Since 308 election, there have been 2 by-elections, one in Permatang Pauh and the other in Kuala Terengganu, both won by Pakatan Rakyat.
Now the nation will face another 2 by-elections – Bukit Gantang in Perak and Bukit Selambau in Kedah, all are set on April 7. There may be another by-election in Bukit Lanjan, Selangor.
There will be another round of intense politicking while the nation faces an economic downturn. The voting date will be after the “Mini-Budget” to be tabled on the 10th March and after UMNO general assembly and party election.
By then, Najib will be PM and a new man will lead UMNO and the nation.
The ‘mini budget’ and UMNO AGM and election will have a bearing on the nation and the voters.
Bukit Gantang Parliamentary Seat
With an ethnic presentation of Malays: 63%, Chinese: 27% and Indian: 9%, it is a ‘mini-Malaysia’ in ethnic composition.
It has been traditionally been a BN seat until its fall in 308 general election. Today, it is not a safe seat to BN or PR.
With the Perak fiasco and change of government, Perakians sentiment and emotion may be running high.
PR will go to town about how voters have been betrayed by the defection of 3 ADUNs and how fresh by-election should be called.
Voters’ angers will be palpable. Often we forget that it was PR Anwar openly encouraging BN MP to leap frog to PR.
In short, BN and PR cannot claim moral high ground, as both are players in this “frog game”.
However, we cannot deny that PR may have a lot of sympathy, although it was its own people that cause its downfall. The 3 ADUNs days are numbered with public opinion dead against them.
DAP ADUN Hee Yit Fong seems to bear the burnt of her constituency anger.
PR is going to spin this issue to gain vote, it needs no rocket scientist to understand. BN needs a more effective communication line to counter this.
BN should ban these 3 former PR ADUNs to come near Bukit Gantang. It will only add more anger and emotion to the Bukit Gantang folks.
Whether the palace issue will affect voters’ sentiment, especially Malays are still too early to gauge.
Off course the Sultanate is often a revered institution, especially among the rural Malays. Hence, we can see Karpal Singh’s move to take the Sultan to court becomes a personal undertakings.
No Malay politician from both the political divide in this country will dare to defy the Sultan and to be labeled as “penderhaka” or traitor.
Bukit Selambau State Seat in Kedah
This is one of the very few state seats with significant Indian voters – 29.5%, Malays – 50.2% and Chinese 19.2%.
After the Hindraf episode, Indian support for MIC dropped dramatically. MIC claim to rebrand (like other BN component party) but whether it gets Indian is doubtful.
The Malay votes will be split. This will also be another tough battle.
Having lost 2 by-elections, BN needs to win this 2 by-election.
The domino theory is well known. It is important to have local candidates who are friendly and well known. Campaign period is not the best time to introduce candidate.
BN election machinery needs to be fine-tuned. Talking about development, peace and prosperity will not do.
BN should point out the shortcoming of PR. Its leader admits that there is a lot of low caliber YBs in PR. They never expect to win during the 308 election.