Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kuala Terengganu - politics & strange bedfellows

Malaysiakini - PAS wins KT by 2,631 votes.

A predictable victory for PAS in the wake of the March 08 political tsunami that swept Peninsula Malaysia, which I had blogged 2 weeks ago in Divine revelation for Kuala Terengganu.

No doubt with PAS win, many souls in KT have been divinely saved, and a place in heaven guaranteed.

In my earlier post, I had written: The BN or UMNO will be blooming lucky to retain the seat. If it wins by just one single vote it can crowed as much as it likes because that will be truly be a Mt Everest-ish achievement. […]

Yes, on the basis of what had happened since 08 March 08, PAS should win easily, so UMNO will be very very lucky to win Kuala Terengganu. […]

Not only does the tsunamic force still have momentum, which the BN has thus far done buggerall to check or neutralize, some swaying voters (Chinese, Indians and others = 11.7% = over 9,000 votes) are seeing a post 08 March 08 situation where the lie of the political landscape has changed unbelievably. This may influence/alter their decision for the coming by-election.

One week ago Ong Kian Ming wrote an analysis on the likely outcome of the by-election in a Malaysiakini news article titled KT by-election: Voting estimates where his prediction, based on factors such as split voting, voters’ turnout by ethnicity and age, percentage of BN voters by age, estimates and effect of non turnout (by ethnicity), postal votes, the effect of an independent candidate, etc etc, led him to an estimate for PAS winning by a 3290 majority.

That’s amazingly almost spot on. Undoubtedly he is a political analyst to watch, and probably will be Malaysia’s No 1 political pollster. I have admired top Aussie political pollsters/analysts like Rod Cameron, Anthony Green, and Malcolm Mackerras and I believe Ong will be the Malaysian equivalent.

Ong did make a second forecast at the last minute, where he doubled the majority for PAS, but in mitigation he based that on a couple of surveys by Merdeka Centre. His original was very accurate.

The election result indicates that the PAS hudud intention, which the Islamic Party was provoked by Khairy Jamaluddin into admitting, hadn't concerned the non-Muslims as once it would undoubtedly have – thanks to DAP continuous support for PAS in the campaign which had lent credence to PAS assurance that hudud will only apply to Muslims. Of course Anwar Ibrahim added his voice of assurance as well.

If Husam Musa had not confessed to PAS hudud intention, I would have continued supporting the Islamic party as I would a candidate from a member party of the Pakatan Rakyat (despite my dislike for one particular person wakakaka).

But once PAS has shown it still wants to bring in an Islamic code of punishment that’s deemed as draconian in today’s world and its values, I couldn’t in all conscience morally support such an intention and thus its candidate anymore.

The only leader from the Pakatan Rakyat who was knowledgeable, courageous and principled enough to shoot PAS' and Anwar Ibrahim’s assurance down as fallacious was Karpal Singh, proving he is DAP’s ‘spiritual’ leader in neither compromising on secular principles nor accommodating constitutional acrobatics.

The voters in the state constituency of Bandar (not under any by-election at this stage) apparently went for the PAS candidate, when previously the voters (mainly Chinese) had voted BN. Thus the Chinese had placed their belief in Anwar Ibrahim’s fallacious assurance, buttressed by DAP’s uncompromising support.

While, as they say, politics make strange bedfellows, the most disappointing were those observed in the blogosphere, where they who were most vociferous against Islamic intrusions into the domains of non Muslims, such as the issue of body snatching and the Lina Joy apostasy case, were deafening by their complete silence about PAS avowed implementation of hudud.

Nary a single teeny weeny itsy bitsy squeal could be detected from those so-called loud and intrepid crusaders for Lina Joy and various other anti-Islamic issues. Worse, they even explained why it was okay to vote for PAS despite its publicly declared intention to implement hudud.

Particularly for those who had 'crusaded' for Lina Joy, supporting the PAS candidate (whether morally or by voting for him) implies accepting PAS' hudud intention, which in turn implies accepting that Lina Joy, who's considered by Islam as an apostate, could and would be tried under the hudud. The penalty for apostasy is death!

As I blogged nearly two years ago in Lina Joy - Victim of religion or Votive offering to religion?:

Sometimes, the way things are going, with the attempts to oil the hinges of the constitutional stable doors after the horse has already bolted (let alone close it), I do wonder whether she was not only a victim but also a votive offering – to the high altar of proving a point.

I worry her personal aims have been subordinated to other aims. I fear she has been unnecessarily turned into a cause célèbre who is feared/hated by conservative Muslims. How would that help her win sympathy and leniency from the Syariah Court?

Maybe her aim doesn’t matter; yes, maybe we should fight valiantly for correct interpretation of constitutional laws to the last drop of her Christian blood.

I have been proven correct, that the people who championed Lina Joy had only wanted to turn her into a cause célèbre for their own agenda.

