Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (National Unity and Social Wellbeing) Datuk Dr Mohamed Farid Rafik passed away on September 21 due to a heart attack.
It was reported that over 1,000 people attended his funeral including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (National Unity and Social Wellbeing) Waytha Moorthy said Mohamed Farid’s passing is a great loss to the department, stating that the deceased was a committed leader.
Unfortunately, his passing has called for another by-election in Malaysia as the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat is now vacant.
The Tanjung Piai by-election will be the fifth by-election after GE-14 with the reason of the incumbent’s death due to illness.
Additionally, it is one of the two upcoming by-elections in the nation along with the Kimanis by-election.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) has been maintaining its status quo of fielding candidates from the incumbent’s party in past by-elections.
Hence, it is most likely that a Bersatu candidate will represent Pakatan Harapan for the by-election at Tanjung Piai. However, this will pose a great challenge for Bersatu.
Based on the past result, Mohamed Farid only had a majority win of 524 votes. Then, it was a three-way battle between PH, Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS.
For BN, the coalition fielded MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng to contest for the parliamentary seat in the past general election.
Tanjung Piai was MCA’s stronghold from 2004 to 2018. It was even once held by former MCA president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.
According to the GE-14 election results by The Star, the percentage of Malay and Chinese population in the constituency are 56.8% and 41.6% respectively.
Farid’s victory over the seat proved that he was able to swing Malay and Chinese voters to PH, but that was before GE-14 when Malaysians were united to topple former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from power due to his alleged 1MDB scandal.
Today, the 1MDB trial is ongoing but the situation has changed for PH. The ruling government was criticised for its unfulfilled promises and the lack of changes in Malaysia despite governing the nation for about a year and four months.
Furthermore, the recent formalisation of Penyatuan Ummah has strengthened the opposition. The almost 3,000 votes for PAS’ candidate at Tanjung Piai in GE-14 might be a low amount, but it is more than enough to change the outcome.
Moreover, Bersatu lost the Semenyih by election back in March. It was the first and the only seat to switch administration party after GE-14, as of September 24.
For the Semenyih by-election, PAS decided to not participate, but instead campaigned for BN. The move played a major role in BN’s victory.
Comparing the past election results at Semenyih, it is safe to say that majority of the PAS votes went to BN during the by-election in March.
Nevertheless, the situation in Tanjung Piai is different, the Chinese population in the constituency is way higher. Plus, the declining votes for MCA’s candidates at the parliamentary seat might indicate that MCA has been losing Chinese supporters.
Do you think Pakatan Harapan able to retain Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat?