Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak finally burned the bridge with Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for wishing him to continue to remain and campaign for the Opposition, particularly the Chinese Chauvinist DAP.
The Star story:
Sunday, 19 June 2016 | MYT 5:32 PM
Najib hopes Dr Mahathir will continue to campaign for Opposition
BY NEVILLE SPYKERMAN
KUALA KRAI: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should continue to campaign for the Opposition because it is good for Barisan Nasional, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in jest.
Responding to questions from reporters here on Sunday, the Prime Minister said the lesson from the two by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar was clear.
“The more Tun Mahathir campaigns for the Opposition, the better for Barisan. I hope he doesn’t stop,” said Najib during a press conference after handing over keys to new homes for 31 families affected by the 2014 floods.
Barisan swept to thumping victories in both the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary seats on Saturday, winning by far bigger margins compared to the 2013 general election.
Barisan’s Budiman Mohd Zohdi garnered 16,800 votes to win the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat with a whopping 9,191 majority.
His nearest contender, Amanah candidate Azhar Abdul Shukur received 7,609 votes while PAS’ Dr Rani Osman bagged 6,902 votes.
In the 2013 general election, Barisan candidate, the late Tan Sri Noriah Kasnon won the seat with a razor-thin majority of 399 votes.
In Kuala Kangsar, Barisan candidate Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid won the seat previously held by her late husband Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad, with a higher majority of 6,969 compared to the 1,082 votes recorded in the 13th general election.
Her victory was even more commendable considering that she had not been able to campaign as she is still undergoing iddah (waiting period) after her husband’s death.
Mastura received 12,653 votes, defeating PAS’ Dr Najihatussalehah Ahmad who got 5,684 votes and Amanah’s Dr Ahmad Termizi Ramli with 4,883 votes, while independent Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary received a paltry 54.
Voter turnout was 74% in Sungai Besar and 71% in Kuala Kangsar.
The Fifth UMNO President campaigned hand-in-hand with DAP leaders such as Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng in the recent Sg. Besar and Kuala Bangsar by-elections, specially in Chinese majority voting quarters.
He proclaimed “Its a referendum for the rakyat to reject Najib’s leadership”.
However, it failed miserably and BN garnered encouragingly increased majority in both seats, even against the combined votes PAN and PAS candidates got..
Tun Dr. Mahathir failed further when Chinese voters, especially in Sg. Besar decided to throw their support back again behind BN.
Joceline Tan’s story:
Sunday, 19 June 2016
BN captures the Chinese vote
BY JOCELINE TAN
The thumping victories in the dual by-elections signal that Barisan Nasional is on the comeback trail, with the Chinese vote swinging back.
THE political tsunami has retreated and the wind is blowing in Barisan Nasional’s favour once again.
Barisan swept to a landslide victory in both seats, winning Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar with massive majorities.
The “referendum”, as some have termed the by-elections, has gone the way of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The wins prove that Barisan is still the king in these Malay heartland type of seats but the icing on the cake was the return of Chinese votes to Barisan.
There has been a big Chinese swing back that will be the talk of the town in the days to come.
The coalition did very well in Sekinchan, the Chinese heart of Sungai Besar. Sekinchan is 80% Chinese and a notorious DAP stronghold.
Barisan won a lot of goodwill when it brought home two Sekinchan fishermen who were detained in Indonesia.
In Kuala Kangsar, Barisan won back Jerlun new village, a black area and epicentre of the opposition in 2013, securing some 57% of the votes.
This is despite DAP bringing in heavy artillery like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to campaign there.
Perak MCA chief Datuk Seri Dr Mah Hang Soon’s numerous rounds of door-to-door campaigns paid off.
“There is a tremendous warming-up of Chinese votes towards Barisan. It is a turning point for us,” said Dr Mah who is also a Perak executive councillor.
Amanah came in last in Kuala Kangsar and second in Sungai Besar where it was saved by the Chinese vote.
DAP went everywhere in orange to promote the new party, dragging Dr Mahathir along with them but their efforts failed to bear fruit.
It was a case of once bitten, twice shy – voters, especially the Chinese, bought into DAP’s sales pitch about PAS in 2013 and not many of them wanted to be played out again.
It is yet another wake-up call for DAP which has been taking the Chinese vote for granted. The rhetoric of DAP leaders has not been matched by delivery.
The party is now in two state governments and people want solutions to their daily lives but DAP leaders spend too much time indulging in political rhetoric and raising issues without offering solutions.
DAP’s finale ceramah in the centre of Sekinchan town on Friday night was meant to seal in the Chinese vote.
