LETTER | Taking a backseat view of the recent Malacca state election, one would conclude that BN, in particular Umno, was making a strong political comeback and Pakatan Harapan, namely PKR, was the biggest loser.
While it is true that PKR was indeed the greatest loser, we cannot label BN as the greatest victor, though it may seem so.
For one, we cannot discount the low voter turnout, which was the lowest in history, with only a 66 percent turnout compared with 85 percent previously.
An estimated 29 percent of Chinese and Indian voters opted to stay away, while about 34 percent of others also did not come out to vote.
The best reason for this would, of course, be the fear of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On paper, Umno seems victorious, winning 18 of the 20 seats it contested, but in fact, the party lost an estimated four percent support among Malay voters.
The only reason Umno won so many seats was because it was handed to them on a silver platter by Harapan - due to its political shortcomings and Anwar Ibrahim's dismal leadership.
Going the extra mile
BN's coalition partners MCA and MIC also actually lost ground marginally, from about 10 percent to eight percent, and neither achieved any gains in terms of popular votes.
So, on close scrutiny of the state electoral results, the party which gained the most ground was Muhyiddin Yassin's Bersatu.
Bersatu in fact gained about six percent in vote share to 15 percent overall, which was not only concentrated on the Malays but spread across all communities.
Malay support alone for Perikatan Nasional is estimated to have increased about 17 percent and anchored around Bersatu.
Also, a large portion of this support was reportedly from the younger voters who viewed Bersatu as the best alternative which offered them the opportunities and security they seek.
Bersatu has positioned itself well as one with a solid political foundation and able to meet the aspirations of younger voters.
Also, political observers have taken their hats off to Bersatu for going the extra mail and naming Mas Ermieyati Samsudin as its chief minister candidate.
This endeared the party's support to women voters and also demonstrated the openness the party leadership practised.
So, in conclusion, to say that Umno is winning over the hearts of voters based on the Malacca polls would be incorrect.
Bersatu was in fact the party which gained the most ground and looks poised for a strong electoral victory in the next national polls.
No matter what, Umno is still riddled with accusations of corruption and power abuse and this is not something the voters can sweep under the carpet.
The best alternative is clearly Bersatu and the voters, especially those coming in soon under Undi18 realise this.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.