Thursday, April 25, 2013

If You Want To Win This Election,Take Care Of The Kampongs

Hantu Laut

If you want to take over the government, you have to win the rural seats.

In the kampong, people only care about food and money. They have no time for the luxury of intellectual talks, promises of bed of roses that may never bloom, or promises of cleaning up the country of corruptions, which they do not understand.

Simple kampong folks have simple needs and the least difficult to please, unlike their urban counterparts, where hypocrisy rules the waves.

The party that embrace this georgic doctrine will be the first to past the post and take the chequered flag.

The rural areas are where the real battle should be and where most of the seats are located. Canvassing and campaigning are made much easier due to smaller population of voters in each constituency. However, logistic cost could be much higher due to remoteness of some of the places. 

While PR leaders are pampered by the urbanites, BN knew the nook and cranny of the back country and knew what the people want.

Based on the result of the 2008 general election where BN won 112 of 139 small constituencies, they only need roughly 19% out of the total number of voters to grab enough seats to form the government. In 2008, the smallest constituency was Putrajaya with just over 6,000 voters and the biggest was Kapar with a staggering 115,000 voters.

The backcountry is BN territory, or rather UMNO territory, where the tentacles of the Internet had not yet reached out and ripped the marbles out of the village folks. After over half a century of running the government, BN knew where the feeds for the bastion of power come from. The rural areas hold the key to Puterjaya.

On the other hand, Pakatan Rakyat, a coalescence of divergent old and new political aspirants appealed to the intellectuals, pseudo-intellectuals, the Internet savvy crowd, who fully depend their source of news and information on the alternative media, but ignored the rustic interior. 

In the urban jungle, many are youths who have had no inured journey to adulthood with leaders of the time, young and impressionable, they are strongly attracted and influenced by PR's promise of fabulist's list of goodies and promise of death blow to corruptions in government should they win the elections. 

Anti-corruption and calls for free and fair election is the paradigm of Anwar Ibrahim's campaign to wheedle the people to support him and Pakatan Rakyat, which worked well in the urban areas but failed to stir the rural population.

BERSIH, an NGO headed by former President of the Bar Council Ambiga Sreenevasan is suspected to be covert operation for Pakatan Rakyat, but she vehemently denied the allegation, albeit, some of her actions betrayed her declaration of BERSIH non-aligned status. Many suspected her of lying. The connection seems obvious. 

One 28 April 2012, Ambiga organised a pre-planned demonstration called BERSIH 3 (she has organised 2 previous ones under same name) that attracted a massive 200,000 people on to the streets of Kuala Lumpur, demanding free and fair elections. Skeptics believe without pre-arrangement of the oppositions help she won't be able to garner more than a thousand let alone tens of thousands of people. Many that came are members and supporters of opposition political  parties and onlookers out for festive mood. Many in UMNO suspected it to be a rehearsal for the real one, the Malaysian Spring, that may come should PR lose in the 13th GE. Anwar is known for his street culture from his heydays as student and social activist. BERSIH is a culmination of his mutinous ways.

Pakatan leaders like to bathe in the limelight of the urban jungle where amassing crowd of tens of thousands is not as arduous as in the rural areas, if you hang the right carrot. They miscalculated that one urban constituency can equal to as many as 5 or more rural constituencies. 

There is nothing illegal in the delineation or gerrymandering of electoral boundaries as made out by Amiga and Pakatan leaders to hoodwink the people. 

Due to better logistic, urban areas with better roads and communication facilities are easier to cover than rural areas and higher population density make for bigger number of voters in the constituency.  

Listen to Ambiga's fuzzy lecture misleading the people:

Most of what she said in the video are half-truths and double-speak. 

In the U.K the same prevails, there are small voices that complained but generally the people accept the system that have been with them for few hundred years. No British political party had ever complained or made a big issue of the seemingly unfair 'first past the post' system. Everyone accept defeat in their stride.

It's a system we inherited from the British colonialists.

Below is the result of the British general election in 1997

UK General Election 1997
PartyStandingElectedGainedUnseatedNet % of total %No.Net %
Labour6394181450+ 14563.443.213,518,167+8.8
Liberal Democrat63946302+ 287.016.85,242,947–1.0
Referendum Party54700002.6811,849N/A
SNP72630+ 30.92.0621,550+0.1
Ulster Unionist161010+11.50.8258,3490.0

The table shows Labour gets 43% of the popular votes but 63% of the seats to form the government on their own and there had been many elections like this in the U.K, yet there was never accusation of cheating or unfair electoral practices.

The Malaysian electoral rolls may be not all that perfect, but I doubt there have been massive cheating by the government to deprive the people of choosing the government of their choice. 

In spite of allegations of cheating the oppositions won 5 states and 82 parliamentary seats and deprived the BN of two-thirds majority in 2008. It was unpremeditated, accidental and unexpected. No one expected the result. Many expected a strong oppositions showing but never expected BN to lose 5 states.

Today, things are different, the new man is not the same as the man who "rest on his laurel" and had perennial fascination of his landslide victory which precipitated in political disaster for him and his party in 2008. 

Najib, in spite of all the odds against him is working hard to change the face of Malaysian politics and bring reforms to the party and country. Given a strong mandate, I believe he can and will do it.

While Najib is romancing the poor and the economically challenged, our much loved opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim prefers the glitz and glittering lights of the city where tens of thousands of his fans can applaud him. He is also fond of transversing the globe to meet other world leaders to prepare himself to be "Lord Of The Flies" (read William Golding's book of the same name, if you don't know what it is) in a soon to be paradisiacal nation?

He must have a huge war chest, but can he wins the elections.



Purple Haze said...

Actually, the real reason is due to the seat allocation in our Westminster model of parliament. Someone once did some research and found that a party can win 112 seats (the simeple majority needed) by winning over 20% of the population.

This 20% is the aggregate of combining all those small voter population seats such as Putrajaya (15,000) and not say, PJ Selatan of over 100,000 voters.

So, if you win all the rural seats (where the persons per seat is much less than the urban areas), then you can bungkus the elections !

If one reviews the GE12 results, one will note that BN won 140 seats with 4.082.411 votes but PR only won 82 seats with 3.796.464. A difference of 58 seats (26%) via a popular vote margin of 285,947 (3.6%)

That's the way it is set up in Malaysia and I am not complaining 'cos one has to follow what has been legally set. Re-alignment of constituencies can always be authorised by the govt of the day.

Anonymous said...

i'm not a BN fanboy nor PR fanboy.. i found your blog so interesting and factual-full yet send clear message on what you try to deliver.. the way you write shows you're well known on Malaysian politic head to toe.. love to see more subject from your end..

as per above subject, i clearly agreed with you fact, the worried is can the PR fanboy accept their loss this time? or another MAY tragedy will occur? hard to say..

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