Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A Malay tsunami in Melaka

The Star:

A Malay tsunami in Melaka


THE dust has yet to settle from the Melaka election but it seems like a Malay tsunami rolled through the state on Saturday (Nov 20) night.

The Malay tsunami swept Barisan Nasional back to power and washed away the gains that Pakatan Harapan had made in Melaka.

Perikatan Nasional clawed on to two seats but its partner PAS was reduced from the kingmaker role it once enjoyed to a spoiler and a loser.

All political parties, winners or losers, are still trying to make sense of what happened. None expected such a climatic outcome.

Barisan, after being blamed for triggering the election, managed to read the people's pulse and came up with a clear and simple message of bringing political stability and prosperity. It was a tried and tested mantra but it was what people wanted.

Many in Umno also credited their deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan and Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir for a well-managed command centre that enabled a smooth campaign.

On the other hand, Perikatan promised a clean government and to fight corruption.

But their attempt to paint Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the root of all corruption failed to move many voters who believe that life was better when Najib was prime minister.

Pakatan's message was the most unclear. The three partners seemed to be doing their own thing, like three horses pulling a chariot in different directions.

Worse, they were practising what they used to accuse others of – like accepting frogs.

Pakatan has lost so much credibility and trust among voters. Once seen as a white knight come to save Malaysia, it is now regarded as little different from the rest.

The fact that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not welcomed to campaign says a lot about what voters think of the 22 months when Pakatan was in charge of the country.

The Malay tsunami is a testimony of Malays wanting to return to Umno, which might be full of imperfections, but is still their most reliable choice.

Trouble lies ahead for Pakatan which saw the 15 seats they won in 2018 whittled down to only five.

The winning majority for the seats also shrunk.

DAP, which won four of the eight seats they contested, saw their winning majority plunge by 3,000-4,000 votes.

It is convenient to attribute it to their outstation supporters not returning to vote but the stark reality is that Pakatan could not win many of the seats because the Malays are not with them.

DAP still commands Chinese support but it is a liability in seats with sizeable Malay voters.

The last few decades of bashing Umno has backfired. The average Malay sees it as anti-Malay politics.

It is not only what comes out of the mouths of DAP politicians – the way they speak is often too harsh and crude in Malay culture.

Many Malays were voting against DAP when they rejected Pakatan.

PKR and Parti Amanah Negara did badly because of that because they had to contest in seats with sizeable Malay voters.

PKR politician Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak said Pakatan politicians need to understand that going too far in personal attacks can turn off the Malays.

Farhash, who is Perak PKR chairman, said Najib's political comeback has much to do with the way he manages his social media.

He said Najib seems to be able to capture the Malay style of criticising adversaries.

"He trolls, he pokes fun, he needles – but he is never rude or coarse," said Farhash.

a Chinese Apek wants to date me 😁😁😁

The Melaka success should not give Umno politicians the notion that they have the Malays in the palms of their hands.

Umno leaders are great at taking care of their base, but they need to lead lives that are not too removed from that of ordinary folk.

The defeat of Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad in Sungai Udang was blamed on a minister not delivering the army vote.

It was probably more than that because Mohammad Ali's nickname in Melaka is "Ali Pasir". The multi-millionaire made his fortune from the sand business before going into politics.

His home sits on a compound bigger than a football field with a fleet of cars. It has a fancy fountain, a hall for functions, a sports arena and four residential buildings for his extended family.

Tanjung Bidara was a white seat for Umno, yet Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh who is the state party chairman, struggled to win against his younger Perikatan rival.

Rauf owns a posh boutique hotel in Masjid Tanah and is not shy about showing off his wealth.

Lavish living creates resentment in a small place like Melaka and it can translate into votes – or lack of it – during an election.

Rauf managed to scrape through but Mohamad Ali lost to a lesser-known candidate in Sungai Udang.

These were instances of voter disapproval of the candidates' personality and lavish lifestyle.

The winners as well as the losers have much to learn from the Melaka election before the next big fight.

As Rosli Zakaria, a former journalist from Terengganu, puts it: "The first piece of the domino has fallen."


  1. A self-serving piece of propaganda masquerading as an analysis.

  2. Wakakakaka…

    "The first piece of the domino has fallen."

    Along the set path of that f*cked ketuanan line of maze.