Muhyiddin says Hulu Selangor point to bigger win

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today the Hulu Selangor result was a precursor to bigger wins for Barisan Nasional in the next General Election.
The deputy prime minister reasoned that BN’s victory yesterday showed voters were beginning to warm up to the government’s reform efforts.
“There is an obvious difference in attitude of the voters. I believe they are beginning to receive the reform efforts as manifested in the Government Transformation Programme.
“I would say this is an early acceptance to the efforts we have done as well as the effectiveness in how we handled the by-election by explaining to voters of our endeavours,” he told a press conference here.
The DPM claimed further that voters had yet to feel the benefits of the New Economic Model and but support had already returned to the BN fold.
This, he said, is a clear indicator of how BN would perform in the 13the General Elections which must take place latest by 2012.
PKR’s Datuk Zaid Ibrahim was defeated by MIC’s first-time candidate P. Kamalanathan when he polled 23,272 against the latter’s 24,997, and lost by a 1,725 vote-margin.
BN leaders boasted that it had enjoyed better support from the people as the majority was higher from what PKR had gained in Election 2008. The late Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad defeated MIC’s Datuk G Palanivel by a narrow 198 vote margin.
Polling data, however, showed a decrease in BN’s Chinese support , a sign that the nation’s second largest ethnic community remain cynical towards the government’s promises of reform.
Muhyiddin said the ruling coalition has yet to conduct detailed analysis on the by-election results, but admitted that there was significant decrease in support from non-Malays.
“It is still early to say as we have not conducted detailed analysis on the results but we can see there are apparent increases and apparent decreases…we will look into it.”
BN will be facing another tough by-election in Sibu. When asked if the victory in Hulu Selangor will continue the coalition’s winning momentum, Muhyidin displayed confidence in his reply.
“Of course we want it to continue. We know what the issues are there and we are prepared.”
He revealed that the Sibu vote will be handled fully by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and that the central BN leadership will take a backseat role.
Meanwhile Muhyiddin said that the new Hulu Selangor MP, P. Kamalanathan have already begun work in his constituency to show that BN means business when it promises goodies to the voters there.
“(All promises) must be fulfilled fully,” he said.