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Al-Fatihah

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Post election analysis

A lot have been said about the aftermath of the 12th general election. People have came out with various theory as to why BN suffered such a big losses, the worst ever in the coalition’s history since its formation prior to Independence Day. Even on Monday, like in any other places, in my office, we were talking about this. While we were talking on serious note about the result, there were also few jokes made to make us feel better. Well, after all, the result shocked everybody including the opposition. While the BN coalition did not expect to suffer such big losses, the opposition on the other hand did not expect to enjoy such big victories. Before election, BN was so confident is wresting Kelantan from PAS. That was pre-election. However, post-election, not only BN failed to wrest Kelantan from PAS, they also lost Penang, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur for that matter to opposition. Well, I do not think I have to touch much on that, as it is a judicial notice (it goes without saying).

Like anyone else, I have also been coming up with my own theory as to why the election results came out in the most unexpected manner. I have been thinking about this since Saturday night but because so many things that came to my mind, I just do not know where to start. So, finally, I made up my mind and these are, for me, the contributing factors that led to the dismal performance of BN during the 12th general election.

A lot of people said that Malaysians have spoken. Yes, I do agree but why Malaysians spoken in that manner. I personally do not think that it is because majority Malaysians supports the opposition but rather majority Malaysians was unhappy with Pak Lah’s government. So, at the end, they used their voting power to wake Pak Lah up. So, it is not that they want to give their votes to the opposition but they do not want their vote to go to BN. What choice do they have? Vote for the opposition. I think the current situation is not really that bad for BN to restore the rakyat confidence in them. They just need to buck up and show to the rakyat that BN is really care for them. BN needs to really listen to the rakyat’s voice, which has been unheard for the past four years. If they can do that for the next four years, I do not see why they can’t repossess the five states plus one FT from the opposition in the next coming general election. It is different if the rakyat really support the opposition. Then, BN has an uphill task to do, as not only they need to prove their relevance in Malaysia but also they need to create unhappiness among the rakyat towards the opposition, which for all intent and purposes, is actually not within their control.

What are then the factors that cause unhappiness among the rakyat towards BN, their government for the past 51 years? There are a lot and among those: -

KJ Factor
This, to me is the most contributing factors. When Pak Lah took over from Tun Mahathir, the rakyat regarded him as Mr. Nice Guy and with his clean image he managed to lead BN to the most successful victory for BN in the 11th general election. The best ever, since the formation of the coalition more than 50 years ago. However, people started to talk about him (not in a positive manner) when KJ was made popular by being elected as the No. 2 in UMNO youth movement. Though Pak Lah and KJ said that it was the grassroots who wanted KJ to be the No. 2, it is not easy to fool the rakyat. We all know nobody dares to tell Pak Lah that they do not want KJ, as by doing so, it would mean the end of their political career. So, it is actually Pak Lah who is supposed to tell KJ not to contest for the No. 2 post. Despite that, Pak Lah did nothing. Who was KJ before Pak Lah became our PM? I did not know KJ then and I believe a lot of people out there were in the same boat with me. Suddenly everybody wants KJ. Don’t you think it is weird? In politics, especially in Malaysia, the party leaders have to show support of what their president is doing, whether it is the right or wrong thing to do. No one dares to go against their leaders. Not even Anwar Ibrahim when he was the DPM (only now that he makes the noise). From that moment (KJ became No. 2 in UMNO youth wing), rakyat’s confidence towards Pak Lah has started to erode, as rakyat believe that KJ is the de facto PM of Malaysia. A lot of people have been talking about this and Pak Lah knew it. But he lets his son in law to remain to be seen to be in power. So, who’s fault? In fact, Pak Lah made another blunder when KJ was allowed to contest in Rembau. What’s wrong with the then incumbent? After all, the then incumbent for Rembau Parliament, Datuk Firdaus Mohd Rom Harun won with a huge majority of 18,656 votes in 2004. The reason given was because KJ is No. 2 in UMNO youth wing. Do you think rakyat believe in that? Or is it the personal request from KJ or the instruction from Pak Lah? I bet the rakyat would believe the latter than the former. After all, if we look at KJ’s majority, which was ONLY 5,746 votes as compared to the then incumbent who recorded 18,656 mojority, it is a very clear message to KJ and Pak Lah that KJ is actually not welcomed in Rembau. The rakyat does not want KJ. Full stop.

