I have just read P Gunasegaram's article Who will win GE13? in Malaysiakini. He has very methodically, and I believe quite logically, laid down his points which argue that it will be a tough struggle for Pakatan to secure a majority of federal seats in Peninsula to claim rule after the election.
But he said it's tough though not impossible, using the March 2008 results as indicative of Pakatan achieving the 'impossible'.
But he cautioned that it will likely be a very close call, where in such a situation, every single vote will count, more than ever before in Malaya/Malaysia's 55 years' history as an independent nation.
Malaysian politics is the story of politics of race or, if you like, race in politics. Unfortunately we can't escape racial discussions in politics because in truth we haven't yet possessed adequate thrust (or trust) and thus the required escape velocity to overcome its powerful gravitational pull, which compels us into more mundane Earthly understanding of its issues.
One insight Gunasegaram shared with us in his article has been that the Chinese vote bank is more or less already owned by Pakatan, and thus any further increase in Chinese support will likely not be as dramatically significant as it had been in 2008.
Whatever moderate gains Pakatan will further obtain from the Chinese in GE-13 will probably be in some MCA-held seats in Johor.
Also, rumours have it that Hishamuddin Hussein will be changing his seat for another as 40% of the registered voters in his current constituency of Sembrong are Chinese, so that could well be a pending Pakatan seat.
Of course there may be gains in additional Chinese-majority seats in Sabah and Sarawak, but I'll leave this sector to better informed people to enlighten me.
One glaring omission in Gunasegaram's article has been the Indian factor in Peninsula. Remember how Uthayakuamar and his supporters and sympathizers kept telling us it was the Hindraf-galvanized Indian mass that enabled Pakatan to achieve its 2008 election wins, ...
... and how he would withdraw that Hindraf-ized Indian support for Pakatan if the coalition doesn't listen to and accept his HRP's several demands, one of which had been the right to contest in 7 parliamentary seats and 16 state seats without Pakatan's participation, based on a Free Malaysia Today's report on 14 September 2011 titled HRP demands 23 seats from Pakatan.
The seven parliamentary seats he wanted were:
(1) Padang Serai (Kedah) currently held by Gobalakrishnan, formerly PKR,
(2) Batu Kawan (Penang) currently held by Dr Ramasamy (DAP)
(3) Ipoh Barat (Perak) currently held by Kulasegaran (DAP)
(4) Kota Raja (Selangor) currently held by Siti Mariah Mahmud (PAS)
(5) Teluk Kemang (Negri Sembilan) currently held by Kamarul Baharin Abbas (PKR)
(6) Cameron Highlands (Pahang) currently held by Devamany Krishnasamy (MIC), and
(7) Tebrau (Johor) currently held by Teng Book Soon (MCA).
Now, hasn't Uthayakumar just been the brightest spark in the class in asking Pakatan to meekly surrender 5 of their federal seats for his HRP to contest in GE-13, with 3 of the 5 seats held by his fellow Indians?
Surely this calls for a re-reading of my post Malaysian Racism & The 3 Baskets of Crabs at my other blog BolehTalk, wakakaka.
The 16 state seats he wanted were Bukit Selambau and Lunas (Kedah), Prai and Bagan Dalam (Penang), Buntong and Hutan Melintang (Perak), Port Dickson and Jeram Padang (Negri Sembilan), Tanah Rata and Ketari (Pahang), Puteri Wangsa and Tiram (Johor) and Sri Andalas, Ijok, Seri Setia and Bukit Melawati (Selangor).
You can work it out how many of those seats are currently held by Pakatan. Help you with a couple: Khalid Ibrahim holds Ijok, wakakaka, and Dr Ramasamy holds Prai, wakakaka again.
What do you reckon Pakatan would have told him? Maybe something like this:
You claimed to have gifted mandores
In 2008 with a Hindraf blank cheque
Now you want us to be like whores
To give in and lie down on our back
Perhaps mandores we may well be
Though if you expect us to give in
To demands so big-headedly crazy
Tambi, we'd be committing a big sin
Wakakaka, and I am not sure whether Uthayakumar is still insisting on these 23 seats.
