Blog contact Kok Keong has come up with his take of the results:

While I agree with Khoo’s point about PR needing to build up a strong base in the rural areas in states like Pahang, Trengganu, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Kedah–something that is well known even before yesterday’s election–I think therein lies PR’s dilemma.

What I mean is, for PR to build the rural base, PR members have to be stationed there, meet people there, talked to them there, and be seen there. Their presence has to be felt by folk there. Yesterday’s election showed it won’t work for a candidate to be dropped into an area and expect to win votes by having ceramahs with the rural folk only from nomination day to the eve of polling day. Unless you are Lim Kit Siang.

Many rural folk believe you more if they can see you or even face to face communicate with you before the election campaigning. This is not to say they don’t use the internet and other advanced technologies of communication. But it will take more time for them to rely more on the internet for political information and discourse.

Furthermore, I don’t think many rural folk are so interested in the more abstract issues of rights, fair play and justice, until of course they are directly affected by them. Bread and butter issues are more real, urgent to many of them. I don’t think I am being elitist or snobbish here. I think the rural world needs to be understood more adequately on its own terms and not be seen through urban eyes.

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And so, PR members must be seen regularly to station in rural areas to make inroads. Thing is, PR members are typically in their 30s and 40s, and they are professionals or technocrats. I think many of them will not find rural areas attractive to their career and lifestyle. How can they see themselves stationing in these areas?

In this past electioneering, the online news portals carried a good deal of news on basically issues or candidates in the urban areas of Selangor, Penang and Johor. The huge ceramahs PR managed to get were no doubt impressive and made good photos. Again, all these were decidedly urban issues or events and they swept many PR supporters to think they were national issues or events. Hardly any significant coverage of the electioneering in Trengganu, Kelantan, Pahang, Kedah (except for Mukhriz and Mahathir there), Negri Sembilan, Malacca. I am not blaming the news portals for neglecting those areas in their coverage. I see absence of the coverage as a reflection of the overall weakness with PR. True, they had to fight hard to hang on to Selangor and Penang because BN made it all too clear those were still their coveted states. But BN could spend more resources–monetary and manpower, not to mention crooked ways and means–on them knowing they had a strong grip of the rural areas in the other states. But PR just did not have resources, especially the manpower, to counter BN in the hinterland.

It is also rather puzzling why PR would focus on Johor instead of Perak. They knew very well from the beginning they had no chance of taking over Johor from BN whereas Perak was well within their reach. It was good for Lim Kit Siang that he managed to knock out Ghani. But I can’t help but wonder why not focus on Perak instead and let his presence there create a larger impact for PR to make sure they win Perak instead?

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With Perak back to BN again, PR’s tremendously solid gains in Selangor and Penang over the 2008 election only further cements it as an urban party. When are they going to get serious with their rural game in order to take over Putrajaya? Can they find their members who are bright and talented professionals or technocrats to commit their presence to the rural areas?

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55 COMMENTS

  1. PAS and PKR should start taking this message to the rural areas NOW and continuously to the rural areas and showing them the real super rich controlling the econony and responsible for all the high cost of living are the malays , chinese and indian towkays , high level civil service cronies of Umno. Did they do this seriously enough for the last few years ? Always harping on the same topics of corruption, free elections , etc are good only to the educated urban electorate but not to the rural areas. This is the key pareto that Dr M and Umno exploit to the hilt.

  2. During the 2-week campaign, free copies of Utusan and Berita Harian were distributed to the kmapung folks. These special edition papers has 99% anti-Pakatan news to spur their hatred towards the Pakatan candidates.

  3. @TungLang

    Again, buy a copy of Malaysia constitution at local bookstore.

    Sabah and Sarawak are not just another state like Penang or Pahang. Malaya + Sabah + Sarawak = Malaysia

    Get it ???

    p/s: According to RPK, BERSIH is the 4th party in pakatan !!! Really admire this RPK for his straightforwardness !!! But it is HURTING a lot of pakatan fans including anil ~

    • GK boh liao. You think me don’t know the Constitution ah?
      In fact, Sabah & Sarawak were lorded over for umpteen years, Pairin Kitingan was ‘boh hoot-ed’ (after fighting teeth & claws against the relentless … tides & repopulation by foreigners of BeeEnd IC Projek) & transformed into a friendly ally no different from Boh Hoot Ostrich of Gelakan Penang. As for Sarawak, Pek Moh deluded the Sarawakians into believing him as better than Rajah Brooke …
      Sabah & Sarawak are not just another state (according to your Gelakan know-how) b’cos the Kutty gang have a ‘free hand’ to just give birth to more constituencies (overnight) to suit their GE strategy of winning by the numbers without hard work. Just cut down some forest & put some kutty gangs & viola, we have a new constituency for parliament faster than you open up a new sundry shop!
      As for the Malaysian Constitution, I prefer the one Tunku Abdul Rahman was well versed with untainted by the Kutty of Helang Island.

