Thursday, February 03, 2022

Saddiq, and the 749,731 new voters: Perception or real?

The media frontpaged the 749,731 new voters that will be automatically registered to vote for the Johor snap state election. Immediately, there is a widespread perception developing that Syed Saddiq will be a phenomenon and holds the card for the next state government for Johor.

There is already talk that Muda will be in coalition with Pejuang and Warisan with the likelihood of close cooperation with DAP with and without Amanah or PKR. 

The opposition parties are in disarray and the only way to stop BN is for a grand coalition between PN and PH. The question is whether it is ideologically and personalities involved compatible. 

Azmin is considered to have betrayed PKR, it does look possible for PKR to accept PPBM. More so, it is similar to repeating their cheated cooperation with Tun Mahathir.  

Nevertheless, Muralitharan Ramachandran warned in the New Malaysia Herald news site that "Contesting parties should not be overconfident" as he focused to advise on BN not to lose sight. 

There could be many reasons. For one, the perception that Syed Saddiq and Muda represent a new wave of young voters could be beyond the conversation that KJ once created in his 20s.

The automatic registration made the wave a possibility, but it does not necessarily benefit Muda. Much work need to be done.

The reality is the automatic registration and younger entry to voting at 18 year old are two new unknown political phenomenons in Malaysia. 

Despite Murali's cautious confidence for BN, there are those not lifting an eyebat for Saddiq. 

At his age, he is already charged for money laundering for allegedly flipping away RM1 million of his previous party's money.         

Does his questionable morality in view of the widespread picture of him sleeping with an unmarried female partner and unreserved view on alcohol drinking, LGBT, etc go down well with Malay voters he would presumably be aiming for?

Assuming it has no bearing. NMH analysis ensues below: 

The upcoming Johor polls is not going to be a walk in the park for Barisan Nasional (BN), not to mention the other parties, after a few drastic strategies have been taken by the differing parties this time around.

The first threat for BN will be Muar MP Syed Saddiq’s Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) making its first electoral entry and the 18-20 age bracket youngsters registered automatically casting their ballots for the first time.

There are 749,731 young voters out of the 2.5 million voters in Johor eligible to cast their votes compared to 1.8 million voters in the 14th general election (GE14).

The amendment on the electoral eligibility age of those 18 and above in the country and automatic voter registration was officially gazetted last Wednesday by the Election Commission (EC) after obtaining the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

Syed Saddiq has succeeded in making himself the icon for the youngsters who are better known as the ‘WeChat’ voters. They see him as an idol.

The former youth and sports minister uses many methods that can flatter the young. He has been the trend in Twitter and tik-tok platforms which other political parties have failed to do.

We have yet to see BN fully capitalising on these platforms to their full potential. In fact, there are not many programs conducted by BN for the youngsters.

It is an open secret that MUDA is linked with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) DAP as Syed Saddiq could always be seen with its leaders and media reports have stated that PH is going to have talks with Saddiq to have a pact with them. The outcome will not surprise us if Sadiq gives a nod to them, especially if it involves some form of capital injection to further develop this newly-registered party.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, on the other hand, has managed to convince PH’s supreme council to use its KEADILAN (PKR) logo to contest in Johor polls. DAP and Amanah will be using the PH logo.

This is indeed a strategy to overcome the terrifying defeat PKR went through in two state elections; Melaka and Sarawak, when in fact it was PKR’s logo that was used in GE14 nationwide to unseat BN who ruled for decades.

PKR seems to be trying its luck to see if its logo still has value if they, like BN, move solo. It is too early to decide if the two-time sodomy convict’s strategy will work.

Another BN opponent Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) with Bersatu in the driving seat is also in the midst of making a pact with PH. A reliable source from Bersatu has revealed the party is considering making a pact with PH without DAP.

Not sure if PH will agree to Bersatu on this but let’s not waste our time going into details of this as Bersatu has lost the plot and waiting to be buried anytime soon. Bersatu is full of ego and that ego is going to kill them.

Do we need to discuss former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s Pejuang? No need as it is good as gone under his son Mukhriz Mahathir. Mukhriz is a spoiled brat that needs to be spoon-fed by his father.

