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The world’s craziest game continues…

 | May 26, 2012

Many political observers are saying that the prime minister now intends to use the July-August months to woo the Malay voters.


The latest news or rumour going around is that the 13th General Election may very well be held in September. This is the umpteenth time that this annoying game is still continuing. In fact this game was started by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who views the guessing of the polls date as a favourite national past-time.

The guessing game has in fact yielded six attempts. They are as follows:

  • October-November 2010 (during PKR’s party elections)
  • April 2011 (together with the 10th Sarawak State Elections)
  • June 2011 (during the June school holidays)
  • Nov 11, 2011 (said to be the Prime Minister’s significant number)
  • March 2012 (during the March school holidays)
  • June 9, 2012 (during the June school holidays)

All the above dates have passed with the exception of June 9, 2012 but the prime minister is now too late for the June 9 date because if he had wanted that date, he would have dissolved Parliament by now.

So that date is lost although one must not discount the possibility that Parliament can be dissolved on June 9 for polls not later than mid-July.

Still, the general election cannot be far off. A good indication of this are the rampant reports of many PKR and PAS members quitting to join BN, citing a loss of confidence in their party’s leadership or that the party has lost sight of its struggle.

These news reports are the norm everytime before the polls and its purpose is none other than to put the opposition in bad light. But when BN members quit to join PAS or PKR, these news are suppressed.

Recent incidents are 100 PKR members in Selangor joining MIC and 43 PAS members in Kedah joining Umno which was highlighted in an English daily but what about over 400 PPP members quitting to join PAS in Selangor?

Yellow Peril

Many political observers are saying that the prime minister now intends to use the July-August months to woo the Malay voters.

This came about due to his fear and shock at seeing the massive Chinese turnout at the Bersih 3.0 sit-in rally on April 28. Although many had expected the Chinese participation to be greater than last year’s event on July 9, the Chinese crowd was still way beyond expectation.

Even at the Kepong commuter train station, there were at least 1,000 participants waiting to board the commuter train at 9.30 am on April 28 until out of fear, the station-master had to announce that the train had broken down.

In the 1960s the Western powers had referred to the Chinese as the ‘Yellow Peril’. And this time it is the ‘Yellow Peril’ that has struck fear into the hearts of the BN leaders, yellow being Bersih’s official colour and also referring to the Chinese.

PM Najib needs the Chinese votes especially in states such as Penang, Perak and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese in Selangor have a very crucial role to play too.

In order to nullify the Chinese support which seem to favour the Pakatan Rakyat, he needs to woo more Malays and therefore having the polls after the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebrations which begins on the 3rd week of August would be ideal.

Actually it was Dr Mahathir Mohamad who mooted the suggestion that September would be the ideal date. In September too, the Muslims would be in a good mood and there would be less animosity around.

This just goes to show that PM Najib cannot make a decision. “Therefore he makes no decision,” said PAS Kuala Selangor MP, Dzulkefly Ahmad who is also well-known as a Muslim intellectual.

In the meantime, the BN federal government continues to bully Pakatan Rakyat by having PKR’s top two leaders, Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali charged in court under the new Peaceful Assembly Act for their role in the April Bersih event. It they are slapped with a fine of more than RM2,000 then they are automatically disqualified as a Member of Parliament.

The BN government is also suing the Bersih committee for more than RM100,000 in general damages and this clearly shows that the government is bullying the citizens because Bersih is a citizens’ movement to demand for free and fair elections. All these litigation cases are undertaken to scare the rakyat and kill off Bersih once and for all.

Thus the government is behaving in a dictatorial manner and is not moderate. All this talk of ‘wasatiyah’ (Arabic word meaning ‘moderate’) by the PM is an attempt to appeal to the Muslim intellectuals. It is actually nothing but hot air.

Brainwashing the masses

Even now, the mainstream media is busy campaigning for BN by showing the government’s initiatives such as the KR1M (Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia) shops and the BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia) cash aid in its nightly 8pm prime time news slots.

This means that by the time September comes around, the solid groundwork done a few months earlier to propagate BN’s programmes will be successful in brainwashing the masses to vote for BN.

And that is when PM Najib will find the courage to call for the polls. On the other hand, Pakatan leaders have announced that if they were to wrest control of Putrajaya, this game of guessing the polls date will be stopped with immediate effect.

Many of the morning wet market traders in Kepong Baru referred to the PM’s indecisiveness as extremely annoying. One vegetable seller said it was fortunate that the PM was not a military commander in ancient China.

“He will be ordering us to attack from the right flank and when we are riding out to the battlefield, he will change his mind and order us to attack from the left flank instead. It will be a total disaster and absolute mayhem for us as his soldiers. I will certainly be voting for Pakatan Rakyat because I am absolutely sure that they will immediately put a stop to this stupid game,” said the vegetable seller decisively.

Perhaps PM Najib should read ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ which was translated into Bahasa Melayu and was launched by his Deputy Muhyiddin Yassin earlier this month. It is a great military classic that teaches one how to to be decisive.

Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.


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