Just read the comments in that post of mine and see how attitudes, beliefs and principles regarding Islam and its effect on the Malaysian Constitution have undergone a sea change since.

Where's that same passion in the current issue of PAS' avowed hudud?

Or, shall I be less euphemistic and say ‘what happened to that bunch of self-serving hypocrites?’

If the more common saying is that ‘politics make strange bedfellows’, then I would like to amend it to read ‘politics make strange bedfellows and whores’.


  1. Well, I would not consider myself either a "self-serving hypocrite" or "whore".

    The possibility of Malaysia ending up an Islamic state with unreasonable restrictions on the rights of non-Muslims, and Barisan Nasional's corrupt and decadent rule are both serious threats to the country's future.

    I happen to think the 2nd is a serious, real and present danger.

    And I just don't think PAS's Hudud positioning is a real and present contributor to the 1st threat, at this moment.

    Lina Joy's case was a real court case involving a real suffering person, not a political platform.
    In any case, for the 1st threat, UMNO has been more of a prime mover than anybody else.

    I respect your right to your views, and hope you can respect different views without resorting to all kinds of name calling.

    Thank you.

  2. politics=whores?
    i like.....

  3. Yeah..Yeah..Yeah..Yeah..

    The black man come
    The black man gone

    The white man phoot

  4. I'm not surprised the Chinese in Kuala Terengganu mostly voted for BN.
    But the MCA is gravely mistaken and out of touch if they think it is a sign of a revival in the community's support for them.

    Terengganu Mentri Besar Ahmad Said in ceramah to a mainly Chinese audience -
    ''You baik sama saya, saya pun baik sama you. You tak baik sama saya, saya sepuluh kali tak baik sama you".
    Its true, my old uncle was there.

    If that's not a threat, I don't know what is.

    It just a small community in KT- some 8,000 adults. Most of the youngsters work somewhere else in the Klang Valley, Singapore or Penang, as I do.
    I spent a long hour on the phone home on Friday night trying to convince my folks it was necessary to help hand BN a defeat by voting PAS. Their thinking is - after Saturday, DAP, Anwar Ibrahim, all will be gone, but we still be here and we to deal with the UMNO state government. We can't afford to be blamed for a BN defeat.

  5. We could probably learn a thing or two from Turkey. It has a 99% Muslim population, but it is by Constitution a staunchly secular state, and many of the educated middle-class consider themselves part of Europe.

    The current Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, came to power leading an Islamist party with a platform to govern the country more towards Islamic principles. He has managed to assuage the country's strongly secular establishment, including the military, by continuing to respect the country's Constitution, and keeping to a moderate policy line. Its been called "Islamism-lite".

    I'm not sure how far the analogy works with Malaysia, after all Turkey is 99% Muslim, but there is similarity in that a large minority of the Turkish population consider themselves Europeans first, and do not welcome an Islamist theocracy.

    I call it the "Erdogan model".
    Can it work in Malaysia ?

  6. There is a so-called Erdogan faction in PAS, although I am a bit skeptical about the extent of their influence, but time will tell. All we can do is voice our support for this faction, and leave the rest to PAS' grassroots.

    As KTemoc said in a previous post, not all in the DAP have the same set of priorities. Likewise, not all in PAS are for Hudud. Some Malays join PAS out of lack of options... they reject UMNO, DAP is too much of a stretch for cultural reasons, and they don't like Anwar Ibrahim's style, so the default choice is PAS. Doesn't make them proponents of theocracy.

    This is similar to how some long-time DAP members, even pretty prominent ones, will tell you in private that they actually don't identify with socialism at all!

  7. I vote DAP 'cause I can't stand the Chinese f*cking traitors in Barisan Nasional aka MCA and Gerakan.

    But I'm most defintely not a socialist !

  8. sometimes i wonder if we choose because we can

    everyone's a rebellious teen i guess

  9. No doubt PR supporters would like to believe that the KT voters had national agenda on their mind when they voted.

    But based on all the surveys and polls, the issues close to their hearts were local issues. In fact the voting pattern was very similar to the GE and the victory margin probably contributed by the absence of fence sitters who voted during GE for BN. The likability of the PAS candidate over BN's likely another reason.

    Only the non Malay voters cast their votes based on national issues.

    To say that the Malays voted for PAS for what they stand on civil society is as laughable as saying Anwar Ibrahim is a principled politician.

    The KT Malays voted PAS for one and one thing only, that is due to their perceived religious credentials. For Malaysia, when the voting pattern follows religious line, it is a very worrisome development.

    In any case, PAS victory is a victory for Hudud and Islamic state. The biggest loser is not UMNO but DAP. This is because PAS has strengthened its leverage over DAP and this will only mean that PAS will continue to be vocal on Hudud.

  10. "When cornered by the moderator, Khairy (Jamaluddin) himself admitted that Umno would also endorse hudud".