Friday, December 09, 2005

Anwar Ibrahim Loser Again?

The Pengakalan Pasir by-election is over. OK, the Barisan National, or to be more precise, UMNO has won the seat, by 134 votes in the recount. In the last general election PAS won the seat by 55 votes. There may be yet a court challenge by PAS on the result but that’s not the purpose of my discussion.

Look, Pengkalan Pasir is one of those constituencies that have more or less a 50-50 split in supporters. In one election Party A might scrapped through by a few votes, and in another election Party B would just slipped across the line. So who wins or loss, while important to the party, doesn’t tell much on the actual support for the party other than the voters in the constitutiency are split down the middle. The Pengkalan Pasir seat could therefore be won back by PAS in the next general election, and then maybe not.

But from time to time such 50-50 type of constituencies can see an unusual landslide as had happened in Malaysia in 1969, which unfortunately also triggered the May 13th incident. Comes a time when the voters are excited by magnetic political personalities or a new hope, there will arise a seismic shift in voting pattern.

But it didn’t happen in Pengkalan Pasir despite self proclaimed political reformist Anwar Ibrahim campaigning for PAS. There was a 10,000 strong crowd at his rally which lent the false impression that he would galvanise the majority of the voters behind PAS.

Personally I reckon Anwar Ibrahim still wants to return to UMNO for that is the party where true power is. It’s no fun being in the opposition, not after one has had a taste of that power already and came damn near close to controlling it.

I believe that, by campaigning for PAS, he wanted to put the pressure on UMNO to readmit him – basically a message to UMNO saying a loose free lancing campaigning-for-the-opposition Anwar Ibrahim could be a dangerous political enemy, and UMNO would be better off having him rather than outside.

Yet his presence and personal campaigning didn’t make even a slight dent in the voting pattern of Pengkalan Pasir. What went wrong? That’s the subject of a future posting, but suffice to say now that the biggest loser in the Pengakalan Pasir by-election has been Anwar Ibrahim.


  1. If your reading of Anwar Ibrahim's motives are correct, one could say that Ibrahim Ali was doing precisely the same thing by running in the by-election.

    Consider this though:

    From a purely apolitical perspective, organisational theories tell us that "mercenaries" should only be recruited sparingly, and even then to be applied as a short-term measure.

    Hence, if Anwar and Ibrahim were truly trying to get back into the UMNO fold, I reckon they are going about it the wrong way.

  2. BN will rule forever.

    The people will vote BN come what may. Anyone outside BN, no matter what their names are, will never make any impact on a long-term basis.

    Hidup BN!

  3. Ali, shit like that happens all the time in election. PAS has taken matter to court, so we need to see what happens next. But inspite of the hanky-panky you mentioned, the figures still work out to what I had pointed out, an almost 50-50 split in that constituency.

    Ibrahim Ali is a comparative nobody next to glamorous world-famous charismatic Anwar Ibrahim, so my focus has been on Anwar. To many of my friends (Melayu dan bukan) they were disappointed that Anwar's campaigning failed to make an impact. They have been looking forward to 2008 but the PP outcome has demoralised them.

    KTemoc did advise them not to over-hope and depend on Anwar because one day Anwar may just be inside UMNO, which will truly shatter their dreams, morale and expectation.