PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today “clarified” the context in which his Invoke Centre for Policy Initiatives (I-CPI) survey was conducted.
His explanation was in response to PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man saying that PAS was the party of choice for Malays for garnering 25 percent of Malay support over Pakatan Harapan and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s collective 21 percent, citing the I-CPI survey.
Admitting while this may be true, Rafizi however said that the figure does not mean the Islamist party could defeat Barisan Nasional in the 14th general election.
“The 25 percent Malay support for PAS is the average figure at the national level.”
The Pandan MP said voters surveyed were chosen at random using a computer software that ensured respondenrs were representative of the Malaysian demography.
Hence,the level of support for PAS differs in state and parliamentary seats, said the PKR vice-president.
For example, Malay support for PAS in Selangor and the Federal Territory was far behind BN and Harapan-Bersatu, at only 19 percent, added Rafizi.
Conversely in Kelantan and Terengganu, Malay vote for PAS was stronger at 27 percent, surpassing Harapan-Bersatu.
But most of the Parliamentary seats which PAS planned to contest in Peninsular Malaysia, were seats which consist of non-Malay voters.
“With Malay votes for PAS at 18 to 20 percent at states which have many non-Malay voters, PAS will lose all its Parliamentary seats at the West Coast of Malaysia if it goes into the elections alone.”
Also, despite the Malay support for PAS at 27 percent in Kelantan and Terengganu, in a three-cornered fight with BN which has 43 percent support, PAS will also lose all its Parliamentary and state assembly seats, said Rafizi.
According to the survey, 38 percent of almost 22,000 PAS supporters said they would rather not vote than choose between BN or Harapan and Bersatu in a straight fight.
The survey found that out of 104,340 respondents, in a three-corner fight, 21 percent would vote for PAS, Harapan-Bersatu 24 percent, and BN 40 percent. Fourteen percent said they would not vote.
However, in the event of a straight fight with BN against Harapan-Bersatu, 39 percent said they would vote for the latter, 23 percent would vote for the ruling coalition, while 38 percent would not vote.
Simulations run by the I-CPI also claim that PAS would be totally wiped out in the next election, winning zero seats in five different simulations.
Meanwhile, citing the country’s “first pass the post” system, Rafizi pointed out that no matter how strong the support for the party at second place is, the latter would still lose.
“If PAS obtains second place at all seats it contests in, PAS will still lose all seats,” he noted.
Realising this, added Rafizi, is important, as those who understand it would reject PAS vice president Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah’s invitation for PKR and Bersatu to join the third block – a coalition consisting of Malay parties.
“This premise, on the pretext of fighting BN, is not accurate as such a coalition would be rejected by non-Malay voters.
“Non-Malay support for PAS at three percent shows how such a political bloc will be rejected by non-Malay voters.”
He also pointed out how the opposition’s main problem to defeat BN did not rely on Malay support only.
“The deciding group in the 14th general election would be average citizens who are already bored with the non-stop politicking to the point that it has neglected their welfare.”
Such voters, he said, make up 15 to 20 percent. Although they are anti-BN, there is high possibility that they will not vote if politicking among the parties do not stop.
“If they don’t come out to vote, Umno/BN will win. If they are convinced to vote for the opposition, Umno/BN will lose.”
Rafizi also urged opposition parties to stop the in-fighting and to refrain from claiming who had the most support.
“This would only be the best way to ensure that Umno/BN will win apart from putting off this important group of voters.”