February 2, 2009
A series of unbelievable events have turned the table on an otherwise steady BN, particularly Umno. Starting with the Hindraf movement (outlawed in 2008 ) then followed by Bersih in late 2007, they were generally accepted as a precursor to a tide turning 12th General Election in 8 March 2008. The BN conceded defeat in 5 states (Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor) and KL Federal Territory, the richest and most developed states in Malaysia.
The MIC and Gerakan were virtually wiped out with their top leaders losing their seats. The MCA did a little better but were left wondering what happened when they lost so badly in that election. Umno was left hanging in the balance but Sarawak BN came to the rescue and delivered all the seats but one. BN lost its 2/3 number of seats in the Parliament.
Shortly thereafter came the expected loss in Pematang Pauh by-elections to Anwar. The next by-elections last month in Kuala Terengganu was an unexpected loss that dealt a major blow to BN and Umno when they lost even after throwing in a phenomenal amount of Federal monies as well as conceding the control of oil royalties back to the state. The result of that by-election was very unexpected to Umno especially they were controlling the seat for two terms.
While the dust in KT was settling,
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January 18, 2009
As the dust settles, there’s a lot of soul searching and possibly blaming that is going on amongst the BN and Umno leadership. At the same time, PAS and other Pakatan Rakyat parties are on a celebratory mood going into a summit. Not forgetting the bloggers and other non-political personalities.
We shall be reading a lot of commentaries from various political analysts both at home and abroad and we can be sure they are all in general consensus of why this has happened.
It doesn’t take an expert to tell what really happened. The signal was clear from last year’s General Election as well as the Pematang Pauh by-election. But what did the ruling front do about this? Blame Pak Lah and force him out of office. Now with this loss, who else is to be blamed. Tun M still insists the blame to be on Pak Lah.
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January 17, 2009
Today is KT voting day and many have come out to vote since 8:00 am. By mid-day today, it was reported that 42% has already voted and the EC expects a very high turnout for this affair. After 12 days of campaigning, the voters decide at the ballot boxes. Let’s see what happens through this day with regular updates.
1:19 pm – Report that 42% already casted their votes (read here)
5:46 pm – Seems total voter turnout may not exceed 80% and less than last March
9:30 pm – Results announced – PAS wins!
Najib is probably looking at a definite win here to demonstrate the acceptance of his abilities to be the next Umno President and eventually the PM. The Umno and BN machinery worked overtime and pulling out all stops to ensure a clear win. Pak Lah pushed the campaign for what may possibly be his last as PM.
The opposition has put up a tremendous campaign which pales against the might of Umno and BN but the effectiveness and acceptance by the various communities along the way have been very positive. PAS, PKR and DAP moved all their might here as in Pematang Pauh with the online bloggers support and a surprising supporter in Zaid. They are pushing for a definite win to show that the people’s desire for a change is continuing even in KT.
Now, the day of reckoning arrives and the effects of KT will soon be known and felt across the country.
Now the results…
More on how it turned out.
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January 15, 2009
To many people, the KT by-election may have little impact on the overall political scenario of Malaysia. After all, 1 more seat to Pakatan Rakyat will not topple the BN Government. And if BN wins this seat, it may not do much to prove that the so-called “Change” trend is stopping.
There are those that say that this is a proxy war between Najib and Anwar. As for Pak Lah, he’s supposedly leaving anyway and whatever he leaves behind will become Najib’s baby, for better or worse. This is at best the most impactful opinion.
But when you see the 8,000 strong police force in KT and first time in the history of any by-election and first time ever in KT, there must be something else brewing. It is very expensive to post such a large contingent of personnel to this quiet city and to monitor an event which the Election Commission proclaimed as the least problem too.
Why are there so many police personnel in KT to begin with?
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January 7, 2009
January 5 was nomination day and we now have 3 candidates – Umno, PAS and Independent. What seems to be interesting is the way reporting was done to estimate the number of supporters from each camp.
The Star and even The Malaysian Insider quoted a police spokesperson who said that the police estimated about 30,000 BN supporters and 15,000 PAS supporters. Strangely, their reporters were there to cover the story and yet they never quoted their first hand coverage. Is there an intent to skew and mislead their readers on the facts of the matter?
Evidently, photos don’t lie, or do they? Certainly, although a picture paints a thousand words, it can be made to say anything you want. For now, we shall leave the judgment to you to conclude from the photos taken at KT during the nomination period courtesy of Haris Ibrahim and Bernard Khoo.
Pakatan Rakyat Supporters for PAS Candidate
Barisan Nasional's Supporters for Umno Candidate
P/S Do not be fooled for a even a minute that such photos say that PAS will win. This merely shows a formidable support for the Opposition very similar to the Pematang Pauh nomination day scenario. And that’s all to it! Campaigning has just begun.
January 5, 2009
January 17 is the next important date for Malaysians. The Kuala Trengganu (KT) by-election has turned out to be another mother of by-elections so to speak. The Parliamentary seat is now up for grabs and PAS has Abdul Wahid Endut against Umno’s Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.
However, in light of the bigger picture, it is Pakatan Rakyat‘s advisor Anwar Ibrahim verses Barisan Nasional‘s Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak. This is a classic clash of the giants and much is at stake. It is a Parliamentary seat as well as a moral victory for whichever party that wins it. It may herald a new watershed of events and become a growing force of disenchantment against the Government or it can become a major stumbling block to a vision of replacing the Government.
Either way, this by-election has all the makings of a historic event.
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