PR has to understand rural world view

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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.

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?

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 on "PR has to understand rural world view"

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Hashim
Hashim
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… Read more »
Nasir
Nasir

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.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K

@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 ~

tunglang
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… Read more »
OrangUtan+Horbill
OrangUtan+Horbill

Oi GK. Mereka curi harta (assets) nenek moyang, mak, bapa kita, lu cakap apa lagi?

Gerakan K
Gerakan K

@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 !!!

tunglang
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… Read more »
Sewel
Sewel

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.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline

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

Yang
Yang

We now have another UMNO (psycophant) Saravanan who agrres with the Utusan comment. F

semuanya OK kot
semuanya OK kot

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.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
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… Read more »
Yang
Yang

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 …

hashim
hashim
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… Read more »
GSB
GSB

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.

Andrew I
Andrew I

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.

myblog
myblog
I support the argument related to focus in the rural areas. I think PR in most states (Except Kelantan) is only dominant in urban or semi urban areas, while the non Malay support is great but on the whole insufficient, I would want PR to think about planning, strategy and execution on a pan-malaysia thought process. They must change their mindset to reflect a malaysian malaysia but this must also seem to be by changing their party structures and ideals. In essence I think PR in general lack two things 1. They have far too many politicians and very few… Read more »
Anak Malaysia
Anak Malaysia
No matter how good u promote or work hard. If dirty hands like buying votes, free makan, dubious voters, own referee & etc involve, u will never win the game. What i think the most important thing is Pakatan Rakyat must be able to show the world how efficient, clean, transparent in governing the PR won state of Selangor, Penang & Kelantan in next 5 years. Proof to whole Malaysia, PR is the upper class state government in next 5 years. It is time for Pas, DAP & PKR to combine as one party. If they can’t do it, forget… Read more »
Joe
Joe

All said, PR needs the mainstream media to make their presence because a large number of voters base their choice emotionally, even before looking at any manifesto. Furthermore PR’S manifesto does not resonate with Sabah/Sarawak. Things like toll free/transport/ free water/cheaper electric doesn’t connect with rural East Malaysia because their infra is so poor!! Felda type or any type of social economic program would sounds better!

bigjoe99
Frankly this is NOT new, does not add anything. PAS was suppose to be the rural vote for Pakatan. Telling DAP and PKR to build rural support – easier said than done. The truth is the issue facing this nation is sophisticated and urbane – things like GINI coefficient, contingent liabilities, constitutional integrity, judicial independence, index and non-index crime, etc – they are educated issues. The real issue is this – in sports parlance, UMNO/BN have a short game but not a long game, PR has a long game but it does not have a winning short game. UMNO/BN can… Read more »
najib manaukau

It is for this reason Umno have no wish nor the desire to have the well being or their education upgraded, or else they can go to the radio, T.V or internet for the latest news on what all the Umno rapscallions are doing and up to. As a consequence of that they will continue to vote for Umno, simple as that, period.

jibkoko
jibkoko

As i ve mentioned in numerous blog, this election pits the ignorant kampong poor against the intellectuals. Vote buying in Sabah and Swak ( 50 parliament seats} of bout RM 100 and 200 each per voters. Less 50 parliaments seats BN would have only 83 seats. These barter trade poor earhs bout RM 300 a month. There is definitely fraud involve. Money politics similar in UMNO yearly assembly

Gerakan K
Gerakan K

Any update on which university targeted by anwar ??? Anwar wanted to retire now as lecturer, right ???

Yang
Yang

I have said many many times. Beside the rural areas, Sabah and Sarwak is very important.
Look at the results:

Barisan Nasional won 85 parliamentary seats in West Malaysia and Pakatan Rakyat won 80
That means it is 50-50 here. BN won because of Sabah & Sarawak

jmnk
jmnk
it just crossed my mind in this same way . i only wish ambiga to go out and exhort the villagers and orang asli about the need to be seriously aware of one’s rights both as a citizen and the to have the right conscience and judgement of the politicians’ handling of their community needs and their problems, both social and environmental ,particularly if they are categorised as a minority and who have no true person who could enlighten them in the event of the country’s crucial period the five yearly election and such event where a citizen’s voice hold… Read more »
tunglang
You know what. Just go to the kampungs, the forest fringes, the interiors, the estates. There, have a cuppa of Kopi-O Orang Kampung with them folks. They are simple minded, easy to talk to, easy to understand & clique (over time, not Speedy Gonzales) if you are sincere in thoughts, speech & action. Speak in their lingo, respond in their mannerism. Sing their folk songs. Aware of their taboos. Know their problems + solve their problems (not solely with cash handouts), share in their simple passions/joy for simplicity living. If needed, ‘teach them to fish’ beyond the rivers. Soil your… Read more »
jmnk
jmnk

you said it right tunglang

Ong Eu Soon

The urgency is to setup a task force for constituency delineation before the reconciliation government was form. We need to push for this crucial reform before it is too late. We should call for a truce and work towards delineating constituency with a fairer proportion of voters. Anything is possible in politic. There is no forever enemies or friends in politic, remember vested interest always come first.

hungryhornbill
hungryhornbill
Anil, you have some valid observations with regard to the rural view, that’s ruralism in its truest form. In the case of Sabah and Sarawak, how do we then analyze this? Most of the candidates were ‘ locals’ in the constituencies they were contesting in. Or some as close as you can get, from the neighborhood region. How much more local can they get? Therein lies the contentious assessment by us urban folks when them rural folks don’t do as they should do…. There’s something missing or the rural gap I call it. Until we can narrow and reduce that… Read more »
lizziewong
lizziewong

While it is acknowledged that the malay heartlands are not easy to penetrate, I recall how Baru Bian shared about how he won the people over at Bekalalan. It was sheer hard work, being there many years, serving the people. PR need to already identify the candidates for each constituent and position the potential candidate there. At least, have a core team positioned there if not. Start to sow, then we will reap handsomely at GE14. Not sure win, but we would be in a better position.

Ong Eu Soon
in western country especially in US, the candidates announce their intent to contest two years before elections. They normally take a year to prove their worth on fund raising, team organising and their leadership before endorsed by their party. In Bolehland, you are told about your candidacy one day before nomination. The party is very thing, the candidate is nothing. You are suppose to vote for a donkey if the party file a donkey as a candidate. Today you saw some election irregularities particularly those involved borang 14. This should not happened at all if the polling workers or agents… Read more »
Ong Eu Soon
This election result is what I expected. The real change will only occur in the 14th GE. This will take place after a more fair constituency delineation, the gone of deadwood politicians like Karpal, Kit Siang, Chua Sok Lek, Khor Tzu Koon, Najib, Anwar, Teng Chang Yeow, Ting Hock Nam and etc. Malaysians need to realise change will not come with stupid partisan stand that support politicians blindly without questioning. We need to define what constitute open tender. We need an independent anti-corruption agency not MACC. We need an independent police force. We need an independent judiciary. We need an… Read more »
Penang Ah Pek
Penang Ah Pek

This OES really a bulls… king (tua pao ong) & kurang ajar some more. His parent must have negleted to teach him when he was kid. That made him so childish now. If he is damn good in analysing politics why not forming own party to contest or throw himself out for independence candidate. Trust him 1% also die.

For GK, no point shouting here. You are the orphanage & homeless now. Finish all the “eggs” first then come out & shout.

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