Battle for Tebrau: Contenders diverge on gameplan for Malay heartlands
GE14 | For PKR's Steven Choong, his narrow defeat in Tebrau during the last general election was obvious - not enough Malays supported him.
It is an outcome that Choong is determined not to repeat and has been working tirelessly in the last five years with substantial efforts spent in Malay villages and Felda areas.
It wasn't that Choong took the Malay vote for granted in the last general election but the fact that he was fielded just a month before polling day, leaving him little time for groundwork.
âIn Tebrau, Chinese voters are less than 40 percent, you need to have at least 25 percent Malay votes to win," the Tebrau PKR chief told Malaysiakini as he analysed his defeat.
In the last general election, Choong lost to MCA's Khoo Soo Seang by a 1,767-vote majority. Choong garnered 85 percent of Chinese support, 50 percent of Indian support but only 21 percent of the Malay voters.
Tebrau is home to three Felda settlements and several Malay villages.
To further illustrate the disparity in support, Choong pointed out that he led by more than 3,900 votes in the Chinese-majority state seat of Puteri Wangsa but lost by more than 5,700 votes in the Malay-majority state seat of Tiram. The two seats make up the parliamentary seat of Tebrau.
At the parliamentary level, Tebrau comprises 47 percent Malays, 39 percent Chinese and 11 percent Indians.
The political realities have prompted Choong to work extra hard in the Malay heartlands of Tebrau - but it has proven difficult, having been kicked out of some areas or having to deal with harassment from the Umno grassroots.
But all that changed in 2016, when Umno splinter party Bersatu was formed...Source: Google News