about MCA’s performance is Chinese sentiments towards BN in general and MCA in particular.

Unfortunately for MCA, Umno has already decided quite early on that Chinese voters will not return to BN. It has been said that it is due to Chinese voters’ negative perception of Umno, MCA’s poor leadership led by a scandal-tainted president and MCA’s inability to hold its own fort against Umno in the ruling coalition.

As a result, Umno’s initial strategy to win Malay and Indian votes and ignore Chinese votes has further alienated the Chinese from BN.

Statements and actions by Umno leaders to get more Malay voters have further pushed the Chinese voters towards supporting Pakatan Rakyat. The generous fund allocations to Indians and the additional ministerial spot for MIC confirm the fear of the Chinese that they have no future under the government of BN.

The public statements of Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali as well as Ridhuan Tee Abdullah’s columns in Utusan Malaysia have exacerbated these fears.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recent overtures to the Chinese are too little, too late to reverse this downward support from the Chinese voters. Thus, the general expectation is that Chinese support for BN will be significantly worse than the last election.

2) In 2008, Pakatan’s component parties and their individual candidates’ strengths were not known to the public. However, after these five years, voters’ perception of Pakatan and individual candidates will play a big part in voters’ choices.

Was Pakatan and their components’ performance good enough to change the public perception of them? As MCA will be contesting against DAP in at least 23 areas (based on the last elections), how do the Chinese view DAP?

Pakatan candidates cannot solely rely on the anti-BN sentiment to win this election. The performance of individual Pakatan incumbents will play a big role in voters’ decisions now that they are no longer unknowns in uncharted waters. Will Pakatan dare to drop under-performing or controversial incumbents?

Many Pakatan MPs like Lee Boon Chye in Gopeng, Loh Gwo Burne of Kelana Jaya, Hee Loy Sian of PJ Selatan, John Fernandez of Seremban, Sim Tong Him of Kota Melaka and Er Teck Hwa who won marginally in the last election hardly made a peep in Parliament and were not active in their constituencies.


If they are not dropped and MCA can put up strong candidates in these 11 seats, these seats have a potential for change. One such seat is Seremban, where MCA is expected to field Dr Yeow Chai Thiam, a strong and hard working grassroots leader.

Due to stronger Chinese support for Pakatan, MCA cannot expect to make many inroads into the other 25 seats where Pakatan had won with more than 60 per cent majorities as listed in table below.

3) In a MCA vs DAP seat, MCA will normally get more Malay votes than DAP. Hence, the percentage of Malay voters will be a very big factor. For example, in Kuantan where there are 60 per cent Malay and 36 per cent Chinese voters, a 70 per cent support from the Malays will have 42 per cent (70 per cent x 60 per cent) and only a 20 per cent vote from the Chinese will have seven per cent (20 per cent x 36 per cent) to give a total of 49 per cent.

Hence a sliver of Indian votes can carry the MCA candidate through to victory.

Therefore, we see MCA leaders like Donald Lim shifting from a 40 per cent Malay PJ Selatan seat to the 45 per cent Malay majority Selayang seat. Similarly Wangsa Maju and Bandar Tun Razak constituencies, which have more than 50 per cent Malay voters, are winnable if MCA can put up strong candidates.

4) Many people have commented that Indian votes are returning to BN since the last election, when 60-80 per cent of them voted for Pakatan. If BN is able to obtain back at least 50 per cent of the Indian votes, then the MCA seats which are composed of more than 15 per cent Indians and more than 40 per cent Malay voters such as Selayang, Kelana Jaya, PJ Selatan, Bayan Baru and Padang Serai can be winnable by MCA if strong candidates are put up.

5) As mentioned in the first point, the perception of Chinese voters of the current MCA leadership will have a significant impact on the result of these 25 seats. Will voters forgive and forget Chua Soi Lek’s sex scandal? Will the ongoing PKFZ trials of MCA former leaders impact voters? Will Chua Soi Lek’s past threat to opt out of the government if MCA obtains less than the current 15 seats influence the Chinese to vote for MCA candidates?

6) Pakatan has targeted all MCA seats as their most winnable seats and has forged DAP to be their best weapon against MCA in their aim to capture Putrajaya. As such, PKR has already announced the give-away of two of their seats, Bentong and Gelang Patah to DAP candidates to contest. I am sure in the other areas where MCA will face PKR and PAS, such arrangements will be considered.

My prediction is that MCA has a possibility of winning back one to three seats out of the 25 seats they have lost. On the other hand, I predict that MCA will lose at least 5 to 10 seats from the 15 they are now holding. Due to that, the net effect of the number of seats MCA will win will be around 6 to 13 seats only which is still below the 15 seats they currently have.


* Datuk Lee Hwa Beng is the former MCA state assemblyman for Subang Jaya (three terms from 1995-2008). He stood as the BN candidate for the Kelana Jaya parliamentary seat in 2008 and lost. He was later appointed Port Klang Authority chairman to investigate the PKFZ scandal from 2008 to 2011 and is the author of “PKFZ: A Nation’s Trust Betrayed.”

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 9:20 pm

    No Chinese in his right mind will vote for MCA, as BN has strong ties with the anti-Chinese NGO, Perkasa.

  2. #2 by cinaindiamelayubersatu on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 9:24 pm

    MCA will be stronger if they opted out from BN. You lost because of association with umnoputra didahulukan pencapaian wang ringgit diutamakan.

  3. #3 by bruno on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 9:54 pm

    Honestly speaking,non partisan that is.I would be really surprise if Mca can just hold on to just eight of the seats it last won in 2008.Hahaha,but I would not be anyway’s surprise if the Mca got decimated this coming GE.Maybe a duck’s egg?

