Friday, September 26, 2014
Tok Pa's sweet victory
We had an article ready entitled "The Last Stretch", but couldn't load it.
Internet was just 'gampang' and unpredictable in Tumpat. Then, we changed the tittle to "Last 48 Hours" but still couldn't get it posted from deep inside our place in a PAS-laden coastal village.
By the time, we get a good Internet service this morning in Kota Baru at Riverside Hotel, we have to eat our words due to the last pessimistic posting. However, we are only too glad to eat our words. If the last posting had awaken many sleepy eyes, better still.
The campaign started well but was not heading anywhere with too many no(s) and don't(s). BN was not getting it's message across and not even looking defensive. But, we are not saying Tok Pa-led campaign was ill prepared. Hardly, they had prepared well ahead.
Kudos for the win to the Kelantan state UMNO. They took charge of the campaign and at the end, the result worked out and proved many points. It must be a sweet victory to the constantly worried looking To Pa.
UMNO was banking on a high turnout. With out of town voters not expected to return, chances of a good win is high. However, the turnout was only slightly more than 40% by noon. The rule of thumb is the morning voters are mostly PAS people.
It is quite usual in a by-election but perhaps, the still low turnout of white voters may have made it difficult for Tok Pa to smile all day yesterday.
He had been under pressure due to the late delivery of banners. Though it had a professional touch and effective in it's message, it was only up early Saturday morning. Nevertheless, that we believe have helped sway sentiment to BN.
BN was answering PAS's long lobs on oil royalty issues; the reason Kelantan could not get royalty, landing of gas at Kertih and Songkla, and Compassionate Fund did not deny Kelantan state the benefit. While answering PAS's national issues, the banners were probing into local issues. It was something PAS wanted to avoid.
There was the inefficiencies and leakage of the state as raised by and quoting PAS's Dato Husam Musa. The reminder on the many promises made to Pengkalan Kubor resident in which the list was long. The launching monument of Palekbeng was a useful reminder.
Kudos to a blogger who brought up the Bandar Baru Pengkalan Baru as an issue. It reminded everyone that even the pious looking current Menteri Besar, Dato Ahmad Yaacob himself was a culprit in PAS Kelantan's infamous false announcement and launch scam.
His name will be left unknown as many other unsung heroes we know off in any election. While party members celebrate in jubilation, they just sit together feeling satisfied upon a win and frustrated when losing.
The banner intensified in the second week as unofficial banners rose to probe on the local issues and PAS candidate credibility within PAS. In PAS last party election, Wan Rosdi was labelled as "I undi untuk Wan Rosdi, 1 untuk kroni."
Despite the gag on giving away pamphlet, there were pamphlets given away. Some blokes couldn't take PAS hit without hitting back.
Overall, conduct of the election in Tumpat is decent and matured. Local voters openly expressed disgust to overly aggressive campaign.
Local party workers are receptive to the other side. In one incident, an UMNO Flash Mob on a lorry acknowledge PAS campaigners passing by with call for Allahu Akbar. They sportingly exchange campaign materials to each others.
PAS "peraih undi" are not as aggressive as compared to other by-elections. A friend quipped, "These Kelantanis are only aggressive at other peoples' soil but behave well in front of family members."
Inter-party animosity is not intense in Tumpat. It is common in a family to hear brothers and sisters supporting different parties. It is the outsiders that are naughty.
Tumpat is a laid-back coastal and rural district. Pengkalan Kubor is a border town about 40 miles from Kota Baru.
The main economic activities is trading, synonymous with duty free and smuggling of rice, diesel etc. There are some fishing and agricultural activities. But, the afternoon heat there can melt your energy away and darken one skin at an instant.
If not for the many effort of the late Dato Norzaidi, Tumpat is ripe to be a totally PAS area. Ironically, money politics strive in Pengkalan Kubor.
If there is anything ugly about Tumpat by-election, it is money. The locals are not shy to ask for money to do any campaign task. No money no talk. It is as much an UMNO problem as a PAS problem.
Nevertheless, the good outcome of the by-election must be attributed to Tok Pa's choice of candidate. It was said that Haji Mat Razi's name came 8th or 9th in the list.
The selection was not about his position in the party but his acceptability with the people. No single factor - be it machinery or issue or any other factors - stand out significantly as the acceptance of Haji Mat Rozi's character by both BN and PAS voters.
The unexpected size of the majority may have come from the swing of fense-seaters that used to vote for PKR and PAS.
Hopefully it send the message to BN to adhere to the winnable candidate criteria seriously because it works. Hear the rakyat call for new untainted faces and they will deliver the win. Position holders in the party is strictly to manage the party.
As for Tok Pa, it was indeed a sweet victory as majority came out more than double to BN's forecast of slightly more than 1,000. For us, we were more conservative. PAS is left with only 3 winning PDM and at reduced majority.
Party headquarter involvement is much less than usual. The local state, which know the ground better, was in charge. Only thing is someone must put the idea into the head of UMNO's election official that last minute bomb tactic is not as lethal as it used to be.
It is the three to four years of issue debate towards an election that is critical to ingrain the perception that lead to voting decision. Coming to the third Internet age general election, but they still didn't get it.
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