But it was missing energy, excitement and people. There were almost as many empty chairs as people.
Some blamed the MCA concert, featuring a famous Hokkien singer from Taiwan, going on in the nearby temple compound. It was standing room only over there and the audience was singing along to all the songs.
Ng Suee Lim, the local DAP strongman and Sekinchan assemblyman, is very popular but his party’s strategy to ride on national issues like 1MDB and the RM2.6bil donation flopped big-time.
The issues were too big and complex and went right over the heads of the local folk. They were not interested in taking a stand on issues they did not understand.
In hindsight, Barisan’s man in Sungai Besar, Budiman Mohd Zohdi, was the one with his feet firmly on the ground.
He is the original kampung boy who could tell his audience when the first KFC came to town, he remembered when a matinee in the cinema cost only 40 sen and he would point out the Hainanese kopitiam where his father likes to eat.
He spoke about local issues and promised relevant things like upgrading the market in Sekinchan which is shamefully rundown.
In fact, only the Barisan candidates in the two seats voted.
The other candidates were all imported and that is not the way things are done in the Malay heartland.
It has been a hard landing for Amanah and it showed in the body language of Amanah president Mohamad Sabu – he has not been his bubbly self and his trademark heh-heh-heh grin was missing.
Amanah’s dependence on the Chinese vote does not augur well for the party.
Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar were exactly the sort of seats that DAP had in mind for Amanah.
But the results show it cannot deliver the Malay vote and is struggling to replace PAS in Pakatan Harapan.
As for PAS, the party feels vindicated that its rival has been put in its place.
PAS cannot rival Umno in Selangor but the results show that its supporters did not stray to Amanah.
Barisan will never recover the kind of supremacy it enjoyed during its golden years but it is on the comeback trail.
Pakatan Harapan enjoyed a brief golden period but it squandered the opportunity and lost the momentum.
There is very little option left for the man-possessed who supposed to have demonstrated his statesmanship instead of the open war, trying to oust Prime Minister Najib for the fast fifteen months.
Needless to remind, the Third BN Chairman failed all the way through in the various attempts and political stunts and sundry. The aggregated lies, exaggeration and manipulation might be bought in by some UMNO members.
However after a solid fifteen month of shelling against the former against the current President, UMNO as a political vessel still remained intact and the structure integrity is still sound.
This is not withstanding that he worked with the Neo Con Jewish controlled foreign media to meet his personal agenda. He went against one of his cardinal principles by inviting foreign powers to intervene in Malaysian politics and oust Prime Minister Najib.
His proclamation and attacks against UMNO the past year already left many hardliners in utter disbelief, feeling very sore and hurt.
Crossing the line, first at BERSIH 4.0 in August last year and conveniently miss the National Day parade the very next day.
Six months later, Tun Dr. Mahathir established comrade-in-arms with DAP particularly Lim Kit Siang left many stalwarts the very bitter feeling for a leader whom principally UMNO members had reverence on.
At this juncture, he either continue to work with the Opposition, mainly DAP and soldier on trying to wage the political war against UMNO and BN.
Never the less, internally DAP at Central Working Committee is facing issues on this relationship. Already within DAP with ome of the older guards are opposing the notion of working with their nemesis of fifty years.
However, they might eventually drop him like a bad habit because the man once dubbed “Ultra Malay” by onetime the de facto leader of the Chinese Chauvinist party, had proven to be a bane for the political cause.
Alternatively, he tries to burn UMNO within with his further road show instigations in the guise of ‘Gabungan Ketua Cawangan’ through a small band of rebels within the mid level UMNO echelon.
This, like the past year would not able to get the desired effect and traction and leave him further frustrated.
The fact is that Tun Dr. Mahathir has not been able to burn UMNO down since the failed ‘rebellion’ of UMNO delegates in last December’s UMNO General Assembly and Dewan Rakyat ‘Vote of No Confidence’.
His self departure from UMNO last February failed to cause any ripple at al within the party. The matter was treated as a non event.
Hence, he would not able to progress further from this point in burning UMNO down, from within or outside.
There on, it would turn the evilness as a man-possessed into unimaginable but unbearable state never seen before.
The result of the simultaneous by-election seats demonstrated that UMNO still remain intact and the leaders and party machinery are very resolved, despite the former President’s incessant rabid barks,
Eventually, out of shame for his failure and the contradiction in the aggregated proclamations he made and the principles he previous stood for, he would find the shame is unbearable. In his stubbornness, he would self exile into oblivion, away from Malaysia.