The General Election is getting near. Easy to spot when you heard the drums of war on television and newspapers by the ruling government. From a glance, their spirits look very high and blatantly accusing the oppositions which if the oppositions did that, they will be accused of being rude, a pact of evil and unnationalists. But how about the situation now actually? This is just some insights. Things written here are based on my understanding. Comments are welcome.
UMNO is very strong at the moment. Not the whole BN divisions though. But the unity among Malays for UMNO is strengthening. So do the Indians for MIC. While MCA still struggling with their Chinese supports. The Oppositions’ Pakatan looked pretty much disorganized as credits go to PKR which losing general supports due to internal matters like leadership. DAP, however, is still going strong in gaining urban supporters and carefully managed things pretty well despite the lack of monetary funds. Since the past general election, let’s see how things went and going on up until now.
As well all know, the government led by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had gained the best ever BN winning in 2004 and also the worst ever losing in 2008. Generally speaking, his Islamic view was fine initially that acquired a lot of votes during the first election under his leadership but gradually becoming unacceptable for some people that we can already see the result. Non-Muslims generally dislike the idea of Islamic country. Tun Abdullah’s Islamic vision of Islam Hadhari was charming and many Muslim Malays attracted to this. But the oppositions especially PAS were able to manipulate this politically which later on added some salt to this wound when things became haywire among BN parties.
The former Prime Minister of Malaysia tried to make satisfiable conditions towards everyone on his way rather than following what Tun Mahathir did. One of the notable moves was incorporating new bloods within UMNO. It is known to the people that politics are full of old men and women who are hungry for powers and wealth which can be seen to have holding them for all these years. The oppositions were and still the best to have been using young people to attract urban youths or young-adults to vote for them. There we have Khairy Jamaluddin in UMNO, the son-in-law of Tun Abdullah who entered the party. Khairy’s intention was noble, for me. Because there are too many oldfags in the government who do not understand what the young people need. But this is where the failure began for the PM of that time. People, whether they are young or old, are both power and wealth hungers. This led to some uneasiness between seniors and new bloods within the party.
Surely, there are many more things that we can point out like another infamous move by releasing Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim from the ISA but enough to say that these made Tun Mahathir to denounce Tun Abdullah’s premiership as he found things went wrong in the country by his opinions. He leaved the party on the demand that Tun Abdullah to step down as PM so that he will rejoin it later which, as we know, happened as the power transitioned to Dato’ Seri Najib Abdul Razak. Why Tun Mahathir quit? There was a horrific thought at that time for the government if they failed to contain Anwar Ibrahim’s influences, BN will no longer able to rule. By not becoming a member of UMNO, charges that Anwar may put upon him will be lessen or maybe some of it might not be able to charge on because of… well, laws. People with the knowledge of laws should understand this better. This is just a view from a side. Others might view it differently.
Under Najib Abdul Razak, things became a little bit better for the government. Although in my opinion, Tun Abdullah himself was a good administrator just like Najib and as well as Tun Mahathir. Only that they have different opinions or rather, vision, on how to make things better. Recently Tun Abdullah said that majority of the people didn’t understand what actually Islam Hadhari was. More like he failed to make people understand. But that’s the past. After Najib took the power, he introduced many things to please people. It looks cheap but they’re working. A lot of funds and incentives were given to minor things. Cheap houses for the poor at rural areas (my cousin application was simply granted and her family got their own new house at kampung), post-graduate studies fund, cheaper restaurant and grocery shops, etc. It’s just a political motive act yet enough to show to the outsiders what they’re actually giving to the people. On the grander side of international, Najib went to several countries to gain more strategic relationship for the economy and we saw some improvements which were better than previously. But it wasn’t totally because of his actions, rather several countries with bigger economy had their economic downturn especially United States, Japan and United Kingdom. At the time of writing, Japan and the United States are gaining their economy back which we can see how Japanese Yen suddenly became so powerful despite having a disastrous Tsunami earlier this year.
The 1Malaysia concept that brought by Najib isn’t something like a new thing. Just a gimmick to gain supports in this multi racial society of the country. Just like the people in the Borneo said that they have already understand the concept of multi-racial society of Malaysia and 1Malaysia concept seemed to be unnecessary. Redundant, perhaps. But the effect is large. As Najib able to gain more Malay supports, it proved to be a problem to the oppositions. In Pakatan Rakyat, DAP relies on PAS and PKR to gain Malay supports. To follow up with DAP manifesto, PAS changed their direction towards ‘negara kebajikan‘ or welfare state. Why Dato’ Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat suddenly brought up Islamic law of Hudud back? Because they are realizing that they lost their supports towards Malays who are mostly Muslims. The losing of supports wasn’t totally because of PAS. Anwar failures to bring his promises up were one of the major matter that affecting the supports. His promises to take over Malaysia seemed to be a fall through. And it was not only once.
Whether you are a hardcore supporter of any of them or maybe even a bystander, people change their choices upon who ever do the better in fulfilling their needs. Some people are fairly happy now when they can download movies faster when they got Unifi. This is just a few things. Hey, don’t look at me for making that unimportant point about downloading movies like that. That’s what all people do. When the government blocked several website due to illegal downloading, people were mad like hell. What government did was pretty sublime (at least towards Intellectual Property holders) but in return, people were using freedom of speech against that move. Anyway, while UMNO managed to get the Malay supports back, the Chinese supports remain at the hands of DAP. This is basically what we can see now. As the generation after independence, friendship and unity among different races in the country is fairly fine. The only thing that make things different were the old guys. The old people who kept talking about racial differences among the people. I see some old people back in kampung smirking whenever younger kids making friends with Chinese, for instance. I knew, this old people had hard times in their days especially being harassed by Chinese Communists back then. That was the old times, old times.
Another reason why Chinese supports with MCA is low was due to DAP doing good in their current turfs. Lim Guan Eng, for instance, stays firm to his words when he talked about reducing costs for the better good. The Chief Minister of Penang took low-cost Air Asia for travelling despite being, well, a Chief Minister. Some people might seen him as someone who makes unnecessary remarks but the truth is, he is just like Khairy Jamaluddin, the new bloods for current politics of Malaysia. Despite having low budgets and funds, the oppositions, especially DAP, were still able to do things right. They’re being transparent on what income that they get from the taxes and show what they do with the money. Although their systems are pretty slow, like when opening some tenders as it took a lot of time to select the best and always with affordable solutions, it seemed to be fair by everyone. That’s what we can see from the surface of the party. Although in most cases, racial stuffs have always being chipped in between Pakatan Rakyat’s parties. Pretty much the same as BN only that BN is always larger when it comes to Malay things.
Of all, the main subject of winning the election now is gaining Malay supports who are the majority of the citizens in Malaysia. DAP and MCA knew that they have to rely on their allies for gaining better positions. Which is why DAP still put Anwar as the prime leader for Pakatan Rakyat as they certainly can’t stand on their own. And PAS is still not about Islam when they don’t have other candidates than Malay who hold positions in the party. In my prediction based on current situation, BN will have a bigger chances to win big in the upcoming election which will be held in March (the past elections always around March in 4 years). Furthermore, Tun Mahathir has recently approved Najib’s leadership for all these years which make him having more supports and trust. If things going smoothly for BN, Kelantan and Kedah will fall into their hands. Especially when they kept talking about the bad sides of Kelantan under PAS for all these years. Yet, the future of Selangor and Perak are still uncertain. Although I pretty much assume Selangor will still be in the hands of PKR or rather, Pakatan Rakyat. Penang will never be released from the hands of DAP again.
That’s all about my thoughts through the current situation.