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Election 2022: Voting patterns in Ayer Kuning reveal distinct divide

Detailed results show how greatly voting behaviour is polarised between the Malays and the ethnic minorities

Party flags at Ayer Kuning in the 2022 general election- PSM

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Standing for elections generates some useful data for political parties and analysts.

Our counting agents whom we deployed to almost all the 60-odd voting streams in the Ayer Kuning constituency, brought back the results from all these streams. Some interesting trends can be teased out of these results.

The polling station with the highest proportion of ethnic Malay voters was Kampung Batu Masjid (071/48/05), which has an ethnic breakdown of 95.5% Malay, 2.3% Chinese and 1.5% Indian. The candidates for the state assembly received votes in the following proportions:

Table One: Kampung Batu Masjid (072/48/05)

Stream: Year of birthPSMPHBNPNPej2Total
1: 1945 – 1975143 14.3%152 50.7%103 34.3%2300 (86%)
2: 1975 – 2004242 9.2%171 37.5%242 53.1%1456 (84%)
Total285 (11.2%)3323 (42.7%)345

(45.6%)

3756 (85%)4
  1. Year of birth for voters in this stream
  2. Pej = Pejuang
  3. The percentage of voters in Kg Batu Masjid who voted PH
  4. Voter turnout

Only 11% of the voters in Kampung Batu Masjid voted for Pakatan Harapan while 88% voted for either Barisan Nasional or Perikatan Nasional. This pattern of voting should be contrasted with that observed in Coldstream New Village, where the population is 98.9% ethnic Chinese.

Table Two: Coldstream New Village (072/48/20)

Stream: Year of birth

PSM

PHBNPNPejTotal

(% turnout)

1: 1950 – 195615 6.3%6160 67.2%557

23.9%

4

1.7%

2238

(68%)

2: 1956 – 19728 2.8%218

76.8%

57

20.1%

1

0.4%

284

(81%)

3: 1972 – 19856311

86.6%

41

11.4%

1

0.3%

359

(70%)

4: 1985 – 20046246

85.4%

33

11.4%

3

1%

288

(56%)7

Total35

(3%)

935

(80%)

188

(16.1%)

9

(0.8%)

21,169

(66%)

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5: 67.2% of voters in stream 1 voted PH

6: Interestingly, the meagre support for PSM was greatest among the oldest voters – perhaps they have memories of the Socialist Front that was active in this region of Perak in the 1960s

  1. 56% of the voters listed under the fourth stream turned out to vote

Table 2 reflects the overwhelming support for PH in this Chinese-majority polling station. However, 16% of the voters here voted BN. This means that at least 15% of the Chinese voters here chose BN over the other parties (reasoning – even if all the non-Chinese voters at this station had voted BN, that would give BN only 1.1% of the votes. But BN received 16%).

Support for BN was highest among the oldest voters – those in Stream 1. The fact that the government gave out housing lots to about 100 families in this new village some 30 years ago might be a factor contributing to this electoral support.

There also seems to be total aversion to PN – a stark contrast with Kampung Batu Masjid where PN received the highest votes.

The overall turnout in Kampung Baru Coldstream was only 66% – quite markedly less than the 85% turnout observed in Kampung Batu Masjid.

Apparently, older voters tend to remain loyal to BN while PH and PN seem to be preferred by the younger voters. This is also reflected in the next three tables.

The Sungai Lesong polling station voter breakdown by ethnicity is Malay 82%, Chinese 10%, Indian 6.9% and others 1.2%. The voting by stream is given in the table below:

Table Three: Sungai Lesong National School (072/48/02)

Stream: Year of birthPSMPHBNPNPejTotal
1: 1944 – 1964245

13.8% 8

208

64%

67

20.6%

3325

(72%)

2: 1964 – 19797104

26%

181

45.3%

104

26%

4400

(80%)

3: 1979 – 1992180

23.5%

108

31.7%

150

44%

2341

(68%)9

4: 1992 – 2004583

20.3%

133

32.6%

187

45.8%

408

(78%)

15312

(21.4%)

630

(43.2%)

508

(34.8%)

91,459

(75%)

  1. The percentage of voters in Stream 1 who voted PH
  2. 68% of voters listed in Stream 3 turned out to vote on 19 November 2022

One trend that stands out in the table above is that support for BN declined from 64% among the oldest voters to 32.6% in the youngest stratum of voters while the PN vote showed exactly the opposite pattern rising from 20.6% in Stream 1 to 45.8% in Stream 4. The voters for BN and PN made up about 70% – 85% of the voters for each age group.

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A similar trend can be seen in the following two polling stations, which served the Kampung Simpang Tiga voting district. The ethnic distribution of voters in Kampung Simpang Tiga is 50.1% Malay, 19.6% Chinese, 19% Indian and 19.4% Orang Asli.

Table Four: Bidor National Secondary School (072/48/17 – Kampung Simpang Tiga)

Streams: Year of birthPSMPHBNPNPejTotal

(% turnout)10

1:1942 – 1957358

18.6%

194

62.4%

16.70%4311

(69%)

2: 1957 – 1967590 25.1%199

55.4%

65 18.1%359

(80%)

3: 1967 – 19785163 34.8%169

36%

130 27.7%2469

(72%)

4: 1978 – 19861138 30%156

33.9%

164 35.6%1460

(71%)

5: 1986 – 1993
6: 1993 – 19981135

29.3%

147

31.9%

178 38.6%461

(71%)

7: 1998 – 20041138

28.2%

139

28.4%

211 43.1%1490

(75%)

Note 10: Turnout as a percentage of voters registered in the SPR list for each stream

Table Five: Batang Padang Religious School (071/14/17 – Kampung Simpang Tiga)

StreamPSMPHBNPNPejTotal
1968

24%

179

63.3%

9.5%

27

283
2574

24.7%

166

55.3%

51

17%

4300
311131

32.1%

166

40.7%

96

23.5%

4408
4590

23.2%

197

50.8%

96

24.7%

388
53138

32.2%

164

38.3%

121

28.3%

2428

Insights

Voting in Ayer Kuning, a rural agricultural community, appeared to be largely along ethnic lines with a large proportion of Malay voters (about 88%) voting BN or PN, and a large proportion of non-Malay voters (about 80%) voting PH. This implies that voters all over the country are deeply influenced by the big picture narrative, and they vote for the coalition that they believe is the best for their community. It demonstrates how greatly voting behaviour is polarised between the Malays and the ethnic minorities.

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Support for BN was strongest in Stream 1 – the oldest voters – in all the four polling stations analysed, including the Kampung Baru. PN did better than BN among the younger Malay voters

The turnouts were fairly consistent across the ages in each polling station except for Coldstream New Village, where the turnout for the youngest voters was the lowest. Perhaps a significant number of them were working out-of-town. The turnout out among Malay voters in Kampung Batu Masjid was higher than the Chinese voters in Coldstream New Village. We don’t have enough data to generalise this observation to apply to the whole constituency.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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