So it looks as if the BN is heading for a comfortable victory in both parliamentary seats, judging by the congratulatory tweets issued by the likes of KJ.
What is clear is that the BN and, let’s not forget, Hadi’s Pas have succeeded in driving a wedge among opposition supporters, who have divided their votes between Amanah and Pas. Otherwise, the total opposition votes would have been closer to the BN’s tallies.
Amidst the gloom among those longing for change, there is a ray of hope over the performance of Amanah, which has given Pas a close race for second place in both seats despite being a new party. This should encourage Amanah to build further on its more progressive approach to Islam and distance itself from the conservatives.
The results also suggest that Hadi’s bill has not gained signficiant traction among Muslim voters in these two predominantly Muslim constituencies. With Pas performing relatively poorly, what does that say about popular support for Hadi’s bill? Given Pas’ poor showing in the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat in Selangor (where it won a string of seats in GE13), will Pas now go back to being a party confined to the East Coast?
If Pas has an unwritten pact with Umno in three-cornered fights, Pas may pip Amanah to second spot here and there.
But in the long-run, will Umno actually cede any of its traditional seats in the next general election for Pas to contest in straight fights with other opposition parties? If Umno doesn’t cede more than a handful of seats, Pas might find itself with a lot fewer elected reps in both Parliament and the state assemblies at the end of the day. How will the Pas rank and file react then?
Perhaps opposition parties need to take a step back and look at what kind of alternative economic ideology they have to offer compared to the BN’s corporate-led, neoliberal, mega project-driven approach.
If the Pakatan’s economic policies are essentially the same as the BN’s, with the only difference being their pledge of less blatant and rampant corruption, is this enough of an incentive for voters, including rural voters, who are struggling to make ends meet?
I mean, if all that is on offer is a choice between:
- a fizzy cola drink with sugary goodies thrown in like RM400-1,050 annual Brim, the third instalment (RM200-300) for which was cynically brought forward from the scheduled 23 June to 15 June (three days before polling), and
- ‘healthier’ diet cola with fewer calories (ie RM100 for senior citizens, etc, and supposedly minus the corruption),
should we be surprised if many voters opt for the sweeter fizzy cola?
What difference does it make to grassroots voters if there is less corruption? Under the existing model, is there any guarantee that had 1MDB money (for example) not been siphoned away, it would have been used for projects that really empowered the grassroots?
Isn’t it time opposition parties offer voters a healthier and nore nourishing option (raw fruit and veggie juice, to use the same analogy). Offer voters a different approach to development – one that is pro-people and pro-workers insteasls of adopting the same corporate-led or developer-led neoliberal, FDI-driven, trickle-down approach that perpetuates, if not widens, income inequality?
Apart from PSM, which recently held a roundtable on the causes of rural Malay poverty, have the other opposition parties really studied the root causes of rural poverty and identified the solutions?
This is a must read: Let’s avert a complete rout of the opposition in GE14.
Meanwhile, the Malaysiakini report of selected voters lining up for post-election payouts needs to be investigated.