Sunday, January 18, 2009

Coming Soon: Pensiangan, Who ?

Hatu Laut

Although, I have given UMNO/BN the edge due to the many offerings of sweeteners, the multitudes of Kuala Terengganu have rejected them.The people of Kuala Terengganu had spoken.It's a bad day for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as this is the second time he failed to get victory for the BN. The loss of Permatang Pauh was expected, this one had a good fighting chance, buggered by wrong candidature. 

Najib should not solely be blamed for the loss. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should shoulder greater part of the blame for not putting his ears to the ground and listen to the rumblings of disagreement on the choice of candidate.Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad should be having the last laugh when Abdullah called him irrelevant.UMNO could have pulled through if a more amiable candidate was chosen. I would put the loss more due to rejection of the candidate rather than total rejection of the BN.Although, the majority of votes has increased, it was not substantial enough to write off the BN as becoming irrelevent.

I have in the past wrote about the failure of UMNO to re-invent itself after the embarrassingly poor showing at the March 2008 General Elections.

What happened in the last general elections was not the failure of BN, it was the abomination of UMNO and Abdullah's leadership resulting in the entire fleet being punished, especially the Chinese and Indians component parties. Sabah and Sarawak were untouched by the fury and saved the day  for Abdullah, but astonishingly still remained unappreciated.The arrogance, self-denial and resistance to change in the top echelons of the party is self-perpetuating and becoming a death wish.

Najib has four years, if he doesn't lose the government by cross-over, to set things right in UMNO.When he becomes PM the first thing he should do is to sack half of the present cabinet ministers and replace with new and untainted faces.He must also be prepared to take unpopular actions and spare no effort to bring corruptions under control and distribute government projects not only to party members but equitable distribution to other deserving and capable contractors. 

What happened in KT will have a bearing on other future by-election.The next one expected is Pensiangan in Sabah. Joseph Kurup of PBRS/BN lost his seat in an election petition brought against him.He won the seat uncontested through dubious means.

It is common knowledge among Sabahans that Joseph Kurup is very unpopular in the constituency and is going to lose badly if he is nominated to stand again.Najib may have to take serious note of this and ensure that he chooses the right candidate this time or else another fatality


kittykat46 said...

Well, BN/UMNO is obviously still very relevant - nearly 50% of the the KT electorate still voted for them. But it would be very unwise for UMNO to dismiss the significance of the results.

A basic rule in Malaysian politics has been BN always wins the extent the opposition in the past usually only put up light-weight candidates, they were practically sacrificial lambs.

I've lived in a constituency which had a by-election and seen how BN works. BN's tactics would be described as overwhelming force from all directions. UMNO, MCA, MIC all descent on the constituency in massive numbers, together with heavy usage of the civil service and government facilities. I don't think this has changed in KT.

It would be wrong to simply blame it on having a wrong candidate. The candidate was actually a symptom of UMNO's deep set problems. If you drew up a caricature of an out-of-touch mid-level UMNOputra, and went looking for a real example, you likely find...Wan Farid..

The other development which spells future trouble for BN/UMNO is at least some people now realise the largesse distributed during buy-elections are really public funds - Wang Rakyat - and accepting it really carries no moral obligation to vote for BN.

jun said...

Najib has four years, if he doesn't lose the government by cross-over, to set things right in UMNO.When he becomes PM the first thing he should do is to sack half of the present cabinet ministers and replace with new and untainted faces.He must also be prepared to take unpopular actions and spare no effort to bring corruptions under control and distribute government projects not only to party members but equitable distribution to other deserving and capable contractors.

You are joking. Najib is the system and the system is Najib, so your "advice" here is simply useless. He already said it is a minor setback and people want BN.

No! I don't buy the idea of blaming Abdullah. The choice of candidate was that of Abdullah and Najib. When Mahathir blamed the candidate, Najib called for a PC in KT and rebuffed that idea saying that "Wan Farid was chosen by Umno through consensus and that he was his choice as well." If Abdullah wanted, Najib could stand his way and choose another. After all, Abdullah is 'no longer' the PM in many ways.