Lacking In Inclusiveness

BN is still lacking in its inclusiveness although it has race-based component parties like MCA and MIC. BN is still moving using the race cards that are not being used by PH and getting MUDA to work with them (PH) is an example.

MUDA is well accepted by the youngsters and PH is accepted by non-Malays.

BN should be using these methods. One would argue Umno/BN don’t need the non-Malays to vote for them, but how are they going to get 2/3rd in Parliament without the non-Malay votes?

History has proven BN was powerful with the support of the non-Malays previously.

Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, feels that the strategy and intervention used in Melaka should be used again in Johor.

“BN has always been focusing on stability, on wellbeing and also inclusiveness that’s why I think the multi-racial, multi-ethnic angle is the best to portray in Johor” – Professor Dr Sivamurugan of USM said. – Facebook pic

“I believe if the strategy and intervention used in Melaka, if used again in Johor, maybe we’ll see better results compared to 2018.

“BN has always been focusing on stability, on wellbeing and also inclusiveness that’s why I think the multi-racial, multi-ethnic angle is the best to portray in Johor,” Dr Sivamurugan said.

Dr Sivamurugan also said with the opposition’s announcement that PKR will use its own logo whereby Amanah and DAP are using PH logo is an advantage to BN.

“They (BN) can tell the others they are still united, the integration among their parties are there compared to their opponents when PKR have announced that they will use their own logo instead of the coalition’s (PH) logo,” he said.

When asked by NMH on the impact of new 18 years and above automatic voters registration, Dr Sivamuragan said it will not have an immediate impact yet.

“I don’t think the Undi 18 will not have an impact just yet mainly because maybe the parents would also influence them not to go out to vote so we can expect a low turnout from this group, so it’s still too early to determine.

“I strongly believe that working patterns will still follow the family group, the information that they get from social media or any other platforms and also maybe some have already decided that they want to vote for a particular party, but at the end for me, what is more important right now definitely would be to what extend Umno/BN will be able to ask their loyal voters to come out and vote,” the professor added.

Consider BN Direct Candidate For Johor

BN should consider fielding in ‘Direct Candidates’ in Johor although the state is supposed to be Umno’s stronghold and its place of origin on 10 May 1946.

“BN candidate would be an option as much when the late Adenan Satem used it in the Sarawak state election back in 2015.

“Maybe if the political parties agree and the MB would want to see some candidates out of the political parties, I think others should embrace and welcome the decision, because again what matters the most is to win the election,” Dr Sivamurugan said.

This strategy has proven to be a success in Sarawak’s 11th state election under the late Adenan Satem. The then BN Sarawak fielded 13 candidates and won 11 seats.

Cameron Highlands by-election is another example where retired senior police officer Ramli Mohd Nor, a native of the Semai tribe was nominated as the candidate. He defeated DAP M. Manoharan and two other independent candidates with a 3,238 majority. Ramli later joined Umno.

BN should start looking for candidates from NGOs, professionals and scholars locally. Nominating these fresh candidates would show the coalition has ‘reformed’ and will be useful in the coming GE15. These candidates should be majority Malays with those from other races placed accordingly.

Bring Back The 1Malaysia Approach

1Malaysia is a concept introduced by former Prime Minister Najib Razak to promote national unity focusing on eight values which are high-performance culture, accuracy, knowledge, innovation, integrity, strong will, loyalty and wisdom.

Many would argue that it was a failure. It was not, actually. It failed because of the hatred and negative perception instilled by PH (Bersatu included).

Najib also introduced a few public services under the 1Malaysia concept such as 1Malaysia clinics and convenient stores which were abolished when PH under Mahathir called it a “waste of resources”.

Now, if you talk to a commoner in the street, they will tell you what they miss from these 1Malaysia public services that were brought down by Mahathir.

BN should start promoting this concept which people are missing and some are regretting having voted for PH and bringing them into power.

Reminding people of what they have been missing after BN’s defeat would be an added advantage to the coalition. Unfortunately, only one person is seen doing the job – Najib, while others are more promoting themselves.

