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UMNO-BN’S Victory Must Be Put Into Perspective

Posted in Politics by dapjlntembikai on October 19, 2009

An article by Sdr. Steven Sim


After 7 consecutive wins, Pakatan Rakyat was suddenly confronted with a lost in the recent Bagan Pinang by-election. It was not totally unexpected, after all, PAS-PR candidate lost the seat to UMNO in the last “political tsunami”-12th General Election even though the Opposition coalition managed to win the Teluk Kemang Parliamentary seat and three other seats out of 5 state seats within the parliamentary area.

From the beginning, PAS-PR was the underdog. Regardless of the 308 euphoria, they were battling on the opponent’s stronghold. Add to that, UMNO’s candidate, Isa Samad, former Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan for more than two decades and a former Federal Minister, was in many ways a local General. The fact that Isa was selected as UMNO’s candidate after an absence of 3 years, showed the enormous local support which asserted tremendous pressure on the Party to allow him to contest. He was forced into political wilderness the last 3 years after being convicted of money politics by the Party’s discipline machinery.

And to further add to that, the huge…read the rest here

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Permatang Pasir – Lessons For All

Posted in Penang, Politics by dapjlntembikai on August 27, 2009

From Sdr. Steven Sim’s website


Against the prediction of pundits (and bookies alike), PAS won with more than 65% of the popular votes in Permatang Pasir, just inches away in percentage from its result in 2008. For those expecting the same or better achievement than 2008, we have to be reminded of the various limiting factors such as this being only a by-election compared to the high-spirited 308 political tsunami, the fact that the polling day was held on a working Tuesday, UMNO’s heavy investment in campaigning and its religion and racial campaign strategy.

As the euphoria of the Permatang Pasir by-election subside, it’s time for post-mortems and perhaps for some, soul searching.

End of the road for UMNO?

The whole Permatang Pasir by-election showed that UMNO-Barisan Nasional is at its wits end. The party is plagued with internal power struggle at grassroot level with local warlords trying to vie for what is left of their traditional power base in Permatang Pauh. This may have resulted in protest votes against UMNO by its own members during the by-election. One thing that appalled both voters and observers alike was UMNO fielding a candidate with record of financial misconduct and was subsequently dibarred by the Bar Council. Rohaizat Othman was said to be not the most popular candidate for many local UMNO members. Insiders had indicated that the preferred choice was one Cikgu Zaidi, Permatang Pauh UMNO Youth chief. Yet, it seemed that Rohaizat, despite his many professional and individual flaws and grassroot objections, managed to be selected as UMNO’s Permatang Pasir candidate. Perhaps an evident of the existence of powerful warlords who can push forth their own agendas to the highest leadership when necessary.

The use of race and religion in their campaigning also showed UMNO’s desperation. On one hand, in Malay majority areas, UMNO campaigners attacked PAS as being a traitor to Islam and subservient to secular DAP while labeling Anwar Ibrahim as a traitor to the Malay race. On the other hand, in non-Malay majority areas, UMNO through its partners in the Barisan Nasional coalition, MCA and Gerakan, used scare tactics to instill fear of PAS being an Islamic fundemantlist party who will infringe on the rights of the non Muslim if they win, including banning of alcohol and pork.

Days away from the celebrating more than half a decade of Independence, with slogans such as 1Malaysia being repeated again and again even during the by-election campaign, UMNO and Barisan Nasional still see it fit to pit one race against another and to portray themselves as hero of a particular race instead of all Malaysians. The most unfortu…READ the rest here (article with photos)

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