The motorcyclists celebrated late into the night on the streets of KT
And so it came to pass (Pas!). The ‘East Coast Monsoon’ swamped this coastal town and swept the BN aside. It was a victory not just for Pas but also the Pakatan, whose politicians helped in the campaign, and activists, many of them non-Muslims, who campaigned vigorously during the campaign. They worked together to dislodge the BN candidate despite the heavy machinery of the state being deployed.
Most of all, it was a victory for the people of Kuala Terengganu, who cast away their fears, doubts and the attempts to buy their votes through promises of allocations and projects.
Immediately after the results, an analyst told me the swing towards Pas came largely from younger voters. How they celebrated on the streets: hundreds of bikers and others in cars, waving flags and shouting in jubilation. They pulled down flags from the streets, draped themselves with them or just simply waved them, circling the streets of town on their bikes and waving at passers by as they vroomed by. By midnight, the the main road in town had been almost stripped of Pas flags and the only flags left fluttering were the BN and Umno flags.
Traffic police later stepped in to put a stop to the motorcyclists’ merry-making. One eye-witness said he saw the cops taking the motorcyclists’ keys and asking them to push their bikes to the police station under police escort.
One analyst told me the Chinese turnout was a bit lower at 64 per cent. Another said young Chinese living in other cities apparently did not return to vote as they would have to come back again for Chinese New Year next weekend. Still, the Chinese support for the opposition held firm at around 40 per cent – which was not too bad under the circumstances.