Hope BN can pull up their socks and work towards getting two-thirds in Parliament, because, let’s face it – a resounding victory in PRN Johor is a jumpstart for PRU15. And BN is the balm needed to get the country back on its tracks. Don’t just believe us, ask the man in the street, the B40 community, the M40 and T40 who’s businesses have been badly affected. 

Bangsa Johor and "Drama Queen"

In this blogger's opinion, 1Malaysia is not the concept which is the current thinking in Johor, but Bangsa Johor is. 

The success of Johor football under the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Idris Abdul Majid Abu Bakar Iskandar ibni Sultan Ibrahim Ismail or TMJ as he is usually referred to have united Johoreans across all races and religion under the banner Bangsa Johor.  

Johorean are known to be internally parachial about their home state, but Bangsa Malaysia has raised this widespread consciousness of being Johorean across all races and religion, even to the non-original Johorean.  

Before appointed Menteri Besar, Dato Hasni Mohamed was actively involved in the Southern Tiger fan club. Saddiq does not feature well with TMJ and repeatedly ridiculed as drama queen by His Majesty himself.  Will it auger well for Saddiq?

FB Salahuddin Hisham raised few unanswered questions on his crowdfunding ability, true capability, moral and Islamic values, closeness to DAP, etc. The latest is on the ownership of his office in Muar which he swiftly answered below:

Only raising more questions:

Following which, his rhetorics is being put under close scrutiny:

Personality driven?

The elephant in the room for Syed Saddiq is the money laundering case involving allegedly RM1 million embezzled PPBM money. The investigation hardly took a month to complete and apparently it was an open and shut case.

The Saddiq question was casually posed to Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who has repeated his position that he has moved on and not running in anymore post, be it at Federal or State level. His response verbatim:

Kalau Syed Saddiq bertanding diperingkat DUN pada PRN Johor, MUDA akan bertukar dari 'policy driven platform' kpd 'personality driven'. Adakah ini baik untuk MUDA?

Kalau MUDA masuk pakatan PH dan PKR, tidakkah MUDA sama-sama terbabit dgn matlamat PH-PKR untuk hanya menentang UMNO dan BN. Perjuangan berasaskan prinsip dan policy issues akan terpinggir.

Ketiga, SS sedang menghadapi kes CBT. Adakah prinsip dikorbankan untuk political opportunity?

Saya tidak yakin penyertaan SS akan mendapat sokongan sepenuh pengundi muda, iaitu mungkin pun sebahagian sahaja dari 750k pengundi baru.

Kekuatan medsos tidak menjamin kekuatan undi untuk Saddiq. Tapi dikalangan calon2, dia mempunyai recognition factor tinggi. Yang diperlukannya ialah credibility factor sbg menteri dan ahli parlimen.

Adakah dia bolih menjadi tokoh penting dalam kerajaan PH yang kedua bagi Johor?

Saddiq has caught the imagination of PR people as a better package than Khairy was in his days. 

Before the perception can become real, among the factors Saddiq has to consider on the young voters demography is the ethnicity, urban or rural, outside voters or within Johor, and financially dependent or gainfully employed. 

One number that came this blogger's way is Saddiq could at best garner 20 to 30% of the new voters.

If the Internet service, which is already bad without the 3G, worsen during the campaign congestion, the saloran 3, 4 and 5 factor wave of GE14 may not be duplicated. Any parties part or linked to PH will be severely affected. 

Even if Muda could play the role and benefit from being the glue that bind both the desperate PN and declining PH to collaborate and deny BN the victory, it will lead to a politically unstable Johor. 

In his announcement to disband the state assembly, MB Hasni clearly expressed in not so many words his desire for Johor to breakaway from the Federal economic malaise and exploit the prevailing locational opportunity. 

In these days of economic hardship, money talks and bullshit walks. Caveat emptor to voters to not make the same mistake. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

UMNO could be wiped out although UMNO managed to clean up.
Kusufian Write@blogspot
Talqin Untuk UMNO dtd 15 April 2018 apply
Selangor flooding Johor bleeding could work either way. Believe it or not UMM-I could flood n Bledlow...

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