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    Was Harapan really drowned by a 'Malay tsunami' in Semenyih?

    (Updated )

    As the dust settles on the Semenyih by-election, some Pakatan Harapan leaders are beginning to point fingers at what they believe to be the root cause of the coalition's defeat.

    Yesterday, PKR's Batu Uban assemblyperson A Kumaresan called for Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be immediately replaced as prime minister.

    Negeri Sembilan Bersatu chief Rais Yatim blamed the loss on anti-DAP sentiment instead, and urged the party to "soften" its image.

    Pundits, meanwhile, declared that a "mini-Malay tsunami" turned against Harapan in Semenyih.

    Non-Malay support for Harapan remained largely intact albeit a lower turnout, which is a consistent trend in all by-elections.

    But have Malay voters really abandoned the coalition that swept to federal power just under 10 months ago?

    At face value, this may seem to be the case. In certain Malay-supermajority (those over 75 percent Malay) polling districts in Semenyih, BN won more than 70 percent of votes.

    However, this was less about voters turning away from Harapan in droves than it was about them not being supporters in the first place.

    Based on Malaysiakini's analysis of 15 Malay-supermajority polling districts (those over 75 percent Malay), Harapan's support declined in 12, by 0.6 percent to 13.7 percent.

    Interestingly, Harapan improved or retained its support in three of these districts – Sesapan Batu Rembau (+2.7 percent), Hulu Semenyih (+0.7 percent) and Kampung Tanjong (+0.2 percent)...

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