I was asked by two journalists today on the Chinese voting trends in Ijok. They wanted to know what was the real reason behind the swing of Chinese voters to the opposition.
BN fared poorer in Batang Berjuntai Selatan where there are 46% Chinese voters. The BN votes in the area dropped from 548 to 461 from 2004. While the opposition garnered 338 votes compared to 219 votes in 2004.
In another Chinese majority (67%) area, Pekan Ijok, the BN's votes dropped from 761 votes to 605 votes. PKR's votes increased from 306 to 584 votes.
I do not call the results a swing of Chinese votes to opposition.
However, there are several possible reasons. First, a number of Chinese voters who voted in the areas may be staying and working in urban areas and are bringing their frustration home to Ijok. The frustration was translated into protest votes against the BN.
There are obviously several teething problems in urban areas e.g. higher cost of living, unplanned development, poor governance, public security, employment and economic opportunities and others. However, in my opinion the frustration may cut across all races. It is not merely a Chinese problem.
Second, despite some BN leaders argued that the NEP is a non-issue. Surprisingly, many Chinese urban voters may think otherwise. Some are blaming their current problems e.g. economics, education, cost of living, interethnic relations, religious tension are contributed via the UMNO racist politics and policy.
I would like to point out that a possible swing may be more obvious in the urban constitiencies compared to ethnic group. We will be able to witness the different of voting trends in rural versus urban areas in the coming general elections.
You should be able to read my views in both Oriental Daily tomorrow and the Star this weekend.