  4. #4 by Winston on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 10:13 pm

    Let’s get one thing straight!
    Very, very straight!!
    Malaysians are seething with anger at the corruption, scams and scandals they are seeing on a daily basis, 24/7!!!!
    They are like individual volcanoes waiting to erupt!!!!
    So, as far as the PR (or rather, the DAP) is concerned, they can put anyone there and he can still win.
    As long as he follows the principles of Competence, Accountability and Transparency.
    As far as low performance MPs are concerned, they can be either coached to improve or perhaps even dropped.
    What Malaysians want, really, really want, is to put paid to the fifty-six years of utterly, wantonly, in-your-face corruption, scams and scandals which are still happening 24/7!!!!
    And especially their fabrication of scandals against the PR!!!!
    Does anyone thinks that such acts endear UMNO/BN to the electorate?
    Only the insane, no-brainer, masochistic, mercenaries and cronies will ever even consider giving their votes to the scums!!!!
    Malaysians will not tolerate these crimes anymore!!!!!
    That, for anyone with one iota of grey matter is the gist of the whole matter!

  5. #5 by rjbeee on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 10:13 pm

    Pono actor ..leading a party…people must be crazy……

  6. #6 by bruno on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 10:17 pm

    After the porno star CSL was elected president of Mca,nobody has ever heard of the PKFZ scandal anymore.Umno thinks that by orchrastrating the takeover of Mca by their stooge CSL the PKFZ fiasco is history.It is time Malaysians make Umno pay dearly for been the main players of the PKFZ and Mca for sucking up deep into their asses.

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 11:12 pm

    Have you factored in the all important phantom and instant noodle voters? They will swap PR in many seats. Do not think BN and their co-conspirators have been idle. Nurul will be one such casualty for sure.

  8. #8 by second class citizen on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 11:27 pm

    Give mca chicken egg, a lot

  9. #9 by monsterball on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 12:29 am

    This time….MCA cannot depend on Umno b voters to support them…for Umno b itself is not sure how many Muslims can they depend upon.
    MCA will be just a small party….after 13th GE.
    They need to get rid of the obvious puppets…pull out..to get some sort of supports.

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 12:57 am

    If GE13 were 2 b contested in a fair n clean way, NO WAY MCA, UmnoB/BN could win
    Well, a vote 4 MCA is a vote 4 seks-behind-back -of-wife, 4 scandalous wife-cheating, 4 corruption, 4 self-enriching, 4 being serfs of UmnoB
    Same too 4 Gerakan, MIC
    C’mon, bring on GE13, kick out d timid, corrupt, using-our-$$-2-buy-votes NR u UmnoB

  11. #11 by Bunch of Suckers on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 3:44 am

    Never ever give a chance to porn star, Chua SOLD dad! Tell him to back off, porn star sucker!

  12. #12 by Noble House on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 4:55 am

    The real blessings on a nation are its enlightened leaders and the peoples walking a path towards good governance based on a clean, fair and trustworthy administration. Bad leaders cannot create good government. A country led by people who have no conscience or pretends to have one should not be allowed to rule unless we choose to remain deluded for personal reasons or inadequacies. Malaysian can no longer trust the UMNO/BN government. This is the tipping point.

  13. #13 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 7:52 am

    The goal MUST BE TO WIPE OUT MCA – zero seats. Because its about the goal of crossing racial lines. The goal of Pakatan and the very reason of its being is to be able to cross racial lines. 30% of Malay votes is not sufficient to prove it. To kill the bogeyman of racial politics, it should reach 40%, 50% in these mix seats.

    So don’t matter what MCA will end up losing or retaining, the goal must be total wipe-out..

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 9:34 am

    Chinese n non-Chinese r put off by MCA kaki’s obsequious manners 2 UmnoB
    PornoSnake: truly a DISGRACE 2 rakyat M’sia 2 hv some1 like him leading a political party
    He is a 大骗子, 公信力已经破产 1
    自甘堕落, 狼狈为犴, 羞辱华社, 华裔同胞 n rakyat
    不懂 “正心、修身、齐家、治国、平天下”; if cannot even 正心, how 2 平天下
    Only knows 老牛吃嫩草 n how 2 b a WIFE-CHEATING fornicator

  15. #15 by Dap man on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 11:03 am

    Mr Lee has been very generous with his predictions and assessments.
    1. Bakri MP is 24 hour politician and he is the only MP ever to have 100% attendance in Parliament. It is a lie to say he is not taking care of his seat.
    2. Go to the ground and no Chinese with dignity will vote for MCA – the party beholden to UMNO (which sponsors Perkasa) and only concerned with their own welfare.
    3. Lee is still under the mistaken notion that Malays will vote for MCA as they did on 2008.
    Anyway let see if Lee’s predictions come true and he will eat his words.
    MCA is a dead party.

  16. #16 by omeqiu on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 3:10 pm

    Good analysis except you did not deal with phantom voters. You should know; you were in MCA long enough. Now, please give a new analysis by including illegal voters.

  17. #17 by cseng on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 12:35 am

    Yes, yes, yes, MCA will win all their parliament seats and form the next government and CSL become the next PM.

    Who expect LGE be the Penang CM, prior 308. Even Anwar, he also canon-behind-horse for his prediction. How can you analyse Tsunami…

    I think MCA score 0-0.5 seat only.

  18. #18 by chengho on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 5:44 am

    GE 12 , 85 % of chinese voters vote for Pakatan , BN need only 5 % additional to swing , the malay from 70 % to 80 % and the Indian from 70 % to 80 % ; only mathematics

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