THE BN campaign will replicate the well-know strategy of the past. Over the next few days, there will be an exodus of Pakatan members and officials migrating to the Barisan Nasional in a widely publicised event.
Suddenly, we will witness the spectacle of newly awakened members of the Opposition coming out in droves from the Pakatan and pledging their support for the BN. It is a mystery that these members do not wake up when there are no by-elections. They remain in hibernation in between elections!!
Of course, everyone suspects that inducements have a way of persuading them to discard their oft-repeated principles and ethics. One is astounded at how easily they switch sides and praise those they had formerly condemned to eternity.
Then there will also be the high drama of one or more elected representatives abandoning the mandate of the voters and betraying their trust shamelessly and declaring their new status as Independents!
The last minute bribery will be some handouts to the residents of the long houses. Billions of ringgit will be promised on condition that the BN candidate is elected on 16 May 2010.
But, let's remember that the so-called concerns for the locals and their welfare is because of the presence of the Opposition. If the Sibu by-election had been returned to the BN uncontested, Sibu residents would not have received anything. No BN leader would have bothered to drop by to ask the locals what their problems are; no one would have visited them to discover their deplorable situation. The prime minister would not have made himself available to spend time with them.
The simple truth is that whatever they get or whatever they are promised, they owe it to the Opposition.
P RAMAKRISHNAN, president of Aliran, has seen it all and knows what to expect in by-elections.
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