Monday, March 17, 2008

On Why BN Is Still Strong On The South and East Coast

Today, I was discussing with a friend which admittedly said that election fever had prompted him to talk a little more of politics and did agree that UMNO is stoking racial hatred among the people.

In the recent elections, BN managed to secure 85 against the opposition's 80 Parliamentary seats. Their saving grace would be of course Sabah and Sarawak. Many said that Anwar Ibrahim would be the PM-in-waiting, never settling for 2nd place but gunning for the top. Given of the current political scenario, he could just become one if he can get 30 MPs from the BN camp to jump to the opposition ship.

As agreed by some activists, this was one of the dirtiest elections ever with things being rigged to their favor.

In Peninsular Malaysia, most of the BN seats that were won are mostly at the south and the east coast. My friend had a interesting point of view in which can explain why Barisan Nasional can win those seats there, with cheating of course and some stupidity. 3 prominent states are discussed here, Terengganu, Pahang, and Johor.


Barisan Nasional apparently used a few tactics to buy votes from the Terengganu natives, somehow as predicted, the result was a close 50-50 fight, only victories by postal votes:

1. For those who are working elsewhere, they were offering shuttle buses from designated points in other states to go back there to vote. When disembarking from the arrival point, they are given money and some gifts with a message to vote for BN. This too mirrors to in Ipoh where taxi drivers are offering free rides to election poll stations in the town itself.

2. Some of the natives are working offshore at Petronas. It was found that whoever votes for the opposition, not sure it's via postal votes or not could face the sack.

3. The postal votes cases do influence certain seats like Kuala Terengganu. Were it not for this case, we would see a sharing government, a first ever in a state.


With exceptions to Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands, most of the people in Pahang are quite poor and had to rely on the government support on funding development so I think that this would keep them to vote for BN. On Pekan, Najib has been distributing money to people in that town, since it's also the royal town. It's just poverty leading to cling of support.


La la Land...hahaha. I've learned something interesting from my friend in regards of his insight of Johor. Arguably, most Johor people are too dumb to understand things happening in Malaysia. Influence of UMNO and BN is very strong here. Crime rates are still at the high. In actual fact, Ong Ka Ting could have lost at Kulai, but for some unknown reason he won.

The thing is that in Johor, most people do not seem to know what is really happening, not even on the Bersih or the Hindraf rally. Their perception they get is by watching mostly Singapore media which propagates of opposition being the bad side. (note: there is a clear reception of watching Channel 8 or 9 there) But that is Singapore, somehow the influence was spread to them here and they perceive the opposition here as a bad, antagonist. This is why there is not much
of the opposition front here spreading the word there, for they know one thing: they are quite useless there. This would explain why mostly would think BN has done a good service there and voted blindly for them.

There, to win a state seat or Parliament seat, you need to pay 'tithes' to select elite in order to gain their respect, or else the seat will go to whoever pays more. In here, most would either buy votes from them, in form of cash and at times, BN used intimidation tactics at voters. For instance, a person will be asked in the face whether you have voted for the BN or the opposition. In most cases, if you tell them that you vote for opposition, you could face a beating by some people there.

The NEP here was misused far more serious than what it is in Selangor. If in Selangor, a Bumiputra is entitled to a 7% discount here, the mechanism is different. Suppose that you are a developer who built 1000 houses with a intent target gross of $100 million, at Johor, it is understood that 40% of the housing estate developed must be owned by the Bumis and a 15% discount must be offered. That means, non-Malays will have to pay more. The worst part of it is of how it was misused. The rich and elite ones will snap up the price and hold the property for one year before they sell it to others, particularly Singaporeans with the price that is 60% higher than the actual price. And that is how they profit from it.

Now UMNO is making noises of NEP, it seems that this would serving a good lesson. If they do not correct their mistakes, this could be the end of them as according to Ku Li (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah)

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