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anakbukitgantang says


Bagan Pinang- vote for normalcy

Written by Sakmongkol on 8:46 AM

All UMNO needs now is to hand PR its first defeat. It will break them. It seems to me, the PR people are bringing up 1001 excuses to rationalize their coming defeat. Why should it bother them who UMNO chooses as candidate in this Bagan Pinang election? The PR people will still have to contend with the BN machinery. So why the noise about insisting the postal voters be given a fair 'space' to vote?

Because the PR people know that they have won and can win only in a chaotic environment. When UMNO was facing their own internal upheavals, the PR won up to 82 seats. Otherwise how would anyone explain the election of a joker like Gwo Burne whose only fame was because he recorded the conversation of a lawyer? Similarly there were many others who, under normal circumstances, don't stand a rat's ass of a chance to get elected, won. PKR for that matter may have been surprised themselves by the outcome of the general elections. They won simply because the political climate was abnormal. They won because UMNO weakens itself with so many ills and not because PR or PKR offered the public any substantive agenda. Any agenda they have, they make them up as they go along.

But once things get back to normalcy, PKR starts to get panicky. This is what the situation in Bagan Pinang represents. Things are getting back to normalcy. Postal voters represent a more stable political state of affairs. Soldiers and police don't get politicized 24/7- they are free from politics allowing them to pursue a normal life. This is the thing that is actually worrying Pakatan- the existence of a large pool of postal voters introduces a new element in the political situation- order as opposed to chaos. PR wins in chaotic conditions; it will lose when things get back to normal.

But there is one important proviso. I hoped that UMNO is conscious of the messages it got after being licked 8 times. If UMNO people go on behaving they are God's gift to Malaysia and relapse to its old debilitating habits, then Bagan Pinang can also prove to be its harbinger of death.

What do the PR people do? So, PR agitates for a change in the rules of the game. It must simulate uneasiness and unrest. Dig up something. That something is postal voting. It must be made out as something evil devised by UMNO.

Postal voting isn't a peculiar practice in Malaysia nor is it unique for Bagan Pinang. That's immaterial- it must be made out as something sinister. It disembowels public opinion, turn them against the government of the day, making out postal voting as something manufactured by the ruling government to disenfranchise the people. There must be something underhanded if soldiers vote for the ruling government. The truth is, if more military voters voted for the government- they are voting what they see as someone who is bringing back normalcy. The public can't tolerate an incessant stream of by elections preventing them from leading a normal life.

Suppose the normalcy that is found within the postal voting community affects also the mood of non postal voters- the ordinary general voting public. It will become a re-learning curve for the public; that they must recapture their normal way of life by voting in a government that proposes to bring order and structure. Bagan Pinang will be a start.

This coming win by BN in Bagan Pinang will expose the PR as a party which thrives only under abnormal conditions and that their extensive win at the 12th General Elections was just an aberration. This coming by elections, the Bagan Pinang folks are voting for normalcy. That's why they are voting BN.

There are 14,000 voters in Bagan Pinang. During the last outing the late BN candidate took a 2000 vote majority. In the 2008 elections the BN candidate got 6430 votes against PAS who obtained 4097. He had a majority of 2333.

Pas improved its performance from 1556 to 4097 votes. That's an increase of 2.6 times. For 4 years, between 2004-2008, they managed to convince another 2 for every one fellow they had, to subscribe to PAS's cause. UMNO managed to improve from 5967 to 6430. That's an increase by 1.08 times. Meaning they have succeeded to get another 1 person to the existing one to convert to UMNO. PAS therefore assumes that this surge in support is indicator of their acceptance. It forgets that UMNO did too, though by a smaller margin. People still believed in UMNO.

It would however be a mistake to infer from the PAS figures, that more people subscribed to their cause because they BELIEVED in PAS's intrinsic agenda. PAS knows it has done nothing other than being a fortunate beneficiary of UMNO's own implosion. Hence, PAS's improved showing from 1500 votes to 4000 votes was at best a qualified performance. It wasn't obtained through PAS's intrinsic accomplishments- they have done nothing there. They were just there at the right time and the right place.

PAS knows this but they want to convince their partners they can convert more people to their cause. They think they can convert another 2.6 times the previous votes they got. They want to get another 4000 votes and those votes they can get only from the army votes. They seem to be cocksure they can secure these votes and they are clamoring for many things regarding the postal votes. PAS is banking on winning if it can get the army guys to vote like civilians.

I believe UMNO will sort out its candidate. I am certain it will not be Isa Samad and that will neutralize the sting from the opposition. If any other candidate than Isa is chosen, more so if Najib Isa is, the Pakatan people will not be able to overexploit the issue. The Keadilan and DAP practices the same style of dynastic politics that UMNO stands accused.

How does that affect PAS? As one commentator said in my blog, he is feeling lucky that his party (PAS) doesn't practice this kind of dynastic politics. It affects PAS because PAS is associated with the group that practices them. PAS faces the same affliction they accuse UMNO of- that by being an integral part of a larger group, it falls prey to the old Malay adage- 'one buffalo covered with mud, will also cause others to get strewn with mud'.

PAS shouldn't be swell-headed into thinking they improved in Bagan Pinang in the last election as a result of their own efforts. They benefited from (1) the general disapproval of the rakyat of the government (2) because they also benefited by being part of the PR team. On its own, PAS has nothing to offer other that the usual ammunition of religious sanctions. These things don't bring food to the table. Pragmatic practical ideas and temporal ideas do. Normalcy does.

Soldiers who vote are not mere putty you know, malleable and easily shaped into submission. Despite being under the 'regime' of postal voting where many voted for the government, many too voted against the government. Therefore you can't say, that because postal votes are handled the way they have always been, the votes are sure to go to the BN. The BN foot soldiers are facing the same barriers as the opposition does. They can't go into army camps to campaign. How much can one defense minister accomplish?

This postal voting issue is just an excuse offered ahead by PAS to blame UMNO for its loss.

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