By : HANTU LAUT
YOU CAN call it Chinese Tsunami, Chinese Swing, or Urban Swing what the difference, it just a choice of word and they all carry the same meaning. Different people have different analysis of the outcome of the 13th General Elections.
Certainly, not a deluge of biblical proportion by any measure of your imagination, but still a Chinese swing that still unable to sink BN's mighty ship. Anwar refused to accept the verdict and played up electoral frauds, accusing Najib of impropriety.
Here, another political buff, one Dr Samsul Amri Baharuddin, says it was an 'Urban Swing' kind of thing.......closer to home but not exactly close enough.
I would like to call it the 'Phenomenal Chinese Swing' if using the word 'tsunami' sound politically incorrect to some people.
I have always thought the Chinese are more open-minded than the Malays and are not easily rattled by such exploitation of word, but it is elections season and exploiting anything and everything has its benefits.
Why Pakatan Rakyat failed to capture Putrajaya?
Was it the phantom voters, money politics, vote buying and all the allegations of electoral frauds?
NO! Not exactly.
If the people want to change, no amount of cheating can stop them.
In 1985 when the mighty BERJAYA under Harris Salleh with all its resources and money was challenged by newbie PBS led by Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who was sacked by Harris from BERJAYA, every political pundits predicted huge victory for Harris and the party.
I remember Harris even put up a huge scoreboard in the compound of his house showing BERJAYA collecting 47 seats and PBS 1 seat. Only Joseph Pairin will win in Tambunan.
It was a night of misery for Harris and the BERJAYA boys, the final tally was 6 seats for his party and the rest taken by PBS and its ally USNO. Harris lost to an unknown candidate, a giant killer.
There were some tears shed that fateful night as I saw a few of the boys openly crying of the unthinkable loss and one of them had stood in the recent elections in Sabah, but lost in both the parliamentary and state seats.
NO!..... PR lost not entirely because of electoral frauds.
They lost because of Anwar Ibrahim?
He was the one who caused PR and himself to fail and now he is bloody sore and refused to accept defeat and is going disturb the peace and harmony of this nation by inciting the people not to respect the results of the general elections.
Why he failed?
Anwar is the biggest exhibitionists this country have ever seen, to him everything must be grand, imposing and must have scale of splendour and that he must outshines everyone. He loves street protests and demonstrations and hates any form of dissension. Cross his path and you are history. Many have swallowed the bitter pills and left him without a fight.
He loves political grandstanding, the very reason he chose the cities and ignore the kampongs. To him it is not about winning for the people, it's all about winning for Anwar, Anwar and Anwar. .
Did I not say the real battles are in the kampongs.
Read my humble prognosis "If You Want To Win This Election, Take Care Of The Kampongs" and go figure out why Pakatan Rakyat failed to takeover Putrajaya.
You don't have to crack your head to make weighty analysis of why they failed the objective.
We all know Anwar is a very smart man, a scholar of sort, fantastic orator, good communication skill and highly intelligent much to his own detriment. He can smothered his intelligence by falling in love with himself. He has no respect for the less educated and have no time for rusticity preferring to bathe in the limelight of the big cities.
His sheer arrogance is the cause of his downfall and as I have said before this man will never be prime minister no matter how hard he tries.
Chinese discontent against the BN government has been brewing for a while and heightened by DAP well organised propaganda machinery using the alternative media to reach out to the Chinese community.
DAP had managed to pull the carpet from under PAS and PKRs feet in many of its roadshow in the urban areas, faithfully assisted by gullible PAS and PKR leaders, who want to share the moment of glory with DAP, who can draw record crowd to its rally.
In the just concluded 13th GE, DAP collected 38 seats compared to 28 seats it garnered in the 12th GE. PAS and PKR seats reduced to 21 and 30 respectively.In 12th GE PAS obtained 23 and PKR 31 seats.
PR has improved its parliamentary seats from 82 in 2008 to 89 in 2013 and gathered much higher popularity votes than BN, gathered 5.489 million votes as opposed to BN 5.220 million.