With such big losses for BN, Pak Lah said he has learnt the lesson. However, to me, that is not the case if Pak Lah appointed KJ into his cabinet whether as full ministers or otherwise. He will make another blunder and we, as the rakyat needs to put a stop to this practice and in the end, the rakyat will suffer (for choosing the opposition). To have KJ in Pak Lah’s cabinet is a, to borrow the words of Chandra Muzaffar, an unmitigating disaster for Malaysia.

2004 Factor
After recording the biggest win ever for BN in 2004, the BN government proudly said that there were given big mandate by the rakyat. To certain extent, I do agree with the statement. However, with the big mandate from the rakyat, Pak Lah’s government seems to be arrogance in one way or another. They got distracted with such a big mandate. They thought they can do whatever they wanted to do. They heard what the rakyat said but they never listen.

Look at how Nazri Aziz spoken. Most of the times, he talked rubbish in his arrogance manner and there is nothing Pak Lah did about it. He was allowed to keep on talking. The same goes to the untouchable but in the end, disposable Uncle Sam (Samy Vellu). Last but not least, KJ of course. He looks arrogance when he talks. Not to forget is Khir Toyo. Look at how he handled the environment issue in Selangor. Look also at how he handled the Dto’ Zakaria’s case. Both were badly handled. But who could correct him? No one.

They must remember that they were actually appointed by the rakyat. They knew this but the pretend not to be aware about it. They do not listen to rakyat. They only listen to their own instinct and greed. In the end, what choice do they give to the rakyat, other than to vote them out?

Talking about the arrogance of BN leaders, this was further proven when some of them like Uncle Sam and Khir Toyo (I hope I spell his father’s name correctly…did I leave the letter L”?) lost in the election. They were very frustrated. They were the sore losers. They were so arrogant. They can’t accept the defeat. They can’t accept democracy though they have been upholding the system before. In the same note, I must say that I respect Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and Dr Awang Adek, who conceded the losses in the most respected way.

Hindraf Factor
The illegal Hindraf rally caused a big blow to MIC directly and BN indirectly. The plight of the Indians through Hindraf shows that MIC and the government have not done enough for the Indian community. Whether it is true or not, that is different issue. When people are not happy with BN leadership on many issues, they would be easily influenced to believe anything that is against the government and that is actually happen in Hindraf case. People are not happy with BN and suddenly Hindraf came into the picture with a very interesting message, what do you think the Indian community will do? After all, they also were not happy with Uncle Sam (though Uncle Sam always said that the Indian community is with the MIC…I tell you that is a bluff).

Samy Velly has been at the helm for the past 30 years or may be close to it, which means almost half of his age. Even if you have done much for the community, somehow or rather people will get bored with you. Further, the way he speaks…oh my God!!! So arrogance and untouchable but in the end disposable. Anybody goes against him will feel the pain. He thought he was so powerful. But he is not. A lot of people told him to step down but he refused as he claimed that the Indian community still want him to lead them without him knowing that most if not every Indian and Malaysian wants him to give way to other leaders. So, when he refused to step down, people use their voting power to let him go. Not only him but other MIC leaders as well. After all, that was his own wish i.e. to step down when the Indian community want him to step down. It is just that he stepped down in the most ungraceful manner.

Dr. M Factor
I must admit that though he is no longer in power, his influence is till there. Everywhere. People are still listening to him. So, when Dr. M attacked Pak Lah on the latter’s administration and the involvement of KJ, people tend to believe Dr. M than Pak Lah because if we were to compare between the two of them, I would say that Dr. M’s credibility as a leader is far above Pak Lah’s. While it is not fair to compare Pak Lah with his predecessor, but people will still do that.

So, when rakyat listen more to what Tun said, their confidence in Pak Lah as their leader, which has eroded became worst.

Candidacy Factor
It is another big hu ha for BN in naming their candidates. Look at what happened in Perlis. When rumours spread out that Shahidan will not be the next MB for Perlis, BN supporters started to torn down BN’s flags and sprayed Pak Lah’s posters in red paint.

