Dear Olde (though not too old) Hishamuddin Hussein is on panic mode. Politically accident-proned, the Home Minister has a natural talent in offending the Chinese and Indians, so even he would have realized by now, the Chinese and Indians won't be too fond of him.
Because his federal constituency of Sembrong has 40% Chinese voters wakakaka, he has correctly assessed he'll be stuffed in the next general election.
Hisham’s fear has found firm grounds in The Malaysian Insider’s (TMI) latest report that In Johor, Chinese set to snub BN in polls.
According to TMI, Professor Abu Hassan Hasbullah of think-tank Zentrum Future Studies (based at UM) revealed that “… its end-of-year surveys have seen Johor Chinese catch up with and possibly overtake their northern kin in terms of backing PR. Opposition leaders in the state estimate that they won 55 per cent of Chinese votes in the last election but ….. support from the community has surged to close to 90 per cent.”
90%! Now, can you blame Hisham for his QD (quiet despair)? Wakakaka!
The Prof described the massive political swing as a “silent Tionghua revolution”.
According to the Zentrum survey, Chinese approval of Pakatan in Johor rose to 68% after the last election, and climbed further to 79 per cent in 2010. With the lastest figures, this could effectively enable Pakatan to pick up 15 federal and 30 state seats in Johor (compared to 1 and 6 respectively on 08 March 2008).
There are now rumours of Hishamuddin cabut-ing (scooting off) from Sembrong to Kota Tinggi. I hope he doesn't forget to take his keris along with him.
Chinese Malaysians, even Penangites, are by nature political conservatives, desiring political stability and economic prosperity, which has been why Penangites tolerated Koh TK and his spineless Gerakan Party for almost 40 years.
But among Chinese Malaysians, those in Johor are probably the most conservative, preferring to stick with Tunku’s Perikatan and subsequently Tun Razak’s BN even as late as 2008. Unlike their Penang counterparts, who swept away both ruling parties in 1969* and 2008, the Johoreans seemed to be far more tolerant of Perikatan/BN excesses and arrogance.
* just a note on someone’s assertion (which I read somewhere) that Anwar Ibrahim was responsible for the change of government in Penang on 08 March 2008, let me as a Penangite say that’s taking hero-worship too far. Sure, Anwar Ibrahim played a major role in inspiring the 2008 political tsunami, but Penangites always have their own political say, with or without Anwar, as demonstrated in 1969 when Anwar was a mere Muslim student activist of 22 years old. Penangites change government when they themselves wish, and not because of any particular person.
Now, an example of Chinese pragmatism - UMNO ultras, whenever it suits them, like to accuse their fave punching bag, the Chinese, of being biadap (ill mannered) to the Malay rulers. But as former UMNO bloger, Sakmongkol AK47 wrote (words to the effect), that’s nonsense because Chinese would be more than happy to do the contrary, like hormat, ampu and even bodek the sultans (including ministers & MBs) so as to be able continue their commercial-economic ways unimpeded.
Some Chinese businessmen have been known to chase after and even 'purchase' datukships, not because they want to be datuks per se but because the datukships give them access into privileged circles to canvas, conduct and cari-makan business deals.
In short, most Chinese Malaysians aren’t really all that interested in politics (whether of the Mahathir, AAB, Najib or Anwar's variety) so long as the political system allows them to work hard and prosper. But when they are forced into a corner, as they were in 1969 and 2008, where allegations of corruption against Perikatan and BN were just too overpowering to close one eye to, they would vote 'wisely'.
In the latter case, especially during AAB's time and continuing into Najib's premiership, UMNO and its apparatus like Perkasa and Utusan, plus a reborn Dilemmatic Malay, became a frightening bigoted monster which troubled many Chinese enormously. There was too much yang which unbalanced the Tao, that was, the commercial-enonomic Tao.
The other factor that would (and had*) agitate Chinese Malaysians is their children’s educational rights, or more correctly, their rights to good quality (high standard) education. Education has been a central pillar of Chinese culture for thousands of years, seen by the Chinese proletariat as a means (then, probably the only avenue) of breaking out of their labourer/working class lot.
