Posts Tagged 'KT BY-Election'

Influence of PAS’ win in KT over Pensiangan

With the opposition PAS’ commendable win in the Kuala Terengganu by-election, Pensiangan becomes the next focus of political attention by Malaysians who care about the intriguing political development taking place in the country since the last 12th March 2008 general election.

Indeed, if there were a need for a by-election in Pensiangan, by convention, it should be the President of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Tan Joseph Kurup who would be most likely to be nominated as the BN candidate to stand against the opposition parties. I am saying parties in the plural because apart from PKR, other opposition parties like the SAPP and independents could be joining the fray too.

As it is now, Danny Andipai is the only identified candidate to stand for PKR since Dr. Jeffrey had earlier removed his name from the list of potential PKR candidates. However, rumour has it that his foot soldiers are still pushing all out for their boss to reconsider as they believe the prospect of winning is very good to the extent of saying that the inexperienced Andipai might not stand a chance against the onslaught of BN oil-laced election machinery. What more when Andipai has got a very shallow pocket to face the by-election as the chances of getting sufficient election fund from Central PKR are basically in doubt. I may be wrong here as PKR vis a vis Pakatan Rakyat has formed 5 state governments in Peninsular Malaysia.

On the other hand, the former MP of Pensiangan, Datuk Bernard J Maraat is also rumoured to be very keen to contest as an Independent, although, at this point in time, he is still a PBS member eventhough his Liawan PBS Division had been indefinitely suspended by the party. Rumour has it that he has already instructed his foot soldiers to do the groundwork in preparation for the by-election. It was, I think purposely leaked from among his inner circle of trusted lieutenants to test the water that his candidacy would be a definite YES if and only if Tan Sri Kurup should be the BN candidate in the by-election. However, rumour has it also that he would not go forward but would instead pull all his weight to support BN if a certain personality who happened to be his previous election rival were to be chosen as the BN candidate.

Be as it may, I truly believe the opposition’s win in Kuala Terengganu would generate greater influence on the Pensiangan voters in choosing their next MP. Pakatan Rakyat would have to play the mind game with the people here as, in terms of providing instant development, they are incapable of doing it there and then as they are neither the state government nor the ruling party in Putrajaya.

But mind game is a very effective tool nowadays. PKR would be trumpeting for the Pensiangan people to emulate the voters’ wisdom in Kuala Terengganu that despite BN’s promises of more development, big increases in federal funding as compared to other states and its good choice of a very capable candidate, the voters of KT still voted for the opposition with even a bigger majority.

In their quest for votes, PKR would be making allegation that after 51 years of being the government, the BN leadership especially UMNO have grown aloof, elitists and quite detached from the ordinary people on the ground. They would also be saying that BN leaders should earn the peoples’ respect and be grateful to the people instead of the other way round.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders like Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and of course, SAPP president, Datuk Yong Teck Lee are veteran politicians who are very well versed with playing the mind game to psychologically influence the voters. I would not be surprised if populist issues like land acquisition by big private companies and the burning of native huts in forest reserve lands are to be inflamed like wild fires to show the state government’s inhuman treatment of the natives as compared to illegal immigrants from Pulau Gaya and other places in Kota Kinabalu who were being well-treated and given decent houses to live in by the state government.

But to many, as in Kuala Terengganu, it finally boiled down to the personality of the respective candidates. Who they can trust? who they can get along with? who they can bear with? whose presence they can tolerate? whose words of comfort and promises they can believe? who they can easily meet and discuss with? whether he is all ears when they are talking to him of their problems? whether he has the same background as them to enable him to intergrate with their life styles and finally whether he would have the same wavelength as them and be able to speak aloud their inner thoughts of cry for help from the clutches of poverty.

I believe these are the fundamental qualities which the voters are looking for in the respective candidates. And I further believe that for BN to counter the mind game that would be perpetrated by the opposition parties in the by-election, it has to give ample airtime to them so that they can in turn tell the voters what sort of development they have done so far to the people since the last general election, which I believe is very negligble, and in so doing, BN would have the opportunity to counter attack the opposition rhetorics by making comparasion of who has the greatest ability and promises fulfilled in the very short time since the last general election. Only by doing this, BN would be able to decamouflage the real meaning of opposition politics to the people of Pensiangan.

Cheers!

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PAS won big in Kuala Terengganu By-Election

The winning PAS candidate

The winning PAS candidate in green Batik

PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut won big in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat by-election. He polled 32,883 votes to Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh’s 30,252 votes for a majority 2,631 win. While the Independent candidate Azharuddin Mamat obtained only 193 votes. There were 665 spoilt votes.

With this latest victory, the Opposition is now one seat nearer to its previous attempt of trying to oust and form the next federal government. They are presently controlling 82 seats plus 2 opposition leaning seats from SAPP in Parliament while BN has 137 seats. ( I consider Ibrahim Ali’s independence as suspect as he could be on either side of the divide going by his previous record of speeches in Parliament) However, realistically speaking, it is my personal opinion that it would not materialise for the rest of the remaining lives of the present Parliament especially so, when we are going to witness the changing of the guard at Putrajaya in March. I believe with YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak at the helm, the present BN MPs should be rock solid in their belief the new leadership would be able to introduce new measures namely,

(1) to check the decline of BN support among the Malaysian voters;
(2) to attract those who had “temporarily” shifted their support to the opposition in the last general election;
(3) to attract the younger generation of voters who might have been, by accident or by their own free will, attracted to the opposition; and
(4) to cure open wounds inflicted against fellow BN components parties by certain overlord in BN.

But, what went wrong for BN? This seems to be the most popular question asked by many political analysis including me. They were saying that in the KT campaign, BN had among others:-

(1) projected its very good track record of developing the state of Terengganu since it was captured from the opposition in the 2004 general election;
(2) promised to increase more federal funding than other states in West Malaysia since it is an oil producing state; and
(3) its BN candidate who is an UMNO division head would be reappointed to his old job as a Deputy Minister if he were to win the by-election.

Despite all the above, BN not only failed to retain KT but lost by a bigger margin. But to me, all is not lost. To lose a by-election is quite normal and prevalent in a free democracy. Likewise, it is also normal for the voters to return the seat to the other party comes the next general election. Afterall, after licking its wound, I am confident that BN will once again rise to the occassion provided always, the new leadership is prepared to introduce and implement new measures as I have suggested aforesaid.

Before ending this post, I would just like to highlight that as the parties’ candidates were cruising on their final laps to the finish line. Rumour has it that it was more of a personality clash of the candidates than anything else. Folks, I let you be the Judge and Jury.

Be as it may, the next important question is, to what degree of influence, PAS’ win in Kuala Terengganu, has on the Pensiangan voters, in the event of a by-election should Tan Sri Kurup failed in his appeal at the Federal Court?? Now that Pas had won big today, I stand to be corrected in my perception posted here on the 7th January 2009.

Cheers!


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