The improved Malay and Indian sentiments in favour of BN is obvious. By-election results, opinion surveys, and turnout at governments events speak for themselves.
DS Najib and BN definitely look more popular today compared with in 2008.
The current Indian voter sentiment looks favourable with their warm response to DS Najib’s initiatives.
The Malays are the most steady in their support for BN. PAS which is now facing an identity crisis, and PKR which is turning further and further away from the Malay and Islamic heartland.
The Chinese, on the other hand, have not shown any perceptible shift in their sentiment for BN. It could be at the 40% level of the 2008 General Election, or worse still at 25% as in the recent Sarawak State Election.
Chinese voter sentiment is the most difficult to read as they do not normally show it openly. For of all the major races, they have the largest chunk of fence sitters who could change their support at the last minutes.
During the 2008 General Election, BN did not expect a strong rebuff by the Chinese voters. Even during the 1999 General Election when the Malays deserted BN, the Chinese in a way actually helped to save the BN government from losing its 2/3 majority in Parliament.
DS Najib has done everything to please the Chinese community. Giving handouts to them is the best he could do, although there is still no visible impact.
Indeed the Chinese is a very difficult community to please. They are very business minded. They are unemotional but calculative, even treating a General Election like a business.
Like in business, the Chinese don’t like to lose. Why they voted for the opposition en bloc in the recent Sarawak State Election?
With the above political scenario in the country, the Chinese are now in a real dilemma as to how to vote in the coming General Election. If they vote for DAP en bloc, they will likely be unrepresented in the next government.
But the big risk is that ultra Malays may gain strength in UMNO. These people would have little sympathies on the plight of the Chinese and this will not be good for the country.
A stable governmnet based on a harmonious racial relation is a prerequisite for continued economic growth in our march to realise Vision 2020.
DS Najib cannot offer more to please Chinese without eroding UMNO’s base in the Malay heartland.
Chinese voters, they are likely to hold Chinese Kiasu spirit. Whatever it means, they are likely to vote wisely in the coming General Election.