Monday, January 19, 2009

The Impact of Kuala Terengganu By-Election Result

Happy Chinese New Year!

May the year of Ox brings peace, health and prosperity to everyone.

I must apologize for not doing any posting in my blog last week.

I was down with flu and was travelling to Penang and Kuala Terengganu and have no time to think and write.

Now, the verdict is out for the Kuala Terengganu by-election.

We have to accept the rakyat’s choice. In any by-election, the medias attention and campaign tend to be very intense with the candidates assuming an equally high media profile.

Conventional wisdom is that during by-election, it is to the advantage of the party in power. This do not seems to be true in this by-election.

BN cannot claim to have a massive and a formidable party organization. With 5 states under PR government, we have observed PR, especially PAS have also a huge party organization and are not lacking in its manpower and financial resources.

PR party has an added advantage that they can openly solicit donation even though they may have the financial resources. It evokes a lot of sympathy and commitment from the voters.

No seat is now a safe seat for BN or PR. While it may provoke competition among the parties, it will definitely intensify politicking both at local and national level.

Soon, there will be politicians who speak what the rakyat likes to hear and do popular things that may not be of national interest in long term, e.g. giving free pipe water, when water should be a scarce and is a limited resource.

BN cannot take any election lightly. BN not only need to change its way of managing the affairs of the country, there is a need also to change its campaign tactic.

The campaign strategy of BN has not change much. It has fixation with local developments and giving goodies.

BN leaders have to be more focused in solving local development and bread and butter issues throughout the year. There have to be more activities that are people friendly and interactive.

Attending and officiating a lot of 1000 people dinners is not going to help very much.

Recently, I was invited to officiate a cultural night in conjunction with the Chinese New Year. While the local MCA leaders have good intention, it has no political impact on the audience.

We have to start late because the local MP who is a Deputy Minister (from UMNO) can only come after prayer; the program starts only by 8.15p.m.

With 6 speakers, the program proper starts only at 9.45p.m., by then a lot of the crowd have left the hall, disappointed with the organizer, MCA. While we understand the Muslims need to pray, the organizer could have started earlier with speeches.

While speeches are delivered in Mandarin and the Deputy Minister obviously have no idea about the content of their speeches. So, while waiting for the MP’s arrival, they can start the function, the impact will be better.

The Chinese in Kuala Terengganu seems to support BN. While we are thankful for their support, we take recognition of several other factors:

1) The increase of 62 votes in Kg. Cina is minimal;

2) A lot of Chinese outstation voters, about 1200 of them out of over 8000 voters do not return to vote. A lot of these voters are of the younger age group and they are perceived to be anti-establishment;

3) The local ADUN who is also the state EXCO YB Toh Chin Yaw (from MCA) is a hardworking and popular local leader.

4) To be fair, the BN state government has been fair in distributing “Wang Ikhsan” to the non-Malays in Terengganu. Temples, Chinese schools, associations and the poor received significant yearly grant from the state government. This has gone down well with the Chinese.

What should be noted is that PAS collected about 40% of the Chinese votes. The Chinese are often regarded as anti PAS and from my experience, PAS candidate in Chinese constituency do not collect more than 20% of the votes.

If more and more start to accept PAS, then MCA and BN need to worry. We cannot rely on Hudud implementation and its punitive action to the community to convince the Chinese not to vote for PAS.

We have to do more and UMNO and BN need to do more to convince the non-Muslim that PAS is not an alternative to UMNO.

Hudud implementation in a multiracial country and its implication need to be explained to non-Muslim.

UMNO leaders cannot be more PAS than PAS leaders when they talk about Islam and other religions.

If the Chinese find UMNO leaders and PAS leaders the same, then PAS’ support among the Chinese will grow.

If some PAS leaders can go to Chinese temple and UMNO leader refuse to go – although this is all symbolic, then MCA will have more work to do.

17 comments:

yatim said...

Dear Mr. Chua,
With all due respects to you, to me, you are just wasting your with the UMNO leaders. They just a bunch of corrupted crooks, with their ketuanan melayu concept in their head, are not going to change. Look at all the talk and statements of the senior ministers in the cabinet, any common man will know of their true intention. They do not work for the common man. The by-elections are proving the truths, the truth the racist UMNO control BN government, supported by the ball carrying parties like MCA, MIC, Gerakan & etc, will never admit.

GreenBug said...

Dr Chua, stop spinning that the Chinese in KT are now supporting the MCA / BN more, it ain't true and it will never be true. We are not stupid anymore, stop all these spinning and be honest and perhaps then people might just give you the sympathy votes.

