Tenang by election not an indicator for Indian vote for BN
On the voting day in Tenang the election commission was totally unprepared and ill equipped to run a fair and free election to choose a peoples’ representative. Voters’ turnout in Labis town, North Labis estate, voules estate and Tenang town were very pathetic and the affected voters were robbed of an opportunity to cast their votes. Army vehicles were only used to transport flood victims from kampongs to schools and Dewan Serbaguna and not to transport the stranded voters in estates, housing and town areas. The Malaysian government machinery is not competent at mobilizing support and resources in time of calamities and disasters. Therefore, the results of Tenang by election under such demanding conditions do not reflect the peoples’ choice and preferences. Under such demanding conditions adhering to strict neutrality and fairness is anybody’s guess. The campaign workers on the ground were clueless and did not know as to flood victims or voters that are being driven pass check points by army vehicles.
Voter turnout was higher in FELDA settlements compared to town, housing schemes and estates. Voters from FELDA who are all Malays and Bandar Labis Tengah who are predominantly Chinese voters have voted for BN and PR respectively. But Indian voter turnout from North Labis estate, Voules estate, Labis town and Tenang station is poor due to the severe flood problem. To conclude that Indians have voted for BN is stereotyping and not supported with evidences. Campaigners in estates and housing areas for Indians voters can hardly believed that Indian voters have voted to BN in high percentages. Voters’ sentiments and feeling were different. House to house campaigns in housing estates did recognize the Indian voter’s desire for change and how the BN government was short changing them by giving entertainment and handouts. Many voters felt disgusted at the continuous aid given to poor Indians by welfare department without any permanent and tangible settlement to their problem. They are the landless people of Malaysia today. Besides the handouts, the government machinery was all out to instill fear in them especially in estates. Many have outgrown these same old dirty tactics of BN and were prepared to vote for opposition to send a message to government. Indian votes are changing along with the others. It’s their smaller numbers and when mixed with other races when they come topolling station that makes Indian voter trend difficult to access. Those who claim 80-90% Indian vote for BN have ulterior motives in their claim. Such swiping remarks should not deter campaign workers for it is not the ground reality. It’s unfortunate that the heavy rain and sudden flood have deprived these voters voting rights.