Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tenang bah-election wake-up call

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.


Anonymous said...

Dr Latif should learn a lot from this by election. This will be ghani's last term.

CSL - he's a VERY different man now than he was in Johore before.

Anonymous said...

Good piece sir, UMNO has indeed slowly but surely waken up to the reality of today's politics. Gone are the era of the all high and mighty, must be respected, must be supported, must be voted days of the dinosaur politicians which sadly still roams the leadership hall of UMNO. MCA is steadily falling from grace and it's leaders are still bickering rather than working with UMNO. It's an open secret that the Chinese doesn't support MCA anymore, and MCA is still blaming UMNO for it. Does MCA has the guts to go toe to toe with a Chinese candidate from DAP or PKR in a Chinese majority constituency? Or do they still demand the support of UMNO Malays in a Malay majority area to get them a seat in the parliament/state assembly? I agree that CSL and MCA need to be told straight to their face that they no longer have any political value, buck up or get lost.

Anonymous said...

What to say Pornstar already leader of MCA, DAP sure happy to say MCA leader have scandal problem, even church also can say "why vote this people we want go to haven" and "we buy software halal maaa"

do you all buy halal software ??

Flyingfox said...

I was in Tenang the whole of last month closely observing the by-election. I find your analysis partially correct. However, your criticisms of Johor BN chief Abdul Ghani Othman was completely wrong. If the BN was lead by a comical leader like Ahmad Maslan or Noh Omar in Tenang, then I can guarantee u BN will not get that big majority. I'm not sure why u try to discredit Ghani after he delivered such a stylish win for BN. He did so without resorting to dirty politics. It was a dignified win n Johor prefer it that way. If u want to have your way of aggressive campaigning style, u may have so in Merlimau. Let's see how Ali Rustam fare there. I think he is more your type of Umno splash n dash kind of leader. As for Johor (I'm a Johorian but not an Umno man), we prefer a dignified person to lead us n clean politics to shape our future.

A Voice said...


I was on and off in Tenang for a whole month too.

If you care to notice, I didn't elaborate Gani's mistakes. I didn't mention about resorting to dirty tricks. And I should have mention poor coordination.

Gani thinks Johor is inpenetrable. Johorean should stop being full of themselves and wake up.

I m Johorean too!

flyingfox said...

With all due respect, Johor is indeed impenetrable if there is no interference from outside as proven in Tenang. Johor BN, or to be exact Johor Umno can hold the State on their own. U r on and off in Tenang, while I was there from day one till the end. I was also there when Ghani planed the strategy n as a neutral observer, I have to agree with him that the days of cowboy campaigning was over. If you was in Galas throughout the by-election there, you should have noticed that Ku Li also did not let outsiders from interfering too much thus the victory there. You say Johor BN lacks coordination that day, than how did it get the majority to increase? Please dont tell me its because of Ahmad Maslan or Hishammuddin of Semberong cause I ll lose respect for you if u do so. My humble opinion is, a lot of outsiders were unhappy because Ghani did not let them interfere in Tenang. Many see Ghani as going out at the end of this term and they are jockeying for his seat. Its a nice seat indeed - Johor is an Umno's stronghold and a rich state. When Ghani led BN to the Tenang victory, his star seems to shine again and many see the need to extinguish it thus the negative reviews despite the emphatic win.

Anonymous said...


I was in Galas from before nomination. If Ku Li's request was observed fully, we could have lost.

Gani is the one who thinks Ku LI's formula worked. The blogs had enlisted some 10 tricks and dirty play by PAS.

If it was not countered, it would have affected the score.

No to Iskandar said...

flyingfox said:

With all due respect, Johor is indeed impenetrable if there is no interference from outside as proven in Tenang. Johor BN, or to be exact Johor Umno can hold the State on their own.

Sombong dan bongkaknya orang Johor. Sedar tak majoriti Shahrir Samad dah tinggal berapa?

Boleh nampak Muar, Batu Pahat dan beberapa Bahagian di dalam Wilayah Iskandar tumbang.

flyingfox said...

Yang dah tumbang tu kat Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Selangor dan Wilayah. Yang separuh tumbang pulak kat Perak. Yang macam nak tumbang kat Negeri Sembilan. Yang retak-retak boleh tumbang tu kat Terengganu. Pegi lah betulkan yang kat sana dulu. Bukan nak sombong atau bongkak, tapi Johor insyaallah masih boleh bertahan. Yang lain-lain tu pergilah gunakan kekuatan yang masih ada pada diri masing-masing untuk betulkan rumah sendiri dulu. Kalau dah eleok kat negeri-negeri tu, marilah datang ke Johor tegur yang patut. Nak tukar sangat si Ghani tu pun tukar lah masa tu. Cari lah yang lebih berwibawa, yang tak da kroni, tak rasuah dan tak memecahbelahkan sesama Umno. Carilah MB baru kat Johor ni yang boleh berhemah dengan Sultan dan tak terkinja-kinja ikut rentak pembangkang. Wallahuallam.

Anonymous said...

Tenang is one of many areas with high Chinese composition.

Will Johorean Chinese be any different with Chua Jui Meng and Dr Hau among their ranks?

All major towns of Johor, particular in the Iskandar region and also some of the pekan are of such composition.

Hishamuddin realised this and he is worried. He planned to move away to Tenggara.

In 2008, Johor had the bulk of the more than 300,000 undi rosak.

Iskandar development still remain. Iskandar Act is not abolish. Second bridge still not built.

These are issues linked to the old administration still not addressed.

Are Johorean happy with the new S? Business are getting difficult.

flyingfox's optimism is typical of Johorean arrogance.

Comparing to all other 13 by-election, Tenang is the slowest to get started.

Johor UMNO is benefitting from effort of outsiders but refuse to acknowledge.

Just like Ku Li

Did Johor UMNO solved all the problems in the Felda areas and Indian plantation?


Are those Chinese NGOs coming forward to help coming from within Tenang?


flyingfox patut terima teguran dengan baik. Ini tidak. Dia menunjukkan keangkuhan Johornya.

Kalau didedahkan habis, mahu lagi terkejut Gani.

Kelalaian Gani dan pengampu pak angguk macam flyingfox di sekelilingnya akan beri kejutan pada Johor UMNO.

Tak sempat jadi Museum kang...

Veteran 14 PRK

flyingfox said...

Umno Johor masih kuat sebab dia org tak sombong dan bongkak pada orang bukan Umno macam aku. Umno Johor masih kuat sebab walaupun ada berbalah tapi bila berdepan pembangkang dia org masih bersatu sebab Ghani tak amalkan pecah perintah dikalangan org bahagian. Umno Johor masih kuat sebab dia org lebihkan kerja dari bercakap. Kalau org tegur dgn niat baik tak ada lah nak jatuhkan org lain. Dah menang majority tinggi pun tak puas hati juga tu apa maknanya? With that I'm closing shop here. Thanks to blog owner for the space. Cheers.

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