But anyway, back on track, I wish Gunasegaram had analysed the Indian factor in his article.
On one hand people like Uthaykumar claimed that it had been Indian support that enabled Pakatan to win such a big victory in 2008, and should that be true, then given recent analyses that about 80% of Indians have returned to the BN fold, what does that spell for Pakatan other than big trouble.
On the other, which I am inclined towards, yes the Indians did contribute to the Pakatan victory in 2008 but they weren't the most impactful force behind the tsunami sweeping our political landscape.
In arguing against the theory of Hindraf being the principal winning factor, I drew comparison to an earlier tsunami in 1969 when Hindraf was not even in existence (and Anwar Ibrahim was a youngish 20 something) yet which saw BN's predecessor, Perikatan (Alliance) lost humongously.
|Gerakan celebrating its 1969 victory|
Syed Hussein Alatas with pipe, his arms around Lim Chong Eu
I stated that the Pakatan victory in 2008, as the victory for the loose informal pact of Gerakan-DAP-PPP (including even informal associate PAS) in 1969, happened because many voters had had enough of BN and respectively Perikatan, and were prepared to change, and not because of any particular NGO. It calls into question the theory of Hindraf being the primary earth-shaking force in March 2008.
|Najib's real 'fixed deposit', wakakaka|
We also need to remember that Hindraf had not been an exclusive Uthayakumar's one-man effort but which saw front line participation by DAP members, one of whom, M Manoharan, is an ADUN who won Kota Alam Shah seat while he was behind ISA lockup as a Hindraf leader. So not all Hindraf supporters would necessarily boycott Pakatan.
It's also significant to note that Manoharan won in a Chinese majority seat, defeating the BN Chinese candidate by a resounding majority of more than 7500 votes in a constituency of only 26000 voters. Thus it's likely the DAP brand rather than Hindraf label that had enabled Manoharan to become an ADUN in Selangor.
So I personally believe the Indians supporting BN, while certainly not favourable to Pakatan, will not have that drastic effect as threatened by a crab (in a basket, wakakaka).
Leaving aside the Sabah and Sarawak factors, and let's not deny they will be very BIG factors, the fight in GE-13 which will produce big earth shaking results in Peninsula will be for the hearts of the Heartland.
This is certainly the belief of RPK as enunciated in his post Why is Dr Mahathir such an idiot?, a title which belies the political shrewdness of the former PM.
|as if saying "up yours, you mongrels" wakakaka|
RPK wrote (extracts only):
The only thing that can save Umno would be the Malay votes -- that determine roughly two-thirds of the seats in West Malaysia.
And that is why what they are doing/saying is not to win the hearts and mind of the Chinese and Indian voters. It is too late to win the hearts and minds of the Chinese and Indian voters. They need to win the hearts and minds of the Malay voters. And to do that they need to do and say what they are currently doing and saying.
While this may upset the Chinese and Indians, who are not going to vote for Umno anyway, it pacifies the Malays. And it is the Malays they want to pacify, not the Chinese and Indians, who have made it very clear they are not going to vote Barisan Nasional or Umno come hell or high water.
And that may be why they had released the hounds of hell to 'threaten' to seize and burn bibles, to assure the Heartland that UMNO is their defender of Islam.
Maybe we have been syiok-sendiri-ishly mistaken (kidding ourselves) about UMNO being a divided house, when in fact they are playing Sun Tze's 'inflict injury on oneself to win the enemy's trust', where Najib by pretending to be 'injured' from UMNO intra-party fighting, lulls his enemy into relaxing his guard since he longer considers Najib to be an immediate threat.