* in 1987, the Education Ministry under Anwar Ibrahim appointed 100 non-Mandarin educated senior assistants and principals to vernacular schools, leading Chinese to protest against what they perceived as a deliberate tampering of their education standard. The Dong Jiao Zong (Chinese educationists) protest was joined by MCA, Gerakan and DAP. UMNO Youth, then under Najib with his blood-dripping keris, wanted to counter-protest. It led to the draconian Ops Lallang.
Because successive UMNO Education Ministers turned the national education system into the lamentable political football it became, and consequentially with perceived abysmal standards, Chinese gave up on that and quietly sought alternative streams, leading them to Chinese vernacular education (in pre-Merdeka days and even some years after that, the gold standard in education was English medium schools).
As we have just read, the Johor Chinese have reached their political breaking point. They want to send BN out.
If we remember an election truism in most democracies, voters generally vote a political party out of power rather than vote it into power. This translates into an incumbent political party or candidate losing, while the challenger becomes the winner by default. Thus, the Johor Chinese will focus on giving the BN a belting the latter long deserve.
And Pakatan will by default pick up BN’s lost seats – according to Zentrum, 15 federal and 30 state seats in Johor (compared to 1 and 6 respectively on 08 March 2008).
If we accept that, I just wonder which Pakatan component party will pick up the rewards.
I ask because 3 online news portal, Malaysiakini, Sin Chew and wakakaka Malaysia-Today have reported a rift between PKR and DAP over some seats, two of which I can name right away, Gelang Patah and Johor Jaya, both currently held by wakakaka, MCA.
It hasn’t help that the PKR Chair in Johor is Chua Jui Meng, a PKR newbie who was formerly from MCA. He is under pressure to show his stripes, and in like fashion to what Tian Chua had attempted in the past, likely at DAP’s expense.
PKR wants a monopoly on mixed ethnic constituencies (on whatever nebulous basis it has claimed) while at the same has been avariciously eyeing the attractive blue ribbon seats with Chinese majority. DAP which has traditionally contested in the latter type also wants a share of the far more numerous mixed constituencies.
Ironically, we saw a perverted version of this in the last Sarawak election where sore loser PKR groused about DAP staying safe in urban areas instead of venturing forth into rural constituencies, conveniently forgetting that it was PKR itself which unilaterally and pre-emptively grabbed 52 (subsequently 49) seats out of an available 71 in the Sarawak State election.
As I wrote in May 2011 in a post PKR's green-eyed monster:
….. a disgraceful petulant sour grapes merajuking Baru Bian … told The Malaysian Insider PKR wants DAP and PAS to prove they’re multiracial, but obviously targeting the DAP.
He claimed that PKR “...wants its Pakatan Rakyat PR partners to contest in ‘black seats’ in the next general election and dismiss the notion that they cannot cross the racial divide.”
He also told reporters that PKR “... could not continue shouldering the burden of contesting in BN strongholds alone."
Shouldering the burden of contesting in BN strongholds alone? My bloody foot, don't make my toes laugh!
This is the state head of a party who pre-emptively grabbed 52 seats without even a thought for its coalition allies in an unrealistic expectation PKR could be the winning PR member with the majority of seats, with him as CM wakakaka.
Here’s a case of a greedy gluttonous grabbing beast which had refused to share and ate more than it could practically swallow, and now blames DAP for its tummy ache. Padan muka.
Of course in Johor it sings a different tune where it sure as hell doesn’t want DAP to “...to contest in ‘black seats’ in the next general election and dismiss the notion that they cannot cross the racial divide”
that PKR “... could not continue shouldering the burden of contesting in BN strongholds alone."
Anyway, Johor PKR election director Steven Choong admitted that the State PKR and DAP people stopped discussing seats allocation since July 2011, with the matter now escalated to the Pakatan presidential consultative council.
Man man lai – Johor's 'silent Tionghua revolution' is not only among the voters, wakakaka!