Since the end of Ijok by-election, I've kept procrastinating to write my analysis of it. With many commentary and analysis already made on the blogs, its pointless to repeat the same thing. I am reluctant to pursue in what is already obvious and well said by Ray Charles, "Hit the Road, Jack (PKR)!"
I decide to make an exception to republish an opinion by the Goodbye Girl entitled "PKR should find out why it lost" in The Star today, May 4th, 2007 for it caught my attention and worthy to republish here.
There is too much blame game post Ijok that it begs the question whether PKR or the Opposition at large understand and serious in their role and the relevance of their existence.
She started out with a plea for a reality check by PKR.
THE Opposition’s lament about electoral fraud, intimidation and violence is even more tiring than a broken record.She posed a pertinent issue of Indian segment vote, which PKR was not able to secure.
Especially so after losing in the recent state assembly by-election in Ijok.
As usual upon defeat, the Opposition will cry “foul” and point to a “dirty election” but when they win, they are strangely silent.
Why not cry foul after Lunas or in Permatang Pauh, where Parti Keadilan Rakyat president and only Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail retained her seat after a recount.
All the allegations about the Barisan Nasional (BN) using government resources, "importing” phantom voters and using police intimidation to win elections are nothing new.
PKR must now face the fact that it lost the Ijok by-election because it failed to secure the Indian votes which consist of about 3,000 or 28% of total votes.Much throughout the campaign, PKR was using hooliganism as excuse to blame BN. I doubted it as total truth and believed it is a one sided view. She echoed my earlier observation here.
If it had received just 30% of these, this would translate into 1,000 more votes for PKR.
BN was able to secure solid backing from the community after MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu went down to the ground to campaign door-to-door twice.
Of course, there were the free sewing machines and 800 land titles but PKR should look beyond these and ask why they failed to get any Indian vote; the other communities were similarly “pampered” by the BN and yet they voted for PKR.
I was there for most of the campaign period and witnessed the hooliganism on nomination day.I commend her fair-mindedness and honesty. However, I will blame on Khairy's immaturity for responding negatively to such provocation. When you come unprepared and lost the psycho game at nomination day, one take the high ground to play noble.
To solely blame BN for violence is inaccurate for PKR supporters shouted insults directed at Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin and at Umno Youth chief and Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Throughout the campaign period, PKR supporters displayed an inclination for provocation and violence, such as stopping Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s car on polling day and taking the law into their own hands to "arrest” alleged phantom voters on board two buses.
Those who claim to fight for the rule of law should respect the law.
However, I did not see Khairy toning his act after the first day. Shouldn't he realise the implication to BN? The incident to Jeff Ooi & Co.? Isn't he providing fodder for the opposition?
She then continued to raise the hypocrasy of racist accusation, conflicting ideologies, and the recalcitrant ideological postures of political parties.
PKR has also been calling BN a racist party, but in Ijok the BN proved that it believes in power-sharing and supported an Indian candidate despite calls from Umno for a Malay candidate in the Malay-majority constituency.Anwar and PKR's campaign at Ijok (and Machap) demonstrated total disrespect for the subjudice law on an on-going court case and made unsubstantiated accusation towards Dato' Seri Najib. None of the big guns of BN came in support to dispell the accusations against Dato Seri Najib.
The different component parties also worked together with a single cohesive ideology to secure victory.
The Opposition is still swimming about in a pool of conflicting ideologies – DAP fights for a secular state, PAS for an Islamic state and PKR for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
For them, the battle for Ijok somehow became a battle between Anwar and Najib.
Then somewhere along the line, to secure Chinese votes, Anwar proclaims "wo me do ze yi jia ren"(we are now one family) to the Chinese and supports vernacular education.
The strange missing link of this campaign is why not a single "in the bag" issues involving the Prime Minister, his son and his "son-out-law" like ECM Libra, Scomi, Oil for food, ISA on BSA Tahir, etc. raised? Why is it that PKR, and also DAP, refused to raise these issues in their campaign?
Political pundits are putting Khairy's behaviour in Ijok and the reluctance by Opposition to question the PM, as a conspiracy of the highest order to preserve the ineffective and weak leadership of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Perhaps, they feel that preserving him would serve their purpose. Yes, their purpose and not the people and country.
Finally, she asked the most relevent concern that the Opposition chose to ignore - the people.
But what alternative would PKR be offering in terms of government; and to Ijokians, how their lives would be better with PKR in the state assembly?Unless the Opposition could honestly appreciate the people without overindulgence in polemics and rhetorics, they will continue to be insignificant. Can you blame me for my support and belief in BN? At the end of the day, it will only be within UMNO lies the will and solution to address the nation's predicament.
So instead of crying foul over the “dirty electoral process”, PKR should
take a good hard look at why it failed to win the Ijok by-election.
I will always remember Ijok for the incident of meeting two representatives from the American Embassy political desk. For a political party on the slippery slope to irrelevence, the American expressed great attention on the political development of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR at Ijok and Machap. God as my witness, my ears didn't deceive me!
Why am I not surprised?