The title of this post is just a gimmick. Following the campaign trail of what is dubbed the mother of all by-elections, one learns very fast.
It was a gloomy day in Permatang Pauh today. The rain spoilt most of the fun, which included, field visits by both the candidates for the P44 battle field.
Till yet, I have not attended any of Anwar Ibrahim’s or Parti Keadilan’s ceramah (I only attended one ceramah by UMNO with Ezam Mohd Nor as the superstar).
Ceramahs can be boring with the speakers recycling their issues day after day. Keadilan’s or PAKATAN’s message to the people is quite clear: You are voting for the next Prime Minister. It is now or never.
And by voting for the next PM, you can bet there will be lots of miracles, like this one:
Do you believe him?
“Lets give him a chance and see if he can do it,” said some hopefuls.
Barisan Nasional or UMNO’s message is exactly the opposite, as they try to capitalise on the Malay ground, thinking they have captured the Chinese voters by presenting Arif Shah, a candidate who can speak Mandarin well.
Arif looks very much older than Anwar, his opponent, though the former is only in his 50s, while Anwar is 61. Not a big deal, huh?
But the ability to speak Chinese? I wonder if that is the only thing in the minds of Malaysian Chinese these days?
What my aunty said could be shared by many others, too, and explains the reason why BN/UMNO continues to win some gounds in all elections.
“If we vote in Keadilan, there will be Malays in the party, unlike MCA,” she added. I was rather speechless, at the ‘wisdom’ of my 70 year old aunt.
But I was around Yayasan Aman today, waiting for a group of sacked workers from a multi-national company bring their case to the Permatang Pauh candidate.
I noticed Keadilan was very well equipped with a wifi connected media centre for journalists this time. This centre dishes out information about Anwar’s whereabout every day.
“I must salute them. The BN isn’t well prepared at all this time. I called them up for information on Arif Shah’s whereabouts and they told me to call them back at 1am. Can you imagine that?” said a senior female journalist from The STAR.
For me, I was only too happy to find a spot for blogger(s) with my blog’s URL pasted in one corner. If you are a blogger and you tell them u need a spot, they’ll do the same for you 🙂
Then I met Anwar and his wife Wan Azizah.
Anwar looked weary after making several rounds of home visits, which was cut short by a heavy downpour at noon today, but was still his cheerful self. Azizah was talkactive.
Anwar wanted to know what was the current response on the ground, he was told that it was hard to tell. There is word going around that Anwar is losing support.
Could it be due to Saiful Bukhairy latest stunt of swearing on the Quran that he was indeed sodomised by Anwar, and it was without his consent?
Could it be due to Ezam’s incessant ‘expose’ about Anwar’s ‘deep and wild’ secrets, forever taunting his former friend and colleague to answer all this allegations?
Could it be the bad image Keadilan had earned after several reports of violence against journalists/photographers lodged against the party?
(The question that goes around the fraternity these days include: why those journalists and not one of us?)
Perhaps Anwar is losing support due to Najib Tun Razak’s excellent election strategy in Permatang Pauh? (Which does not include a really huge poster of Altantuya hanging hauntingly in Seberang Jaya – promise to snap a shot tomorrow).
Whichever it was, we wanted to know what was Anwar’s response to all the allegations made by Ezam, his former political aide, ever since the latter joined UMNO.
But Anwar refused to be dragged into any prolonged conversation regarding Ezam.
“I do not want to entertain him,” said Anwar.
What about the six boxes of secrets which he said was in your safekeeping, we asked.
“All this while, he said he had them. Now suddenly, they are with me. How come?” he asked innocently.
And the RM1billion each to 15 crony companies under a special contractor scheme while he was finance minister?
“If he has evidence, ask him to make a police report,” Anwar added.
The answers were crisp and concise. He wasn’t even angry when confronted with the questions. There was naught a trace of bitterness in his voice. Anwar looks like he is well over Ezam.
But can he put up a good fight against Arif Shah? He has confidently said he can beat Anwar. Well, with all the BN machineries behind him, I am not surprised that he will.
“I have nothing against him. But he represents UMNO and racial politics,” says Anwar, who mostly takes an offensive, sometimes defensive approach in his campaign, fighting off all the allegations against him.
Do the fence sitters still want to dabble in racial politics while their friends and relatives shift, cross and jump over to a new beginning?
That is a grave challenge to Permatang Pauh voters,and truth be told, for all Malaysians as well.
Would Permatang Pauh voters set the pace for the possible change of the Malaysian political scenario or would they cave in and choose to die another day with the ‘devil they know’?
If ever I had faith in politics, it is to believe that voters are not stupid, only too practical, and sometimes not really for their own good.
But whether their practicality, good sense or calculated risks, translate into votes that count for Keadilan and PAKATAN, depends very much on whether the Election Commission is free and fair.
We await reports from MAFREL, Malaysia’s very own free and fair election monitoring outfit which has set up office at 1508, Tingkat 1, Arowana Road, Taman Arowana, in Seberang Jaya.
Click on the website and see some ‘lucah’ pixs of BN supporters immitating a sodomy act. Utterly disgusting indeed.