Popularity votes had never been the determining factor to form the government, our system is based on "first past the post" system, which gives the party that collects the first simple majority to form the government, same as the Westminster system in U.K. and other Commonwealth countries.
Popular votes is not the triggering mechanism in our system.
Anwar refused to accept the verdict and played up electoral frauds accusing Najib of impropriety to salvage his own embarrassment of shouting victory before the final countdown ends.
Najib did worse than Pak Lah. BN scored badly in almost all Chinese majority seats throughout the country, reflecting a massive rejection by the Chinese community and preference for the opposition DAP. If you remove Sabah and Sarawak from the equation, or if Sabah and Sarawak had performed badly, Najib would have lost the government.
DAP made further inroads into Johor, Sarawak and Sabah, winning more seats in these states.
Johor, the BN fortress and birthplace of UMNO came under heavy onslaught in PR first big foray into the state. Lim Kit Siang calculated move to try invade the state was fruitful. Out of 18 seats won by PR, 13 went to DAP, PAS 3 and PKR 1.
If anyone were to argue that it was not the "Phenomenal Chinese Swing" that eroded this BN fortress, the scrolled political pundits should immolate themselves, because they are pretty useless in their predictions before the elections, none have come close, except for the formidable and diminutive former Malaysian Minister Of Finance Daim Zainuddin, who hits the nail on the head.
Still, don't believe it was the "Phenomenal Chinese Swing" that changed the political landscape.
In the mother of all battles in Gelang Patah, Johor, where DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang pooled 54,284 votes against Johor strongman and ex-Menteri Besar Ghani Othman 39,522 votes the story was even more telling of Chinese political awakening.
Gelang Patah has one of the highest turnout of voters topping almost 90%. It's a stark reality from the votes garnered by each individual that almost every Chinese voted for Lim and every Malay for Ghani. Lim garnered 58% of the total votes cast, which was slightly more than the total share of Chinese votes for the constituency.
Still don't believe it was the Chinese swing that almost helped PR entry into Putrajaya, but spoiled by Anwar's failure to recognise the importance of the rural constituencies in Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.
In my hometown of Kota Kinabalu all my Chinese relatives, close friends, acquaintances and people that I know Chinese all voted for DAP.
In Sabah, PR won 11 state seats. PKR took 7 seats and DAP 4 seats and also won 2 parliamentary seats. Chinese candidates on BN tickets won by the skin of their teeth in Chinese marginal areas and won mainly on bumiputra votes.
The story was the same throughout the country.
The Chinese was once divided in different political parties that left them without much political clout. Both MCA and Gerakan are seen as lame ducks and manned by leaders who are more interested in self-preservation and corruptions than working for the interests of the community.
This perception and a window of opportunity had driven the Chinese to consolidate their political power under one umbrella, just as what the Malays were doing under UMNO.
Though, BN had lost almost all Chinese supports it should stay benevolent and must maintain Chinese representation in the administration and try repair the rift with the Chinese community.
Najib must not listen to the ultras in his party that may want to make an example of BN without Chinese.
There are still pockets of Chinese that still support BN. MCA was not completely trounced, they managed to collect 7 MP seats.
Najib, must continue with his transformation programmes and change the mindset of the leaders in UMNO that things are not going to be the same anymore and that there will be no more gravy trains for them to hop a ride on, adopt zero tolerance for corruptions and restructure the economic pie that gives equitable opportunity to all Malaysians, irrespective of their colour and creed.
Unless, he does it quickly, within the limited time he has, BN or rather UMNO would become irrelevant and would not be around after the 14th GE.
Anwar, should be a gentleman, should accept the people's verdict and live to fight another day, or keep the promise he made before the elections to withdraw from politics gracefully.
Again, Sabah and Sarawak are the kingmakers and Najib should not forget that they now hold the trump cards and he better be kind to these two states or else find himself in a very precarious position.