A lot has been attributed to the shift of support of non-Malay voters from the BN to the opposition during the political tsunami in March last year, and the Chinese in Permatang Pasir are said to support Pas.
The late Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman won in all 42 streams in the constituency last year. The seat was retained by the Pas politician with a majority of 5,433 votes.
In Permatang Pasir, the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Teoh Beng Hock, the political aide of a DAP Selangor lawmaker while in the custody of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, is an issue being capitalised by the opposition. The other is the Port Klang Free Zone scandal.
They believe the evidence made public during the ongoing inquest into Teoh's death could influence voting trends among the Chinese. Pamphlets on the ongoing inquest have been distributed. Posters and banners with the late Teoh's picture have also been displayed at strategic points.
MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and senior MCA leaders, on their rounds in Kampung Cross Street and its vicinity on Friday, had to explain that the government had taken measures to ensure transparency in the investigation and that the people should let the authorities complete their job.
Chinese voters have also complained of being left out in development under the present and former state governments.
The BN reports indicated that the Chinese in two polling areas have warmed up to BN compared with the last general election, but this was dismissed by Pakatan Rakyat.
In general, the Chinese voters' mood towards Umno is unfavourable but not because of Teoh's death. Reports deemed racist that appeared in Umno-linked newspapers have also angered them.
Permatang Pasir voters, in particular, have not forgotten how Bukit Bendera Umno chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail once called the Chinese "pendatang" (immigrants) when campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election and the events that unfolded after it became a controversy.
Whether the Chinese vote will lean towards BN or stay with Pas this time is left to be seen. firstname.lastname@example.org, nst 23 August 09.
Kita emua tahu keputusan pilihanraya kecil ADUN Permatang Pasir ini dan Barisan Nasional pipinman Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak sepertii biasa akan mencari punca kekelahan. Tetapi bagi kebanyakan orang salah satu sebab kekalahan ialah orang masih lagi belum yakin bahwa ahli-ahli UMNO belum banyak berubah. Akar undi belum dapat diyakinkan, terutama usaha parti untuk kembali bersih dan dilihat bersih. Calon pilihan untuk Pematang Pasir masih belum dianggap dan dilihat bersih dan pucuk pimpinan masih jua tidak menunjukkan tanda nahawa calonnya tidak mempunyai masalah dan tidak dilihat bersih
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