How? There were several issues drummed up in the run-up to the polls.
- The ridiculous brouhaha over the Timah whisky
- Restrictions on alcohol sales in Kuala Lumpur
- Former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ridiculous attempt to get a house and a large tract of land – worth a total of RM100m – supposedly in recognition of his services as a former PM.
In all these cases, a public outcry forced the government (or BN or PN personalities) to back down or back track.
The Timah whisky maker was allowed to keep its name.
Yesterday, the government said it would allow conditional approval for sales of alcohol at some convenience store and Chinese medicinal shops in Kuala Lumpur.
And Najib was forced to decline the ‘gift’ of a house and land. Many among the public said the practice is for former PMs not not convicted criminals! Besides, don’t these former PMs have their own homes? Chalk three up for People Power!
That said, these are relatively minor issues in the larger “scheme of things”. If only we could mobilise public opinion to push for better schools and public hospitals, more genuinely affordable homes, ecological protection, a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and more inclusiveness (ie an end to discrimination). Maybe these are not specific ‘sexy’ issues that would captivate public attention, but they are far more crucial to the people’s wellbeing.
So on to the Malacca polls today. A PKR strategist tells me Pakatan Harapan is hopeful of getting 18 out of the 28 seats on offer. He expects Perikatan Nasional (ie Bersatu and Pas) to be crushed. [But then, after licking its wounds, Pas might then gravitate towards Umno ahead of the looming general election.] He qualified this by saying a PH win would depend on the voter turnout. If the turnout was over 60%, then PKR and the rest of PH will fancy their chances. [The turnout in 2018 was 84.5%.] Let’s see.
At the end of the day, what we really need from our political parties are principled leaders who really work in the people’s interests (not vested interests – whether corporate, crony, personal or other interests) and have an inclusive vision. It seems such leaders are in short supply these days.
Check out some of the updates below on the Malacca state election: