I am not surprised and have already anticipated how the election outcome turns out to be from the beginning, with the exception that heavy rain throughout the whole day yesterday has affected the voting turnover. But what the opposition claimed to have succeeded is primarily on having more Chinese votes than ever and there majority that UMNO wants by 5000 could not be reached at all. In the beginning, mainly it's because of the population composition of Labis and Tenang, it reminded me of how it was way back in Bagan Pinang, with the exception that there is no popularity factor taken into account. Bagan Pinang was like Permatang Pauh, because of the candidate's popularity, they won there - and nothing more. And unlike other places, the people's mentality in Johor is much more backwater in nature than the other states where previous by-elections took place.
PKR and Anwar Ibrahim To Be Blamed
PKR actually has the biggest blame to take among the three component parties of Pakatan Rakyat. Many have said they are the weakest link of all due to many incidents like the fraud party elections, exit of 7 of their own MPs to become independents and internal problems. The first mistake that PR did was to field a PAS candidate. Although PAS and DAP have managed to handle things well on the campaign side, it is the people's perception of the party and candidate that spooked them all. That is not Kedah, Perak or Penang, but it is Johor and sad to say that their mentality is one step backwards. The moment if a PAS candidate decides to contest here, many non-Malays would associate PAS as "Taliban-style party" and MCA and UMNO would tell the Chinese of many bogeyman like negara Islam, etc..though it is not really simple and quick to change a country to use Islamic laws.
Like Bagan Pinang
The moment PR fields a PAS candidate, Pakatan Rakyat got off to the wrong footing. In this area where there is a mix composition, a PKR candidate should have been fielded instead because people perceive PKR as a party with a multi-racial composition. This is the same mistake that was made in Bagan Pinang and there it reveals the main mistake that BN had now adopted this approach, which is to look for winnable candidates over those who can't do the job. So that's where Anwar Ibrahim and his gang caught with the pants down again.
Challenge of Mother Nature
The rain factor has also taken its toll against both sides, but more severe in PR's side. There has been raining over the last four days down south, not that severe as in KL yesterday that Labis and Segamat town has already become flooded. But the government machinery has boats, one hand advantage. Because of PR's inability to provide the resources to handle mother nature related situations such as this, the number of votes that they are supposed to gain from absentee of voters was approximately 883 votes. On the other hand, Barisan actually by right if by the numbers only gets another 5% additional majority than in 2008.
PAS: 3875 (2008), 2992 (2011) = -883 (drop of 22.78%)
BN: 6367(2008), 6699(2011) = 332 (5.21%)
Bread and Butter, At What Cost?
In this backwater yard, there is only one priority for those who vote: bread and butter issues. If they think BN takes care of it, then they would go for it. Most don't give a hoot about increase of oil prices, murder, detention, Beng Hock, Interlock role, that issues could not work against this kind of backward mindset. PR came without the FELDA matter ready in hand. Many think that to vote PR and PAS is to bite the hand that supports and helps the FELDA people.
But it came at a terrible cost. Sometimes, there is land fraud, and just like in Galas, the moment BN wins, the price of petrol goes up. What does that tell you? People got befuddled? Does it mean to say, those goodies handed out are only during campaigning and the assemblyman does nothing after the people put up there? This is the problem and the dilemma: the numbers shown there reflects the complacency and backward mentality of many voters, including the makcik and pakcik Felda - no clue, kena tipu and all sorts of things. With this kind of mentality, Malaysia can never move ahead, because they do not want to change.
Look at the price of petrol, shrinking of buying power, what does that tell you? A penalty to be paid for ignorance. I scolded once an Indian amah in Hulu Selangor for making the wrong choice long time back.
PKR Can Pack Up and Go
It looks like the PKR party still remains very weak and will have to rely more than just their two main partners. Whenever people criticize them, e.g Raja Petra, we get scolded for nothing. It's just critcism that the party would rather endure than hearing what a yes-man would say.
The problem still runs around. Anwar is becoming more or less a double-edge sword - A glue or a man who wants to call all the shots. Maybe this might anger some people who might not agree with his style like Zaid, Gobalakrishnan. Maybe many have yet to understand the history of Anwar and Azmin. But in this case of how they handle the election thing, since they are the middle of the three-party alliance, Anwar might as well stand down and get someone who can repair the whole party to be a formidable challenger and reputable party. Otherwise, PKR might want to pack up their bags and close shop.
PKR will have to prove me and other critics wrong that they are not going to throw towel, pack up and go. How do you want us to fix up, someone from PKR might ask? My answer? Take RPK's bitter pill!