Saturday, November 6, 2010
So how can Linda's 6,359 be possible? Is it the BN media spreading its usual mis-information, fully aided by the Najib-APCO public relations machinery? Fair or not, that assumption is actually not far off the mark because a lot is at stake.
More than ever Prime Minister Najib Razak needs to create the image of an unbeatable BN juggernaut that can wipe out any opposition that comes in its way. Chomp, chomp chomp!
But for pundits who look at new-voter registration numbers especially in the states that Pakatan controls, and in Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Johor, they won't be jumping to panicky or deliberately-overblown conclusions that in the 13GE, the BN will win by a landslide!
Going back to Linda, she received 9,773 votes versus PKR Ansari Abdullah's 3,414 and SAPP Yong Teck Lee's 2,031. Her majority is obtained by subtracting Ansari's 3,414 votes. It does not take into account Yong's 2031.
Now, obviously this has to be done if one were to compare apple with apple and pear with pear. After subtracting Yong's 2,031 her margin is actually just 4,328 votes. No doubt, still credible but far less misleading than the 6,359 that is being shouted from every corner of the nation by the BN media.
Compared with Edmund who garned 9,479 votes and a majority of 3,708, it means the BN managed to increase their support by a mere 620 votes (4,328 less 3,708).
Very slow-going considering the huge amount of resources BN ploughed into the by-election. No wonder, Deputy Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and PBS chief Joseph Pairin were full of smiles - smiles of relief no doubt!
To have poured in no less than RM80 million on election promises of a new road, school and mosque just to win 620 votes - now, that's a loss, not a victory!
The same applies in Galas. Najib will know how much of the Kelantan victory is really his and 1Malaysia's, how much of the glory actually belongs to Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, and finally, how much was actually inspired by cash, gifts and bribes.
"Let's not count the state seats. There are more than 220 parliamentary seats. Can Najib pour in the same amount for each seat all at the same time? Just do the math and I think voters will understand there's no way he can keep the promises. The dynamics between a national nation-wide polls and localized by-elections are very different," PKR strategic director Tian Chua told the reporters.
Early GE - put your money where your mouth is. Dissolve Parliament!
One question remains though, how close is the next general election?
Perhaps a lot closer now but basically the dates are still 'bomoh' driven and elusive. The truth is probably even Najib himself is not sure. He is likely to be dithering between calling it simultaneously with the Sarawak state election or waiting for the outcome of the East Malaysian vote before he decides.
If Sarawak is not good - it may be in 2012. If Sarawak is satisfactory - then it may July 2011. That's what Umno pundit are saying now. Problem is they have spouted other dates before and these continue to be moving targets. Additionally, Najib is not known for his political courage.
Chances are still highest that he will wait for as long as he can. Unless he falls into the public-relations and hype-trap of his own making.
And that won't really be such a bad thing for Pakatan who - despite Thursday's reversals - are actually raring to go.
"We may have lost but we entered Batu Sapi knowing the sort of territory we would have to traverse and we managed to survive. We not only tested our system or rather discovered the lack of it, which is what we wanted to do - put Sabah PKR through a stress test. More importantly, it showed Sabah Pakatan what teamwork is about and I am talking about the teamwork showed by the national leaders like Anwar, Kit Siang, Hadi, Chua Jui Meng," Sabah PKR communications chief Ronnie Klassen told reporters.
"So for those in Sabah Pakatan who keep talking about secession and keeping out the Malaysians from the peninsula like Yong Teck Lee, this is a real eye-opener. How far can they go without the help of the national leaders? But Pakatan and PKR also need to get working. We are not deterred at all by Batu Sapi. The gloating from the BN is to be expected. We don't grudge them but they should not be allowed to mislead the whole country into false perceptions of their strength. Linda's margin is actually very weak. If Pakatan had RM80 million, we would have taken 99 percent of the votes, no less! Now, that's a real landslide."
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