阿土伯 said...

Dr Chua, i have one question here for you, may you think this is a stupid question, but i really wish to know the answer. May i know who pay for all the expenses for those BN Top Gun to go Campaign in Kuala Terengganu? Eventhough with Firefly, but it is a cost rite?

Vesu said...

a very good matured observation. Dr. I hope when you get the ministership you will remain vocal like now. vocal with facts ,its true that truth are painful ,bitter but its a good medicine. Your fellow Umno brothers need to buck up - really do some serious soul searching.. secondly please do not allow immatured Youth leaders to speak national issues like Hudud in public. I think Hudud is not an issue for vote buying ; its a religious issue for muslim based parties like umno and pas to work on it or worry about it.. again , I am not impressed with the newly elected party presidents - one is The President of MCA and the other Gerakan - both were like Hang Jebat before their party election and now turn into hang tuah character.Very quite and low profile... so go back to my worries Dr. when you get a seat dont be like the seat [chair] stagnant.

Mr. Smith said...

Your comments are very superficial. The endemic problems in UMNO/BN extend beyond what you have stated here.
Look at the abuse of the government machinery and the one sided reporting by the mainstream media during the by election. People get put off.
What about the arrogance of UMNO leaders, the ISA, corruption among BN leaders, racial remarks by Mukriz and Ahmad.
What about racial discrimination in awards of scholarships, university places, the abuse of the NEP, the state of the judiciary, wastage of funds, Najib's baggage, etc.
Sorry sir, your coalition is beyond redemption.

NEIL said...

DR, As I have predicted,PAS will win this election.Even we on the ground can already feel the pulse of the KT voters,but the top leadership in umno/BN are immune to all this negative reactions from the voters.
umno/BN is on the decline.The days of umno?BN supremacy is over.This time the rakyats are bend on chucking out the demon that have been terrorising the rakyat for 52 years.I can't blame then for I myself have started voting PR since OTK take power.MCA will never represent me and my family.

NEIL said...

If Najib continue to be so defiant,like when he waved that keris,promising to smear it with chinese blood,many more setbacks will be on the way and I promise people power is never to be ignored.

artic turban said...

You dissapoint me with you perceptions of this election, I see it as excuses, Call a spade a spade and bite the BUllet, No use giving all the long winded, beat around the bush thesis on why BN, especially UMNO lost, we have had enough of B.S. you say pr states give out free water, first of all who gains from this, its only $20 bucks, chicken feed, but why do the people support this? because initiatives like this benefit the rakyat in general, irrespective of race. On the other hnd I noticed the contracts handed out to Class F contractors, who are they? leeches, throwing of a few scraps of bones to the public in general is not going to work, Pakatans offer of free water is actually, if you look at it correctly- over inflated prices for water to crony companies who have had a free ride off the coat tails of the general public. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT GARBAGE ANYMORE. So either wake up and smell the coffee, or forever hold you peace, the writing's been on the wall, we have been pushed against the wall long enough, what you are seeing is the general public PUSHING BACK AND FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS, AS ENVISIONED IN THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. The scam of bn has run long enough, its end game, so when will you wake up and do the right thing, cross over.

Darick said...

DrChua,
it's not people see umno as PAS or vice versa is d main concern. u guys still don get d message.
it's all boils down to regime umno:

- robbing d nation wealth 'legally'

- abuse of power in polis, AG, ACA, Juddiciary, Local council, GLC & other gomen agencies

- abuse of ISA, OSA, PPP Act, Sedition Act to silent off Rakyat

- being racist

& d list goes on.......

but thank you for regime arrogant & still in a denial mode !

hahaha....... regime umno can continue to dream, dream, dream.... next state gonna fall into PR will b Sarawak !!!

Suci Dalam Debu said...

Dear Dr Chua,

Please allow me space to disagree with some of your comments on the KT BUY-election.

The majority of Chinese in KT DO NOT support BN. The scare tactics by the MB and the political bribery dished out to the Chinese community "forced" many elderly people to vote for BN. Statements like "we know who you voted for" scared the hell out of some.

Nevertheless you mentioned that many young voters who are mainly anti-establishment did not come back to vote. Hence your conclusion (and the President's) that the majority of Chinese voters are for BN does not hold water.

The genie has been released from the bottle. People are getting tired of hearing BN playing the same old record. Development funds, make new roads, past record etc are stale propoganda. What's new? See how the MSM spin their stupid stories. The rakyat are not as stupid as our media masters. They can tell very well that TV3 is a "batu api" station, so is Utusan, BH, NST and the Star.

