Now that the dust, the dirt and frenzy over Ijok is almost settling down, ordinary folks and political pundits can sit and ponder over the real analysis of the by-election, with an open heart and open mind.
Usual suspects are happy with the results especially BN-Umno and MIC supporters. Despite predictions their candidate could lose this time around, he made it with flying colours, winning with a majority of 1,850. They are painting the town red with cries of ‘reformasi is dead’ and that ‘Anwar, Keadilan and Khalid’ has failed.
Well, I won’t be so fast to jump unto the bandwagon. I will not also join the funeral party of Anwar Ibrahim to say “I am sad for Malaysia“. Anwar, your motivation is significantly important now. Where’s your fighting spirit?
Ijok’s people’s wisdom has also come into question.
“Did the people of Ijok vote wisely?” ask Dr Azly Rahman. He listed several diseases which Malaysia is suffering from and ask “…or did they vote for the continuation of:
“… the use of totalitarian instruments such as the Internal Security Act, University and Universities Colleges Act, irrational preferential treatments, unsolved mysteries of massive corruption cases, rise of dynasties, political violence, postponement of trial of hideous political murders, abuse of “at-risk youths”, political-economy of controlling interests, age-old vendetta, hideous nature of the separation of power between the executive, legislative, and judiciary, and an ever-growing range of complex “rational” acts that have become our “political culture”? (Read more of his arguments here).
But more importantly are the presence of some bloggers in Ijok, who can give us an alternative view, not like those parroting the style and format of the mainstream newspapers.
For starters, blogger Elizabeth Wong is back with a vengeance (to make up for her lost of blogging time). Continue to read her as she says she will reveal daily excerpts of BN’s ‘fraudulent acts”, leading up to the by-election and their victory result. Eli, despite their losses, Keadilan will surely feel comforted by your reference to ‘some good looking guys” in the party, though you did admit that some have to put on about 20 pounds!
For me personally, I do not know how BN supporters can claim happiness at such a victory when they are so many discrepancies such as these:
(1) Discrepancy on the polling result in Pekan Ijok (2) Ballot papers collected by unknown individuals (3) Ballot paper for sale (4) Voters’ names removed from electoral roll (5) Phantom voters.
On the other hand, Keadilan or Opposition supporters should not feel so crestfallen. Despite the disadvantageous, despite the by-election being called the “dirtiest and most corrupted by far”, your candidate has managed to secure more than 4,000 votes. This is not a small number. Despite all the threats of riots and a repeat of the bloody and racial May 13 (1969), Keadilan did perform better in (some) Malay and Chinese prominent areas.
For example, in some polling stations, lets say Pekan Ijok, Keadilan’s majority increased by about 100 percent, from 306 in the 2004 outing to 584. On the same note, there was an increased of 50 percent in majority support from 658 in 2004 to 979 in Saturday’s polling day. What more, both Pekan Ijok and Batang Berjuntai are Chinese-predominated areas, indicating a rather strong Chinese swing away from BN.
Blogger and political analyst James Wong pointed out: Moreover, according to one calculation, the relative strength between BN and PKR in four Malay-majority areas – Jaya Setia, Kampung Ijok, Bukit Badong and Simpang Ijok – stands at only 52.5 percent and 47.5 percent respectively. It means that not all Malays are pro-BN and that Malay support for PKR is not insignificant.
So, those who want to see change, do not be disheartened. We must thank the people of Ijok for having tried their best to make a difference. With all the violence flying around and mat rempits riding the town, ‘cowards’ would be retreating into their homes, trying to keep safe. But not the Ijok people, they did come out to vote in a big way – 83 percent and more, the highest in the history of by-elections.
Forty pecent of the Ijok people also voted for the Opposition despite the fact that millions were poured into the constituency, hints of money politics and vote buying. This means that the people could not be cowed or bought or blinded by these accesses. If this pattern continue, we would have something good to look forward to in this coming general election. You know, voters should be just happy with the number of development projects pouring into the constituency. It is your right after all, but then vote wisely. Money after all, isn’t everything.
I’m not disappointed at all with the results. Most of all we got to see Umno for what it is: a party bent on splitting, what with the ex-president and ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad sending out a clear and loud call to Ijokians to vote the Opposition. That is how bad the party’s situation is. And a splitting party is weak, with this one rotting at the head, soon I hope it meets the fate it deserves.
Secondly, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who probably could not take the heat of the Altantuya chantings by Keadilan supporters, broke his in-elegent silence and said he was in no way involved in the murder of the Mongolian girl. But his confession raises more questions than ever, and does put Umno and the government in a bad light.
Thirdly, Keadilan should use this by-election to learn about the dirty tactics by its opponents and resolve to do better in the coming general elections. They must be more prepared next time, and do continue to take the Election Commision to task for the ‘fradulent acts” committed so far.
As far as I see it, there is much hope, but there is also more danger. The BN government is not use to losing and it will definitely be more prepared (to retaliate) in the coming GE. The way I see things: be prepared for an even dirtier, harsher, more violent and corrupted GE.