Monday, March 10, 2008

A recap - my 2008 Elections

The dust have not yet settled but then I am already late. So many bloggers have posted and commented on the Elections and its rather surprising results. But,I still want to write something.

I went polling at the Wangsa Maju constituency. It was a family affair, all 6 of us went to cast out votes at SM Setapak Indah. And as usual, only once in 4-5 years we meet our old Taman Ibukota friends and neighbours.

By 8pm, the whole family plus our neighbours were glued to the TV - we opted for RTM1 and occasionally TV Awani on Astro as our main news provider. TV3 was absolutely biased and the opinions were lopsided (well, now I know BN controls TV3). The panel of experts on TV1 were excellent and gave more factual instead of sentiment driven opinions.

I was also outsourcing information from the net, mainly Malaysiakini and Bernama(though Bernama news were very slow, I guess they have to verify before publishing anything). It was strange when news only trickled in by 9pm. Not a common phenomenon - I usually kept the score sheet on elections for the past 5 elections and usually by 9-10pm 50% of the results would have been in.

The scenario reminds me so much of the 1999 Elections where recount after recount forced the results to be so much delayed.

Anyway, after 2 am when only a handful of Selangor and Perak state seats have been announced I made the assumption that BN had most probably lost both states. By then Penang and Kedah was already under the Opposition.

I guess the Election results was a shocker. A shocker to the BN staunch supporters (I am sure my late grandfather would have had a heart attack if was still alive); a shocker to the Rakyat and even a shocker to the Opposition. Who would expect to be running for a state seat and the next day you are the candidate earmarked as the next MB? My guess is Khalid Ibrahim did not.

Barisan Nasional won only 140 Parlimen seats compared to 199 seats in the 2004 Elections. That is a deficit of 59 seats. Who would have anticipated that? It is such a huge blow to the party leaders.

However, looking at this year's Barisan's campaign I assumed that someone in Barisan had a feeling this would happen. Barisan went all out in the pre-elections campaign. Never before the media coverage was so biased, the masses were shoved with visuals of BN every 5 minutes - it reached a point that I was so irritated that I would have just voted for anyone else. And never before BArisan advertised on Yahoo, yup, not only my telly was invaded by the Barisan adverts even my PC too. And lastly, never before have I seen a candidate plaster her face on a huge (and I mean huge) billboard beside one of the most busy highways in Klang Valley in hopes to garner support. To me, that was an indication of desperation, I may be wrong but that was the impression me, a lay person had!

And now, two days after, everywhere it is so quiet. None of the usual celebration. Every one is quiet. For Barisan, there is nothing to say, the people have spoken. Now it is time to reflect, the masses were unhappy and they have voiced their dissatisfaction. Yes, Barisan is still the ruling party, but it they do not address the grievances and dissatisfactions of the people they may not be in power in the future. Barisan only won in their stronghold, places where if one puts a monkey to contest under the barisan flag it would most probably win. These places usually have the aged voters (the Saluran Dua keatas voters). Sooner or later these voters will not be there to support Barisan anymore.

As for the Opposition, it is my sincerest wish that they do the best for the people. Sometimes, it's easier to criticize when you are from the outside looking in. But when in power they might fall in the same trap. Money and power can do the most 'wonderful' things to the best of people.

It will be another 5 years to the next Election. To all who have won, this is a chance to show people that they have made the right choice. Those who lost, do some soul searching and reflection. And for the party leaders, show some balls and take responsibility of what have happened (this I dedicate to the leaders of UMNO, MIC, MCA...well, hats off to Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, that's a gentleman).


Amin said...

This year BN have engaged a Media Agency to do their campaign, that's why you see them in so many places, billboards, electronics and even internet. They were given 4 days from planning to execution of all these 'advertisment'

- guile - said...

i so agree on the leaders to take full responsibility on their awful defeat! (tapi macam tak paham-paham je orang tu..) anyhow, you could never know, if 'orang tu' tetiba nak buat kejutan later in the future, nak step down. ihik ihik ihik... macam familiar pulak la kan tragedy ni.

john f seademon said...

One of the failures of the BN was due to the aggressive campaigning, and this was acknowledged by Tok Pa in Kelantan. Among those who should resign are the PM's 4th floor boys who gave him the wrong advice.

Malays, especially the ones within UMNO should better get ready to do away with some of the ketuanan issue.

Those at the helm and unknowingly orchestrated this dismal showing ought to resign.