BN flag holding on against the strong current
In one TV programme last night, all three panels claimed they expected the majority of 3,707 for BN at the Tenang bah-election.
If the audience only knew of the pessimistic projections made by the various groups in BN the night before polling, the panic and frustration within BN towards the campaign and the rising water, and frantic reaction to an SMS blast claiming to be from UMNO Information Chief, Dato Ahmad Maslan to get more Malay voters to come out to vote in the heavy rain, the audience wouldn't have known that the three panelists were bullshiting.
This blogger differ from the post-election optimism by armchair political analysts and politicians. The "cikgu mala" petaka is not limited to the flood spreading into 4 states but exposed the weakness of Johor as the bastion of UMNO.
Johor Menteri Besar and UMNO Liaison Chief for Johor, Dato Gani Othman should review his "nothing to worry attitude" and start working hard. No more nice guy and boastful pride of Johor the great. The new politics have no room for nice guy.
No more fear of Dato Dr Chua Soi Lek's sensitive outburst. Tell it straight in his face that he better talk less and buck up. He is living in fantasy land and President of no man's land. Deliver first or shut up!
The macro factors the paneliets had expressed are nothing new and merely template political science views.
The happening behind the political campaign, where the real work is done and art of politics is splasing its paint, is the real happening. Did anyone wonder why Felda Chemplak turn back for BN? Why such varied views on Chinese voters? Why racial charged PKR campaign had no impact on Indian voters?
The analysis of by-elections using macro socio-economic and political factors is an exercise of overanalysis that usually lead to paralysis, especially when there are 17 factors enlisted. It means there are too many factors to address.
Any credible analysis must be able to identify and zero in on the critical factors and not try to relate to Sarawak upcoming statewide election to the Tenang by-election.
In a place like Tenang, a small pekan within pekan of Labis and part of the Segamat district, development promises is unrealistic. One young man complaining that Government did not bring development was asked by this blogger, "What do you want?"
After several criticism on the viability of his proposals, the young man realised that urbanising Labis is not development. It is not viable to build a KLCC like structure in Labis. Deliverable of government policies and the caring part of 1Malaysia is more important here.
Other than the pre-election work, the real winner for BN in this by-election campaign was the NGOs and volunteers, and transport team.
There have been an increasing level of non-partisan volunteers in political campaign. UMNO politicians seems to be out of touch with current event, unable to communicate the political message to the voters, and fear debating issues.
This is where bloggers found a significant role to play in any campaign and it has stretch beyond cyber psywar. They were replacing UMNO in generating issues for campaign attack.
Transport team of Sri Gading, Sembrong and Air Itam did a great work to transport Felda voters to the polling station. They delivered and picked up the slack of the whole BN political machinery of Johor.
Frankly, this first by-election in Johor exposed the weakness of the Johor political machinery.
Gani had wanted to be the Election Director and got himself a good lesson in the new politics of the day taught by their own home grown Pas member, Salahuddin Ayub. He should realise now that Johor has the weakest UMNO political machinery and unfamiliar with the new and open political campaign.
Gani had taken charge of the Labis Division whose Division head was the late Tenang Assemblymen, Dato Sulaiman Taha. He rattled on the first few days and the whole machinery was in dissarray.
Matters got worse with Gani's paranoia on the possibility of sabotage that he sidelined the local Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri wings. Peruntukan factor is not considered yet.
MCA worked harder than usual to save face for MCA President Soi Lek but they are best described as "lembab." He maybe the MCA president but he must face up to the fact that he is not accepted by the Labis constituency and MCA supporters.
He must stop being in-denial to the reality that MCA is weak and in need of help. A weaker partner cannot rank pari passu with a more superior partner. He must put aside his ego and be willing to get assistance and take orders from the stronger partner.
BN was able to regain back a slim majority in the Chinese mix areas of Bandar Labis Timor and Labis due to the return of Malay and Indian voters. Chinese predominated area of Bandar Labis Tengah remain a significant opposition DAP stronghold.
A report claimed that Chinese support for BN is only 27 percent which is lower than the 30 something percent of the average national figure in 2008. Chinese support is not back yet.
But this is not a usual by-election but a bah-election. The Chinese turnout was lower than the Malay Felda and kampung turnout. They had waited for the morning heavy rain to stop but it did not and was aggravated further by flood in the afternoon.
The role of the transport team of three Johor Division of Sri Gading, Sembrong and Air Itam was critical to get them to come out and vote early
Most BN forecast except for that of Soi Lek, were forecasting Chinese support at around 20-25%. The 27% support in the unusual rain is good.
Soi Lek claimed Chinese support had improved to 45% But Soi Lek refused to share data and information. He wants to be respected as though he is of equal stature with the "BN Chairman." He wants others to report to him rather than he report and share info with others.
Soi Lek refuse to accept that MCA's house-to-house campaign were not effective and time consuming. MCA avoid big makan-makan function for fear of poor turnout will be seen as a sign of weakness exploited by DAP. This aroused the suspicion that Soi Lek was giving Chinese votes on a silver platter to DAP.
It was the BN supporting NGOs coming forward to help the campaign that woe the Chinese voters. Due to the flood, one will never know the true support of Chinese for BN.
However, this blogger was a prudent optimist from the beginning. If not for the bah, the Chinese could reach 40% and BN majority could be more than 4,000 and even reaching 5,000.
Although a similar happening in Tenang Station, Indian support were solid.
The BN component parties of PPP and MIC are squabling with each other over Indian representation and within their own party. In the end, both neglected the Indian communities in the benefit slashed rubber plantations.
During the campaign, the same set of Indian voters were attending free makan political function hosted by MIC, PPP, IPF and split Makkal Sakti.
Again it is the NGOs and individual volunteers that helped BN campaign in the Tenang Station area.
This proves that the Chinese and Indian are still supportive of BN. It is MCA and MIC that they couldn't stand.
For Soi Lek to go around loudly asking, "UMNO buat apa?", he should ask the same question back to himself.
"Is he relevant to his community?"
Labis Chinese support for MCA is for his son, Chua Tee Yong and not so much for him. Soi Lek is in the predicament position of being President of MCA but not leader of the Chinese community.
What face of his is to save if pro-BN NGO of Labis do function with the condition of no MCA leaders presence?
The UMNO that Soi Lek love to criticise are regaining back their support and coming out more superior now after much beating. Where is MCA heading?
If they continue to keep Soi Lek and his bad history and arrogant uncooperative ways, MCA is heading for it's demise.
This is a serious reminder to our MCA friends.