Rakyat are not happy with certain candidates. Kayveas, for example, he was asked by either MCA or Gerakan, I can’t remember, to return the seat to them and asked Kayveas to contest somewhere. But Kayveas insisted to contest in Taiping and Pak Lah allowed it to happen though the supporters of the party asking for the return of the seat had vowed to go against Kayveas. So, I do not really surprise when Kayveas lost his seat.

A lot of seats, be it state or parliament, we could see father gave way to their children. Lim Keng Yeik gave way to Si Pin, Chua Soi Lek gave way to his son, Dato’ Zakaria of Port Klang (arwah) gave way to his daughter in law and few others. Except for Chua Soi Lek’s son who won the election (because he contested in Johor), the other two lost their election. The way they did it looks as if there was no other suitable or more credible candidate to contest other then their children. They wanted to create legacy and people are not happy. Look at What Dato’ Zakaria did. He submitted his name for Port Klang, followed by his son and daughter in law as the substitute candidates. In the end, his daughter in law, Roslinda was nominated. It was a clear cut legacy. If he was not selected, then he will make sure his son gets it and if his son does not, his daughter in law then. And it works. But in the end, she lost in her first bid. She may be a good candidate but people looked at it in different way.

On another note, the naming of Tengku Adenan as candidate to contest in Putrajaya also, I think is a big blow to BN. Whether he is clean or not is not the issue but as I said earlier, he needs to be seen as clean. His name was implicated in Lingam’s inquiry on the appointment of judges. His answers during the proceeding were far from convincing. Even I think my ten years old nephew can give better answers. And yet he was nominated. Though he won in Putrajaya, the effect can be somewhere else.

Also the nomination of KJ, as I discussed earlier.

The rakyat’s unhappiness on the candidacy has led them to give their vote to the opposition.

Islam Hadhari Factor
What is Islam Hadhari? I do not know. I came from Islamic school and based o what I studied, there is only one Islam, the one that was brought by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). BN leaders have been talking about Islam Hadhari but I bet, if we were to ask any ministers about Islam Hadhari, most if not all of them cannot talk on the subject matter. If they tak, they are actually bluffing. After all, they are politicians. That is their specialty.

What difference Islam n Malaysia per and post Islam Hadhari. I would say, apart from the perkampungan Hadhari, there is none. So, Pak Lah is using the Islam Hadhari concept to show his Islamic image. At first people do believe in him. That belief and trust then started to erode. A very simple question for something very basic in Islam. How many of the muslim ministers’ wife are wearing tudung? Not only they do not wear tudung, there are some or at least one, who always berkemban. Is that hadhari? I mean, if they cannot control their wife for the basic thing in Islam, forget about Islam Hadhari. After all, what is Islam Hadhari?

Other Factors
Abuse of power among BN leaders. Again, the most notorious one is the case of Dato’ Zakaria. Remember of his mansion? Remember of him not paying his taxes to local authority for ten years? Remember of the court case against him by the Company Commission, which was later withdrawn? Remember of his illegal sate stall? The best part was he escaped.

Remember the then Jasin MP who fought for his own cause in Parliament? He was then known as “close one eye MP”. Simply because he gave unlawful instruction, which amounted to abuse of power to the customs and excise department. He escaped.

EC Factors
Remember the two blunders by EC just before the election? I mean the indelible ink and the stamping issues? People has not only lost confidence in the EC, but it can also be seen as the dirty tactics employed by BN to win the election in the dirty way.

There are a lot of factors that contributed to the worst performance for BN in Malaysia’s election history. In 1999, there was one major issue i.e. the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim. People were so angry with Dr. But then BN still managed to win 2/3 majority. This year, there were no really major issues but the so called not major issues when combined together is actually bigger than the one that BN had in 1999

So for Pak Lah, it is either he steps down or remain in power and listen…I mean really listen to the rakyat. If he cannot do any one of those, believe me, BN will disappear from local politics in the next coming general election. Pak La said that his cabinet will be the rakyat’s cabinet. Let me tell you, rakyat’s cabinet is a cabinet without KJ, not even his influence.

Let us see the new cabinet line up, where it is really what the rakyat want?

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