How much contracts did Najib dished out for class F contractors?

UMNO's leaders and to a similar extend MCA's too, are now made up of contract grabbers. Their members are also waiting for left-over crumbs from the leaders' greed. Is there anyone left in BN fighting for the rakyat?

Gosh, the list is too long for me to write down. Just feel very tired (hope it is not flu) and gotta stop here.

Bersambung.........

GeorgeT said...

Dr. Chua, the Chinese Malaysians in KT voted wisely so they are not sidelined by the ruling government. There are also threats from leaders of UMNO and BN, I wished I had recorded them and put them on youtube. The young voters are not all anti-establishment, but they have been constantly told by their parents that the Malays will never change all their lives and they (Malaysian Chinese) would continue to be oppressed. However, the world is changing, the young voters found a way to express themselves on alternative media and getting feedback from everyone around the world. Also, the number of overseas graduates has also increased, liberal minded and western educated individuals are born. If the establishment does things the right way, you will find the young voters would still vote for the ruling coalition but unfortunately this is not the case. The young voters now look for inspiration outside the country when they can't find any in their own. Mahathir era is over, he used to be 'worshiped' by many regardless of race, but as time passes, we are seeing more of his hidden wrongdoings compared all the development he has brought us. As a seasoned and learned leader and one who has been abandoned by your party, you would have heard a lot from the ppl who are not MCA members who are also your supporters. In blogspere I comment, but in person, I never had the chance to meet u coz u r always swarmed by ppl. I used to be your ardent supporter, but now, when I can get to shake the hands of wee choo keong, tony pua, lim kit siang and his son, yet get to talk to them for at least 10 minutes, many things has changed my mind. Truthfully, I have only seen OTK on the stage, never once he came down to spend some time to chat. It would really be nice to meet you not here on blogspere just as your reader and just another commenter, but in person. Even 5 minutes would be sufficient.

lleekh said...

Kindly do the Chinese a favor...get the MCA to dissolve and get the members to join Pakatan Rakyat. The days of forming a Chinese party to fight for CHinese rights are over! This is the same as forming a Malay Party to fight for Malay rights. As long as you keep leading people to think of themselves as being of this race and that race, you are going to the old race based paradigm. You should see now..people are beginning to change. They have realized that all these racialists claiming to fight for their own racial rights are just opportunists fighting for their own personal interests. Its about time you Doctor lead the way. Everyone is essentially the same. We may look different, talk different or whatever but we are all made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen atoms and perhaps some iron, calcium etc. All these have been there since time began. The atoms cannot be destroyed. Thus the particles that make up you and I, most probably made up every plant, animal and human beings over the eons and ages. Go doctor tell everybody that and you get away from MCA..join the human race living in Malaysia!

kiddokit said...

The conversation that RPK had with one KT Chinese says it all! Go check RPK's site where he put it up on his blog just only recently.

The Chinese are no more with MCA by choice, only out of necessity and compulsion. I do feel angry that MCA has become a turncoat of the Chinese community and allowed UMNO to threaten the Chinese to vote 'wisely' for BN.

Ooi Beng Hooi said...

in response to 阿土伯's comment, I can't recall which government department but they had advertised in newspapers with statistics trying to show improvement (including poverty) made by BN after they have taken over from PAS.

Should they use government's moeny which is also the people's money to campaign for BN?

Pearls said...

This KT lost is like what... the 3rd in 10 months since March 08?? Hmmm... this is very serious and if I am you or that to be PM, alarm bells and sirens will be ringing constantly in my ears! LOUD and SHARP!

Whether you like it or not, you have to admit that BN is a HAS BEEN! Well, I wont say there is absolutely no hope for BN but I would say that the only hope BN has is fading away fast with each ticking month. So, it does look bleak and hopeless, doomed and damned to oblivion in some pages of some history book lying on some dusty shelf in years to come.

So, again, if I am you or that to be PM, I will stop kidding myself and face reality. The sooner the better! Haven't I said that BN's way of doing anything, may it be from campaigning to running the country is OUTDATED! Really, you need me to say this to you people?? BN need to be EXORCIZED!

lee said...

I read all the comments posted with a lot of sadness. MCA was formed more than 50 years ago to look after the interests of the Chinese. However, as time evolves, many Chinese now distant themselves from being associated with MCA. Some of them would even angrily curse K#D#L#B#A#C#B, “Never claim MCA to represent me. I am a Chinese but I do not want to have anything to do with MCA.” - How sad the state of affairs is with MCA.

