As much as Abdullah, Khairy and Anwar would like to blame any probable BN loss at Permatang Pauh on Najib, the fact is Abdullah with his marginal popularity of 28% that is being judged.
My posting entitled Judicious in any personal attack at Permatang Pauh dated August 13th, 3 days before Permatang Pauh nomination date refers.
Before going on campaign mode, I warned that any personal attack on Anwar based on the sodomy issue and implicating his foreign affiliation may backfire.
All seemed to went well until Khairy begin his usual prancing and exhibit his usual lack of subtlety and humility. His vitriolic attack on Anwar's campaign funding and challenging him outright to do the Mubahalah changed campaign direction.
Judging from the comments and feedbacks in Anil Netto's posting, Eve of Polling: LIVE from Gorund Zero, the sodomy issue and Mubahalah did not go down well with the voter of Permatang Pauh.
When the low level Imam that witnessed the Mubahalah turned up yesterday to give his personal view, not even damage control by former IKIM and Fatwa Chairman Dr Ismail Ibrahim and the FT Mufti could do much help.
Abdullah allowed such poor stratehy and he should take responsibility as party head.
Anwar was quiet aware of the initial feedback of his foreign affiliations and tested it by having a PR official vehicle pasted with pictures of foreign leaders, inclusive of the neo-cons. The impact could not be gauged but Anwar was confident enough to have Gus Dur gave some supporting words and dismissed the Mubahalah.
Anwar's past and his diversion from the struggle to safeguard Malay interest are his Archilles heels. The question is how and who articulated the message?
It doesn't help that it was done by Ezam and Nallakarupan and unsubstantiated with any solid proof. Unless this will be pursued after the by-election, it was not much help.
The simple but useful feedback by Anil Netto is basically saying that voters on the ground are fed-up with the leadership of Abdullah that they see the need to have someone vocal like Anwar in Parliament.
The biggest event that caused Abdullah's popularity to plummet on the latest Merdeka Opinion poll is the petrol subsidy removal that casued a drastic increase in petrol by 78 sen. His attempt to win the voters heart by reducing petrol by 15 sen last Friday ahead of the planned September 1st date does not help, the damage is done. The possible runaway inflation is practically crippling business.
Anwar had got his message through, how defective it is, in the nationally televised debate. The impression of Abdullah as a weak economic manager is already imprinted in the mind of Chinese voters. The oil hike will get its political casualty in Permatang Pauh.
Putting bad execution of campaign strategy aside, any loss bigger than Wan Aizah's majority votes implies that the poor state of UMNO arising from weak leadership will overwhelm all of Anwar's apparent weakness.
The campaign effort of former PKR members was useful. But they may have contributed to overplaying the Saiful sodomy issue and raised the sentiment to "meluat" level. The last minute PKR crossover in the evening was a case of too late. Anwar did his share of the crossover game well before the nomination date with the crossover of former CEO of bankrupted Rakyat First Merchant Banker at Bandar Tun Abdul Razak.
The crossover was more of Ezam in desperation to deliver Anwar as his promise to UMNO. A big BN loss could put Ezam into political wilderness. But it is Abdullah's political career that is really more at stake with the Permatang Pauh voters.
Certain quarters in UMNO are reluctant to see any major improvement as to send a message to Abdullah.
With Sanglang around the corner after Permatang Pauh, possibly Kulim Badar Baharu and Sarawak State Election next year with the Tan Sri Taib Mahmud a possible Wan Mokhtar in the making, the realisation that Abdullah is a liability for UMNO will be more apparent if more losses come its way.
Those defensive "kaki bodek" position holders in UMNO cannot choose to ignore. Anwar's presence in Parliament will attract media attention and add further strength to PR. UMNO and BN could not afford to be in denial any further. For its survival, it cannot maintain a weak and incompetent "CEO" to continue leading the country.
UMNO could not afford to resist the dissatisfaction with the top leadership. It should heed the genuine voices of the grassroots. It must make a comprehensive change or the people will force that change on them!
mStar, Ogos 25hb, 2008
Hampir 60 peratus tidak yakin sumpah laknat Saiful
Oleh G. MANIMARAN
PERMATANG PAUH: Hampir dua pertiga masyarakat Melayu negara ini tidak mempercayai sumpah laknat yang dibuat oleh bekas pembantu peribadi Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Mohd. Saiful Bukhari Azlan sehari sebelum hari penamaan calon.
Kajian pendapat umum yang dijalankan oleh badan penganalisis pilihan raya tempatan Merdeka Center menunjukkan seramai 56 responden yang ditemui mengatakan mereka tidak percaya langsung dan agak tidak percaya dengan sumpah Saiful bahawa dia telah diliwat oleh Anwar.
Kajian itu dijalankan dari 22 hingga 24 Ogos sempena pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Permatang Pauh.
Esok merupakan hari pengundian pilihan raya kecil ini. Kempen berakhir tengah malam ini.
Kajian ini hanya melibatkan 544 responden daripada kalangan masyarakat Melayu.
Anwar yang telah dituduh di mahkamah awal bulan ini yang beliau telah meliwat Saiful berhadapan dengan saingan tiga penjuru di Permatang Pauh.
Seramai 32.4 peratus responden berpendapat sumpah Saiful bermotifkan politik manakala 31.4 peratus melihat Saiful melakukan sumpah itu dengan ikhlas manakala seramai 24.3 peratus lagi percaya ia dilakukan oleh seseorang.
Mengenai personaliti Anwar pula, hampir 49.1 peratus responden menganggap beliau sebagai pemimpin yang akan membawa perubahan dan 35.2 peratus melihatnya sebagai pemimpin yang berani.
Hanya 18.6 peratus melihat Anwar sebagai pemimpin yang akan menghakis hak-hak orang Melayu dan 2.6 peratus sahaja menganggapnya sebagai pemimpin melakukan jenayah seks.
Berhubung soalan sejauh mana Anwar akan menjual hak-hak orang Melayu sebaik menjadi pemimpin negara ini, hampir 38 peratus bersetuju dengan kenyataan tersebut.
Bagaimanapun lebih 56 peratus responden bersetuju Anwar berupaya untuk membawa perubahan tanpa mengira kaum.
The Star Online Tuesday August 26, 2008
PM in last dash campaign for for BN man
BUKIT MERTAJAM: As the night of the final campaign day drew to an end, Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi joined his Barisan Nasional colleagues to make the last push for their candidate.
Abdullah was at the Barisan operations centres at Berapit in Penanti and Bukit Indera Muda in Permatang Pasir to campaign for candidate Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah.
“We must have confidence in the voters and trust they will make the right decision,” he told Barisan supporters.
Abdullah said Arif Shah had a good track record and said he was confident of his ability to serve as MP.
“If he does not deliver, I will be disappointed. I believe in our chosen candidate and I give him my utmost support as party president,” he said.
Over at Jalan Baru in Butterworth, rain could not stop a crowd from gathering to hear the last campaign speech of PKR candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar, who stood on a makeshift platform, and talked on economic, racial and unity issues drew laughter when he joked about his sodomy and skirt-chasing allegations.
Updated and reedited: 26-8-2008 11:50 am/1:59 pm
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