Thursday, December 22, 2005

PAS lost but Kelantan has triumphed

Category : Politics

BN should not be overly excited with the 134 votes
majority they got to win the Pengkalan Pasir state
by-election. Kelantan Umno chief must have thick skin
to claim such a razor-thin majority as a clear
indication that the Kelantan people has lost faith in
PAS governance. If we look at it a little closely, BN
may have won the battle, but everyone knows, it
actually lost the war.

Even before the day the by-election was announced, BN
machinery, especially Umno members from around the
country have ‘moved mountains’ to ensure they win the
seat. Despite the state being under PAS rule, the
playing field was never even. The TV channels and the
mainstream print media openly campaigned for the BN

Plus the colossal federal government machineries and
the exchequer vault is wide open for Umno’s spending
spree. All the resources combined, BN was in an
overwhelmingly advantageous position as compared to
the clean, elfin and fragile PAS regime.

Every minister had something to give from their
ministries plus promises abound. Even exam results
were announced in the constituency for media coverage.
Building a university has been the standard carrot
these days. Every Umno post holders from the party,
Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri were there day and night
coaxing simple and unsuspecting village people for
their votes. There has never been an election where
the deputy prime minister himself, despite being booed
in most places he visited, stayed camped to motivate
BN election workers.

Despite reaping more benefits in the nine days of
campaigning than what their wakil rakyat would have
otherwise given them in 30 years, Pengkalan Pasir
people proved far smarter than the Umno people. For
the amount of effort and money BN put into the
constituency, getting a majority of less than one
percent is a stark shame..

For 134 votes, Kelantan people caught BN in a catch-22
situation. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Abdul Razak
have to keep their promises for developments, for
university, for better infrastructure, for better
living conditions and they have about two years to
deliver. If BN keeps their promise, Kelantan people
might find they don’t need BN after all. If BN fails,
they lose Kelantan again.

They know the BN sandiwara all too well. The Puteri
chief was wearing a ‘tudung’! The Umno Youth were
painting the surau. The leaders were going around
inquiring the state of health of grandmothers. The MBs
were walking barefoot in flash floods. The people of
Pengkalan Pasir know, after this, these people will
never set foot on their soil again. And they also
know, at least PAS are the honest and sincere lot.
What you see is what you get. They don’t lie or make
false promises. They know the greater part of their
present-day suffering comes from BN sabotage of
development funds to the state.

The phantom voters that PAS feared of BN supposedly
did not work for them this time. But the postal votes
and the spoilt votes was enough to secure BN victory
when such a razor-thin situation arises. Despite being
against such odds, PAS getting almost 50 percent of
the votes is a great feat. Had this been a national
election, where BN resources had to be divided among
thousands of constituencies, BN could never have
beaten PAS. Luckily enough, PAS did not fall into BN
trap when they were challenged to dissolve the state
assembly. The BN could have swept the state away.

Given the above factors, if the voting is any
indication, in a situation of a national election when
it is called, BN has no chance to take the seat or the
state away from PAS. One can bluff the village once
but the Kelantan people will not buy the same
fairytale next time around. After all, what has
Abdullah to show in the economy? In religion? In
education? In good governance?

Malaysians know how corrupted Umno and the BN
administrations are. The rot in the police,
immigration, JPJ, local governments, in the finance
ministry, the APs, etc, are so very terrible. They
also know we have the weakest PM in history whose
brother spins his fortune from the misfortune of
Malaysia Airlines. What he makes from extra long
contracts with the Army is another feat by itself.

Malaysians already know the truth. Sermons don’t make
dreams come true. What is in hand is worth two in
promises. Kelantanese really know how to exploit
Barisan Nasional. Which ever way we look at it,
Kelantan won the Pengkalan Pasir by-election. They
just did.

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