Malaysia: Looking Back at Kuala Kangsar and Sungei Besar


June 21, 2016

Malaysia: Looking Back at Kuala Kangsar and Sungei Besar

by Sahabat Seperjuangan

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

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“The influence of Dr Mahathir Mohamad has waned among the Malays. The older generation still remember him as a leader who, while making Malaysia prominent by fast-tracked materialistic development, indulged in dismantling the checks and balances which he saw as a hindrance to his autocracy. They are not prepared to have him and his ilk again. It remains to be seen whether the Citizens’ Declaration will survive this setback, and whether the motley crew of Opposition politicians, NGOs and NGIs with thinly-veiled political ambitions will continue to forlornly prop him up.–Sahabat Seperjuangan 

Once in a while, an event occurs that leaves a profound effect on the political scene. While some rush to label such events with less compassionate terms like divine intervention, others simply prefer to call it neutral serendipity.”–

Now that the by-elections have come and gone in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, what are the lessons that can inform the future course of the political parties involved in the fight?

1. The support base of PAS is still intact. Efforts by Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) have failed to make inroads into the rural strongholds of the Islamist party. The liberals in Amanah can garner some support from the chattering classes in the towns but they have not found fertile ground among country folk accustomed to finding solace in a more spiritual outlook to tide them over hard times.

2. PAS, alone as a political party, contributes as many votes as the other three political parties grouped together in Pakatan Harapan. If DAP is counting on Malay support from PKR and Amanah to boost its chances for federal power, it has got to have a serious re-look. Whoever underestimates the hardy “jentera” of the committed Islamists, and the ideology which makes them tick, is making a serious mistake.

3. The semi-rural Chinese in these communities can swing their votes just like their brethren in the urban enclaves. We have seen many examples of this before. What bothers them is their livelihood more than all the political intrigues and all the national issues which the less deprived middle classes are so fond of. Whoever can put food on their tables looms large in their thoughts when they mark the ballot.

4. What were the other factors which made those Chinese swing? Disillusionment with the endless squabbles among the politicians in the Opposition (and government in the case of Selangor)? Or simply a dawning realisation that they’ve been had, that politicians who gained power in their name have pulled a fast one on them by using political office to acquire material assets, leaving them to look foolish and still neglected.

5. PAS has failed to gain Chinese support. While its call for hudud is definitely able to rally the party faithful to withstand the onslaught of a DAP-backed Amanah to break their ranks, the same issue still spooks the Chinese. They still see it as a frightful threat of harsh punishment being visited upon them, and not an issue which boils down in the end to letting a part of a diverse nation exercise its democratic right to practise a religion the true way as the followers see it, without infringing on the rights of the other parts of the nation who do not believe in the same religion.

6. The influence of Dr Mahathir Mohamad has waned among the Malays. The older generation still remember him as a leader who, while making Malaysia prominent by fast-tracked materialistic development, indulged in dismantling the checks and balances which he saw as a hindrance to his autocracy. They are not prepared to have him and his ilk again. It remains to be seen whether the Citizens’ Declaration will survive this setback, and whether the motley crew of Opposition politicians, NGOs and NGIs with thinly-veiled political ambitions will continue to forlornly prop him up.

Sahabat Seperjuangan is a non-Muslim grassroots activist in a Muslim political party.

4 thoughts on “Malaysia: Looking Back at Kuala Kangsar and Sungei Besar

  1. Hadi’s PAS caused the Chinese votes to return to BN, as they see Pakatan Harapan to be helpless in dealing with PAS.

    PAS garnered less votes than pre- Pakatan days, and this is considered defending it’s rural base?

    Amanah garnered 20% of the Malay votes. Its respectable and more important, proves, the only way Hadi’s strategy make sense is if they plan to join with UMNO. PAS and their friends like these are lying left and right.

  2. I wouldn’t say these are a cogent series of “explanations”. Seems more like licking a finger and putting it up in the air to me.

    First the writer says the Chinese is all about livelihood, and would swing for anyone who could put food on their tables. This is why, the writer thinks, the Chinese swung towards BN. But…. (1) Didn’t BN also put food on the table during GE13? What’s different now? (2) Who is mainly to blame for the current economic hardships that we, the rural Chinese included, are facing – isn’t it the BN government? If the Chinese were voting based on the effect on their livelihood, why would they choose BN?

    The writer then says the Mahathir factor led people to reject the Opposition because “The older generation still remember him as a leader who, while making Malaysia prominent by fast-tracked materialistic development, indulged in dismantling the checks and balances which he saw as a hindrance to his autocracy. They are not prepared to have him and his ilk again.”

    Riiiiight. If these older gen people really were that sophisticated, they would also have rejected outright a party with a president who has billions in his personal account. And besides, hasn’t the current sitting Prime Minister “indulged in dismantling the checks and balances which he saw as a hindrance to his autocracy” as well, and so much closer in recent memory?

    If you ask me, three things won BN these elections:

    1) An abundance of money and other material gifts.
    2) Racial sentiment.
    3) UMNO’s master stroke in splitting PAS from the rest.

  3. You are absolutely right, Mujahid.

    The Chinapek are swinging, not so much from the issues the blinkered writer thinks – but from the strategic standpoint of shutting-out monomaniacal PAS, by voting for the Devil they know. I’d advise the lapdog sino-mongrel chief to stick to the story of ‘Give me a bargaining chip to give the effing Boss and i’ll make sure PAS becomes Nothing’.

    Now, which Chinapek doesn’t understand good poker? After all this is just a buy-election. If Jibros doesn’t deliver, they’ll know what to do in less than 2 years.

    Amanah? Them Sepet don’t trust no Islamist or any other Religiously motivated masturbators. The best Amanah can do is promise that Hudud-Syariah Laws can only be implemented in a ‘Perfectly Just Society’ – which is impossible. Best to morph into a socially responsible Islamic Moderates tagline. Sabar..

    The Main Losers are those DAP wankers who thought they could walk on water. Now they sink. Good riddance to hugely inflated egos and their gangsters.

    I would say that Azmin tried his best, but he ain’t no Anwar. I’d agree with his formula – even though PAS would’ve still lost in K.K. PKR could have gained Sg Besar. That will make Jibros tremble.. Instead, now that clown is beating his scrawny chest and spewing most unmagnanimous invective on his Sifu.

  4. Inche Mujahid, your counter arguments and roundup analysis is spot on. I think you are a thoughtful man and don’t comment easily. But please do so more often. Regards.

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