Are Chinese voters still fearful of PAS?

By LIM MUN FAH | 2013-04-24 13:18
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

MCA advertised aggressively on newspapers targeting specifically DAP and PAS.

Lim Kit Siang trashed the advertisements for portraying DAP as attempting to turn Johor into another Kelantan, where no entertainment outlets would be allowed, no safety and all commercial activities would come to a halt.

These advertisements were just among the tricks deployed to win the hearts of voters, but they could inadvertently turn against the ruling coalition itself.

As an observer, what I personally understand is this: Ten years ago, such advertisements would indeed turn some Chinese voters away from the opposition. But today, their effects would be drastically subdued, and would even work the other way round, arousing detestation among the voters!

A bare fact that lies before our eyes is that majority of Chinese voters are leaning towards Pakatan Rakyat. While they loyally support the Rocket, they also rally behind the Blue Eye and are even ready to give the Moon a chance.

This is a voting trend which I’m sure the ruling coalition is itself aware of, and that also explains why BN’s campaign on Chinese media has been specifically targeting PAS.

“Just five years! If they can’t rule, we’ll bring them down next time.” This is what I often hear from people of late.

To turn the tide around over the next fortnight invariably poses an uphill task for the ruling coalition, simply because things are no longer the same today as ten years ago. If BN still sticks to the old strategies it employed ten years ago, thinking that the Chinese community is still fearful of PAS, then I’m afraid its wishful thinking is at best a futile effort.

I have been in the journalistic line for well over 30 years. I still can recall the complete absence of traces of PAS in Johor Bahru during the elections back in the 1980s.

In the 1990s, we started to see some PAS people moving round the city. Back then the PAS candidates and campaigners were dressed almost exclusively in religious robes with a white or green songkok, an unmistakable clerical look that was so discordant with the Chinese community.To put things a little crude, ordinary Chinese voters would try to stay away from them, let alone cast their votes in their favour.

But today, PAS candidates are dressed the way you and I do. They come out to the market to solicit votes alongside DAP candidates and no longer refrain from shaking hands with female voters. In the meantime, Chinese voters no longer feel repulsive of them, a stark contrast to the fearful looks at the sight of the Moon hardly a decade ago.

Of course, we should not therefore conclude that the Chinese community has put down its guard. As a matter of fact, many Chinese voters remain skeptical of PAS, but owing to their powerful desire for change, they have resolved to take a little risk.

In contrast to the Chinese community’s altered attitude towards PAS, I have nevertheless discovered that a shift in Malay voters’ attitude towards DAP is far less conspicuous. I was told that when DAP people solicited votes at the markets, they were given cold shoulders by the Malay traders while some kampung residents simply declined DAP’s leaflets.

Does this imply that DAP’s acceptance in the Malay society lags far behind PAS’ acceptance among the Chinese?

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Thursday, 25 April 2013 - 12:52 pm

    Such advertisements are futile as people can find out the truth from the Internet.

  2. #2 by kg on Thursday, 25 April 2013 - 1:31 pm

    Generally, Chinese and Indian voters are not fearful of PAS and PKR, Malay voters are not fearful of DAP, all Malaysians voters are fearful of BumNo BeEnd.

  3. #3 by putera_hanglipo on Thursday, 25 April 2013 - 1:36 pm

    I am chinese from Kedah. I and my dad supported PAS since the time of the late Fadzil Noor. Living under Islamic law is better than under a corrupt regime.

  4. #4 by ahkmlog on Thursday, 25 April 2013 - 2:55 pm

    Times have change. The PAS of today is no longer like those days whereby the Chinese would be the first in line to deny them their votes.

  5. #5 by drngsc on Thursday, 25 April 2013 - 3:27 pm

    Of course not. maybe the 70year olds may. Certainly not the 30-40 year olds. In fact, “Rocket + PAS” may have been a good idea, Kit. We would have cross the moon if it meant voting for you, Kit.
    Let me digress, our PACABA friends are facing harassment, who will speak out for them? Be steadfast PACABA. The day of reckoning is near.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. GE 13 is 11days to go. Let us all work very very hard. Get every eligible voter to vote. Make every vote count. That is our job. First to GE 13, then to Putrajaya.

    Change we must. Change we can. Change we shall.

  6. #6 by on cheng on Thursday, 25 April 2013 - 3:54 pm

    Don’t listen to BN words, go to Kedah, or Kelantan, talk to the local Chinese there, use your head and think !
    Malay just go to Penang, talk to local Malay there !
    How can anyone listen to someone, who tell one story to Chinese and a different story to Malay ?
    At least PR tell only one story !

  7. #7 by Shadowss on Friday, 26 April 2013 - 12:06 am

    the attempt to threaten malaysian especially the chinese with Islamic law and country will not worked this time . BN/MCA can say all they want in the local mainstream media , but the truths is in the internet such as this article .

  8. #8 by good coolie on Friday, 26 April 2013 - 12:24 am

    PAS has a right to work for the implementation of Islamic Law, especially Hudud. If they can the rest of Malaysians to see their point of view, there is nothing to fear from PAS. PAS’s struggle must be peaceful. They must convince others of the value of of the laws they propose to implement. Above all, they must not resort to force to implement Islamic law.
    Meanwhile, PAS, being a party known for uprightedness, is needed to clean up Malaysia’s corrupt government.

  9. #9 by good coolie on Friday, 26 April 2013 - 12:25 am

    If they can convince the rest …

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