      Cheers Kopi-O kau kau with pure joy & happiness for Penang Lang’s Mandate to Gelakan Ostrich Party one more last time.

  4. @Yang,

    please buy a copy of Malaysia constitution before open your stupid mouth.

    How many parliament seats did PR win vs BN ??? You must be GAGAL UPSR !!!

    BN 133 vs PR 89

    133 is more than 89, get it ??? Even kindergarden student can understand that !!!

    • Disproportionate distribution of parliament constituencies (skewed towards Sabah & Sarawak) is the main cause of unfair election manipulation & illegal winning. One can have a constituency with less than 10 voters each paid with Rm500 free money (comes GE) & secure a lazy man’s political ticket to Putrajaya.
      Even a dunggu with no arithmetic experiment can count with his toes & fingers to know the evil truth of BeeEnd bad arithmetic practice.
      Cheers Kopi-O kau kau to many endless constituencies cropping up in Sabah & Sarawak, faster than the trees yet to be replanted due to Pek Moh’s uncontrolled appetite for more leeching of Sarawakians’ forest assets.

  5. Anil,
    one salient point has emerged from this election outcome. That is, Malaysians are tired of race based politics. if UMNO still cannot realise this then in the next elections they ain’t going to do any better.

    • Yes, you are right. People are trying to break away from the yoke of racial politics and chauvinism.

  6. The undercurrents of the political tsunami in our country are growing stronger. Only time will tell what the future holds in store for our country. Meanwhile we wait in hope.
    Jacqueline

  7. Far more important factors:
    1. Gerrymandeing. Large number of small (in population) rural seats and small number or urban ones, violating the Constitution.
    2. Unchecked hate propaganda of the most outrageous sort – sedition.
    3. Tyrannical suppression of criticism, violating the Constitution, including newspapers and TV.
    4. Destruction of the education system including critical thinking and understanding democracy as win-win.
    5. Extreme poverty, resulting in selling votes for freebies. This is extortion.

  8. Gerakan K and team ultimate support go to 1Malaysia PM Najib even there is zero seat win by Gerakan/MCA/MIC.

    1Malaysia vision is ALIVE !!! Bursa, bak kut teh, toto, cinema, genting casino are SAFE !!! What a huge relief. Those fanatical moon fans must be very SAD.

    UMNO/PBB will take care all Malaysians and ensure there is no PAS hudud ever implemented in this great place called Malaysia. Please migrate to Afghanistan if you really want hudud.

    You know, the best moment for this GE is that when UMNO candidate K.O. Pas candidate with thousands of majority. Fuh yoh, very syiok moment for me.

    Another moment of GE13 is when MCA Liow Tiong Lai beats demo kaki Wong Tack !!! That means Lynas accepted by Pahang folks. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Wong Tack should keep quiet about Lynas and learn some science.

    p/s: PR lost Kedah, “ini currylah” !!!

    pp/s: Jong, where are you ??? BN wins Perak.

    ppp/s: BN wins Sarawak. What happens to radio sarawak, expose video, ???

    pppp/s: BN wins Pahang/Bentong. Nobody jumping to river and cutting ear. What a major disappointment for pakatan/green kaki !!!

    ppppp/s: Who is Selangor MB now ??? You see even they have some rounds of fighting before announcing the MB for Selangor. Cannot imagine what will happen if pr win federal. Kelam kabut coalition. Sigh ~

    • We have an illegitimate BN govt. BN got only 46% of the popular votes while Pakatan got 51%. We shall always support free and clean election not a cheat election. Pakatan Rakyat got extra 8 parliament seats and more than 220 states seats which is better than last election while BN is doing it worse and should have done worse …

  9. Najib should look carefully at the voting statistics before making his ‘tsunami china’ statement. Pakatan Rakyat has made inroads not only with the Chinese ground but also into Malay areas, particularly urban seats. Besides Gelang Patah, PR also won big — with a margin of more than 40,000 votes — in Serdang, a seat in Selangor where 40% of voters are Malay.
    Likewise, in Puchong, with a similar Malay base, its victory margin was more than 30,000 votes. The high scores could not have been attained without significant Malay support. The seats of Kulai and Bakri in Johor, and Klang in Selangor, also had more than one-third Malays, but were won by the DAP with respectable margins of more than 5,000 votes,

  10. Gerakan K has finally digested all teh free 1malaysia food that has constipated him? He should explain to us why Gerakan and MCA are totally wiped out in Penang despite hundreds of million of Ringgit wasted by BN via 1Malaysia groups. Gerakan K should emulate Teng CY’s immediate resignation and spare us the nonsense in theis blog.

    • He shall henceforth be known as dino k.

      Even the porn star knows when to call it quits…though he might be dissuaded to.

      Meanwhile, we might see another de facto Gherkin president emerge since the present one
      is still sitting on his throne.

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