But even if Abdullah chose the candidate, Najib led the campaign, the machinery, the money, the propaganda, the bribery, the media and even envelope journalists. But what happened? Lose by a big margin (Remember Umno won by a small margin in March 08) and again lose Malay vote by a larger margin. Chinese stayed with BN but Malays deserted Umno. He can't be the party's election chief and chief strategist and again blame others or get others blamed. It doesn't work that way. Everyone knows Abdullah is going, so why punish Wan Farid bcoz he is a friend of Abdullah? I believe the people don't want Najib. They have never shown any appreciation to him. He lost in 1999 but was saved through postal votes sent after 2 days. This is an irreversible process that no amount of money or media spinning will stop. How comes Najib summoned Kulim Umno loser to his office and ordered him to withdraw his petition in September though the petition was for certain? Najib knew he couldn't lead Umno to victory and forced Kadir to withdraw his case. That was after Anwar's landslide. Kulim is next to Permatang Pauh. Who should be blamed for letting off Kulim despite the successful petition? Najib. He would have preffered not to conest but he did in KT due to death and he lost. Abdullah was away and only came for few hours at two different days. Despite the billion projects, the people refused to support Umno. Like Ku Li said, it is a referendum on Umno leaders and Umno itself. You can't lead Umno into defeat in a state it rules with 2/3 majority and again show such thickheadedness like Najib has shown.


It was part of Keningau constituency. In 1999, BN lost to then oppositionist Pairin Kitingan. And who was the loser? Joseph Kurup. Then in 2003, Pensiangan was carved from Keningau and BN won by 608 votes against an independent. Imagine 2004 was euphoric due to post-Mahathir euphoria and Abdulla's appeal, yet they could only manage a paltry win of 608 votes. In 2008, The EC decided to play dirty by disqualifying the PKR candidate. I hold that he would have won the seat. If by-elecion is called, BN will lose, mark my words. Malayans have shown the way and Sabahans and Sarawakians fear no one. They have seen what defiance means and they will emulate Malayans of all races who are competing to hand BN defeat in every seat.

james said...

Najib can't replace anyone in Umno. For one, what would he accuse the being replaced? If there is a scandal ridden politician in Umno, it is Najib. So what measure would he use to replace people for the "good of Umno"? Secondly, do you think replacing warlords is that easy? Thirdly, any replaced MP has a choice. He switch sides to PR and the govt will collapse. When you say Najib should replace half of the cabinet, you are showing either immaturity or emotional outburst. He can replace none. He neither has the numbers to build his own team nor the guts to go for a general election to get the people's mandate and anyway, he wasn't elected by the people. Had Badawi told the people that he will hand over to Najib after 1 yr, then things would have been different.

Zawi said...

Very logical discussion here. Love it all. BN is doomed because BN leaders are corrupted and the people want them out. Only way out is to oust them from the government and let them rise again after cleansing themselves. Without the power to enrich themselves via direct nego projects at inflated price, money politics in BN will end. Only then will they be relevant again. That is if the people still want them.

Hantu Laut said...

You are absolutely right.

Hantu Laut said...

We all are humans and to err is human.People can change and to forgive is divine.

I believe with new leadership UMNO can change.

Hantu Laut said...

Humans are not made of stone.I don't believe in condeming people all the times.Sometimes, you have to give others benefit of the doubt.

Don't tell me you never made mistakes in your life.

Hantu Laut said...

Long time no see or appropriately no hear.I read about your visit to Sabah.Interesting.

You are right.Its the abuse of power and corruptions that is killing them.If no change,next election, sayonara.

People are fed up.Enough is enough.Change or be changed.

Anonymous said...


they threaten the Chinese voters in Chinatown. They promised millions of funds. They literally gave away construction contracts. in truth, they threw the kitchen sink for a phyrric victory. even the, the voters denied them.
hantu, it wasnt the candidate. the winds of change are still blowing strong. They wont listen, do they? Remember the song "Vincent"?