Thus, perhaps Najib plays being the victim of ultra rightwing forces within UMNO in a manmanlai hope to secure as many Chinese and Indian sympathy votes as possible, or convince Chinese and Indians to 'help' poor Ah Jib Gor against UMNO rightwing forces, for as Gunasegaram mentioned, every vote will count, ...
|c'mon MCA and Gerakan, own up, which one of you organized this, wakakaka|
... while his UMNO colleagues (or sifu, wakakaka) assures (and secures) the Heartland that all's well and eight bells under a Hang Tuah-ish UMNO, though Najib couldn't help but also sneak in a visit to Gaza, just to shore up his Islamic-Muslim pro-Arab credentials, wakakaka.
If so, then it's a brilliant pincer attack which would have earned the admiration of the Carthaginian general Hannibal (or at least his soul).
Hannibal conducted such a pincer attack at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BCE to defeat the Romans, which military historians considered to be the first successful execution of the movement and one of history's greatest battlefield manoevres.
|Battle of Cannae|
Anyway, a week ago Debra Chong of The Malaysian Insider further illuminated our understanding of race in politics with her article For Pakatan, Election 2013 not a stroll in the park. She informed us about a Merdeka Centre survey which polled the preference of virgin (first time) voters, providing findings as follows:
(a) Najib's popularity rating was recorded at 49% of polled sample, consisting of:
- 64% Indians approval
- 60% Malay approval
Alas, the article was less clear on the approval of Chinese virgin voters for Najib, stating instead that 60% of them were upset with poor Najib.
But I don't believe this can be directly translated into 40% Chinese virgin voters approving or liking him, wakakaka. That's the danger of misinterpreting survey results though a news article, unless the actual report is thoroughly examined. Thus I don't how many percent of Chinese first time voters approve of Ah Jib Gor but I dare say not many, wakakaka.
|The 40% or 4%? wakakaka|
(b) BN approval rating was only 41%, supporting the argument that Najib is far more popular than his team. Maybe his Sun Tze-ing has paid off, wakakaka.
(c) Now this aspect of the survey is far more important. It's about what the first time voters consider as important issues, which obviously will influence their voting preferences.
The survey said the young Chinese were most concerned about corruption, while young Malays were about race and religion. Alas, this may upset Uthayakumar but the TMI article didn't say anything about Indian concerns.
If the Chinese sampling expressed they were most concerned about corruption, guess who then will they be voting for? Wakakaka.
But the most illuminating revelation from the survey has been that of half of the first-time (Peninsula) Malay voters polled. These virgin voters said they would no longer swallow scaremongering about their racial position being encroached upon by other ethnic groups, BUT they would still want to see politicians debate Malay and equality rights than talk about living costs or corruption ...
... which is the same as saying they are still very concerned about their rights and religion than cost of living or corruption, etc.
Does this mean they are more likely to continue swallowing the UMNO-Perkasa propaganda of the Yellow Peril being at the gates and breaking them down, in spite of their claim not to swallow cock & bull story from a bloke like Ibrahim Ali or numerous other UMNO mouthpieces?
And gnam gnam, we see a current exploitation of this concern as reported by TMI's article Friday sermon: ‘Enemies’ of Islam staking claim over ‘Allah’ to confuse Muslims where JAKIM told Muslims that "... being too open-minded and allowing Islamic rights to be abused by other religions was a dangerous act."
Oh dear oh dear, oh dearie me, the UMNO onslaught of Goebbels-ism is relentless.
Okay, so Dr Mahathir has got it right, and I suppose PAS too doesn't want to lose out on the Heartland votes. Thus screw the concerns of the Chinese.
But I opine there is a difference between UMNO and PAS vis-à-vis Chinese voters in GE-13.
UMNO knows it can no longer rely on or expect Chinese votes and has factored out any hopes for them. If Najib can manmanlai a few here and there, fine, those will be bonus points but not crucial to its election strategy.
But I understand PAS is dependent on these Chinese votes in, I was told, about 60 federal constituencies, where Chinese have traditionally not supported the Moon Party, but who it hopes this time, with the help of PKR and especially DAP, to manmanlai into voting the party through to Putrajaya.
If such is the case, then it is PAS rather than UMNO which is caught between the (Cina) Devil and the Deep
But I doubt Uthayakumar will help them with his Hindraf force, wakakaka.