I suppose MCA has been in the government establishment for too long and it has failed to see things from outside the establishment. We always believe in the spirit of cooperation to the extent of turning on the blind eyes on the blatant abuse of power by the top UMNO leaders.

The blatant abuse of power and corruption among the UMNO leaders have not only anger the Non-Malays, it has now infuriate the Malays as well. This can be seen from the result of KT by-election.

While all the readers could criticize Dr. Chua and MCA for all they want, they have miss the point that it is the Malays who are turning against UMNO that is more glaring. It is a known fact that the Chinese has never fully supported MCA for as long as we can remember due to many unfair policies implemented by the BN government. It is the Malays who are now turning against UMNO that is of greater worry to the BN government.

One of the main reasons that the Malays are turning against UMNO is about the wealth distribution. The economy and GDP of our country has expanded multiple folds since independence. Everyone now wants to have a say about how the wealth of the country should be distributed. At the same time, the population of the Malays has also increased by many times since independence and it is now not easy for UMNO to satisfy the financial needs of all the Malays. The general Malay public is angry that only a few well connected cronies of the top UMNO leaders are well rewarded while the general Malay public is left in the lurch.

I was watching AWANI channel on ASTRO after all the polling centers were closed but before the result was announced. One of the reporters, En Suhaimi was commenting that the 21-40 year old group was looking for integrity in leaders but sadly all the leaders have failed to deliver this message during the many “ceramah”. Whether it was an intentional omission by the leaders or other wise, one thing for sure is that the general Malaysian electorates have matured. They, being Malays or non-Malays alike, would only support government which is clean, efficient and has high-integrity.

To me, MCA is in a sorry state but certainly not irrelevant in Malaysian politic. If MCA in particular and BN in general could wake up from their slumber and start to reinvent themselves, it will be good for all Malaysians as a whole. Two alternative strong fronts are certainly better than a dominant force. If BN is totally wiped out, who could guarantee that PR would not repeat the ills of BN in time to come? (Klang-Lee CS)

lee said...

I read all the comments posted with a lot of sadness. MCA was formed more than 50 years ago to look after the interests of the Chinese. However, as time evolves, many Chinese now distant themselves from being associated with MCA. Some of them would even angrily curse K#D#L#B#A#C#B, “Never claim MCA to represent me. I am a Chinese but I do not want to have anything to do with MCA.” - How sad the state of affairs is with MCA.

I suppose MCA has been in the government establishment for too long and it has failed to see things from outside the establishment. We always believe in the spirit of cooperation to the extent of turning on the blind eyes on the blatant abuse of power by the top UMNO leaders.

The blatant abuse of power and corruption among the UMNO leaders have not only anger the Non-Malays, it has now infuriated the Malays as well. This can be seen from the result of KT by-election.

While all the readers could criticize Dr. Chua and MCA for all they want, they have miss the point that it is the Malays who are turning against UMNO that is more glaring. It is a known fact that the Chinese has never fully supported MCA for as long as we can remember due to many unfair policies implemented by the BN government. It is the Malays who are now turning against UMNO that is of greater worry to the BN government.

One of the main reasons that the Malays are turning against UMNO is about the wealth distribution. The economy and GDP of our country has expanded multiple folds since independence. Everyone now wants to have a say about how the wealth of the country should be distributed. At the same time, the population of the Malays has also increased by many times since independence and it is now not easy for UMNO to satisfy the financial needs of all the Malays. The general Malay public is angry that only a few well connected cronies of the top UMNO leaders are well rewarded while the general Malay public is left in the lurch.

I was watching AWANI channel on ASTRO after all the polling centers were closed but before the result was announced. One of the reporters, En Suhaimi was commenting that the 21-40 year old group was looking for integrity in leaders but sadly all the leaders have failed to deliver this message during the many “ceramah”. Whether it was an intentional omission by the leaders or other wise, one thing for sure is that the general Malaysian electorates have matured. They, being Malays or non-Malays alike, would only support government which is clean, efficient and has high-integrity.

To me, MCA is in a sorry state but certainly not irrelevant in Malaysian politic. If MCA in particular and BN in general could wake up from their slumber and start to reinvent themselves, it will be good for all Malaysians as a whole. Two alternative strong fronts are certainly better than a dominant force. If BN is totally wiped out, who could guarantee that PR would not repeat the ills of BN in time to come?

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