I read three pieces of really bad news for Najib. As I once explained to a sweetie (who incidentally no longer loves me, sob!), good things come in 'threes', and not from 'trees' as she had believed. These are of course ‘good things’ for Pakatan, but bad news to a very tired Najib who was forced to take up residence in Sarawak during the last 10 days of hectic election campaigning, thanks to his campaign director, Muhyiddin wakakaka.
The first goodie is Lim Kit Siang’s call today for DAP and SNAP to merge.
It’s a brilliant idea because the merger will allow a debilitated SNAP to enjoy DAP support, organizational powers and discipline approach to election campaigning. For example, DAP had prepared for the Sarawak state elections months and months ahead, unlike Azmin Ali’s PKR which thought waltzing in to make a grand entrance at the last moment, coupled with a preemptive stake claim of 52 seats, was adequate for the Wunder Party under the presidential campaign direction of Anwar’s Wunderkind (Wonder Child).
Even the DAP mascot of the Ubah hornbill was carefully selected eons ago, with orders for its production in China obviously made well ahead of the election. Training its candidates and members for the campaign was part of its attention to details, which proved vital to its success.
The DAP brand is today a recognized symbol of political courage, resoluteness and justice which many Sarawakians have come to view with confidence. It would greatly benefit SNAP if their leaders are prepared to make use of it. Even PAS which didn't win any seats realized in their post-mortem they should have made known to the Sarawakians that a vote for PAS was equivalent to a vote for DAP - they were informed by their supporters that many Saawakians voting in their constituencies didn't recognize the 'moon' party symbol but were looking instead for the 'rocket' (which of course was not there on the ballot paper).
In turn, DAP will of course enjoy SNAP's historical connection with the Sarawak heartland, which will help accelerate its presence among the Ibans and other native groups.
I'm delighted that Lim KS has stretched out the DAP's hands to SNAP. It’s a win-win situation for both parties, but which will send a chill down Najib’s spine. I’m particularly sympathetic to SNAP and the Ibans, so here’s an agi idup agi ngelaban to the SNAP members.
The second goodie but again an unpleasant piece of news for poor Najib is contained in the erudite analysis of the election by Malaysiakini correspondent Bridget Welsh. In her article The myths of S'wak polls results, Welsh dismissed the outrageous nonsense by Dr Mahathir of a Chinese racist ‘revolt’ via the ballot box.
According to her, there had been significant, in fact quite earth-shaking swings across the ethnic divides to Pakatan, notably in the Bidayuh and Orang-Ulu majority constituencies. The swings were (rounded up) 20%, 15% and 13.5% respectively in the semi-rural, rural and urban constituencies, thus indicating a far greater swing in the so-called BN heartland than in the urban (Chinese-majority) constituencies. Eat that, Tun.
Thus Welsh assessed that: “The 'safe' seats in the urban periphery are no longer 'safe'. The change in voting pattern reflected not just Chinese support for Pakatan, but Iban and Bidayuh support as well. In fact, what is especially interesting is that the movement in support in rural areas is more than the share in urban areas (although it is important to note that the urban areas have more voters)."
She said the only reason why Pakatan didn’t win more semi-rural seats despite the 20% swing towards them was due to the minuscule support for Pakatan prior to 2011, where it required a 40% swing for the opposition to win. But the 20% swing is still significant in any language, Iban, Malay or Chinese. The frightening outlook for Najib is that the seismic shift has already started. The general election in (latest by) 2013 may see realization of the full effect of a continuing swing towards Pakatan. I believe that both halo and bandwagon effect will help.
She also offered an ominous warning to the BN, stating: "More than anything, these findings point illustrate how much the 'fixed deposit' is no longer secure. Semi-rural and rural cracks in BN support are part of the new Sarawak, a more competitive polity that has become increasingly receptive to a stronger two-party system and critical of BN governance, especially in the areas of corruption."
Welsh noticed the swing to be greatest among the youth of Sarawak, the growing segment of voters for the future. There'll be more of these 18-year olds by 2013. I wonder whether this observation has triggered Najib’s hastily cobbled together 1Malaysia free email offer to the youth?
So no matter what Dr Mahathir has spun sinisterly on his blog, perhaps to re-marshal his pack or to vent his personal frustration at the Chinese Sarawakians or DAP, the facts on the Sarawak ground tells a different story, an unpleasant one which no doubt must have shaken Najib enormously.
Finally, the third goodie for Pakatan has been an assessment by local political pundits that everyone's bête noire, Datuk Peh Mor has no intention to leave at all.
Indeed, as Sakmongkol opined as a correspondent (under his real name, Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz) in a Free Malaysia Today article Najib’s hurdles after Sarawak, why should/would Taib leave? After all, didn't his PBB won all 35 seats contested? And ironically, in this solid PBB's win lies the humongous headache for Najib.
Sak revealed a possible conspiracy theory that Putrajaya was going to replace Taib with a bloke by the name of Sallah Jaffaradin who unfortunately (or fortunately for Pakatan) was knocked out in the election by a triumphant Taib. That could explained Taib’s obscenely hasty swearing in as he must have feared a Putrajaya’s coup d’etat.
Sak then posed this illuminating query: "Now you tell me! Will a person who rushed his own swearing in as CM, indicating that he wants to stay put, go off in two to three years?
The problem now stays with the BN chairman Najib. He has promised the people of Sarawak that Taib will go off soon. On the contrary, Taib is sending signals that he plans to stay put for as long as he wants to.
He leaves on his terms and conditions, not on BN’s or Umno’s or the PM’s."
As I had posted earlier, Taib’s insistence on staying on will be a boon to Pakatan as he represents a central symbol of hate for the Sarawakians and thus a humongous item of motivation for voters in that State to swing even more to Pakatan.
Good things come in threes, wakakaka.
P/S - By the by, PAS should not give up. Bridget Welsh analysed that the Islamic Party had made some inroads in swaying the Sarawakians away from BN.
Just remember, DAP took more than 30 years to achieve the recent level of success. 'Twas all hard work, and lots of heartbreaks, but the break-through has been worthwhile. DAP has laid grounds for a combined DAP/SNAP, PKR and PAS success in the next election.