The people have spoken. In Rompin and Permatang Pauh. Strong messages relayed, though in both locality are quite not the same.
First it was Rompin. BN saw its majority reduced from 15,144 votes over PAS’s in 13GE to only 8,895 votes two days ago. The votes for PAS’s candidates did not change and the reduction for votes for BN’s candidate correspond to the lesser turn out.
Then it was Permatang Pauh. PKR saw the reduction of majority of votes obtained over BN’s from 11,721 in 13GE to 8,841 yesterday.
Percentage wise, in Rompin BN’s majority reduced by 41.26% on a turn out which is lowered by 13% as compared to PKR’s 24.57% of a lowered turn out of 20%.
First of all, it is easy to generalise that both are by-elections and the common people are very tired of over politicking. After all, it is a by-election to many and some chose to not take it seriously.
In a constituency of a BN strong hold aka ‘fixed deposit’, the lowering of majority is very substantial and something to be alarmed about. Issues such as confusion arisen from the introduction of GST is top of the list.
Of course, politics is about perception. Many of the issues being speculated and exaggerated from mouth to mouth in everyday social interaction such as at the place of work or the local coffee shop in many ways sink into the minds of voters.
Probably the popularity of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak isn’t what many what to think where it actually is. Especially, the aggregated stories about his family’s lifestyle which is coupled with the compounded faux pas of Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers especially in very sensitive issues such as price hike of everyday goods and GST.
The unanswered issues in 1MDB as being highlighted by Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad which drew in more attention and speculations, evolved further. The matter moved upwards into the ‘scandalous range’ became more complicated a day before the Permatang Pauh polls, when Tabung Haji’s acquisition in one of the parcels with the Tun Razak Exchange became viral on social media.
The ‘dynasty’ of Anwar & Co. in Permatang Pauh for the thirty fourth year now did not actually take effect. However the more interested analysis in that by-election is that the working relationship between the three Opposition parties.
It is now proven in Permatang Pauh that PKR and DAP no longer is heavily reliant on PAS’s voters, sympathisers nor their election machinery, to win in an election.
This is a landmark theory proven especially after the year long stiff internal struggle within PAS between the orthodox ‘golongan ulama‘ and the more radical ‘Young Turks’, who are actually minions of Anwar Ibrahim.
Officially, PAS is at arms with PKR and DAP on very stinging fundamental issue of Hudud.
The recent slightly more than a year ‘Kajang Move’ on the play of the Kajang by-election designed to help then Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in his final leg of the Sodomy II case and the removal of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as MB Selangor did not augur well on the PAS-PKR relationship.
UMNO should really pay attention on this development within the (un)holy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-enstraged-backstabbing-bed-fellows and strategically use the opportunity.
Many lessons learned from this two by-election. Especially taking into the consideration of factors such as the introduction of GST, 1MDB scandals, Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s attacks on Prime Minister Najib and other usual political punts.
What is most important are the leaders willing to seriously take notes in all these and learnt something?