Loyal Followers

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The A-Z of the 13th General Election

A – Anwar Ibrahim

Once deputy prime minister and de facto heir-apparent to the premiership and now the Opposition leader, this GE will be a defining moment for him and the opposition front he leads.

B – Barisan Nasional

The incumbent. Lost its coveted two-third majority for the first time in 2008. Although it has somewhat been affected by the weakening of two of the MCA and MIC, its ability to adapt and perform well should not be underestimated.

C – the Chinese

It is not a secret that support by the Chinese for MCA, and therefore the BN, is dwindling, especially in urban areas. As UMNO courts the Malay votes, GE13 will serve to define Malaysia’s and Malaysians’ ability to maintain social and racial harmony.

D – DAP

Helmed by veterans Lim Kit Siang and his son, Lim Guan Eng, this small, but influential party has made major inroads in urban areas. Its strategic partnership within the opposition front seems to benefit but remains testy as it will never come to term with PAS’ dreams of hudud laws and Islamic state.

E – the Economy

Both the BN and Pakatan Rakyat are conscious of the fact that most Malaysians are affected by the rise of cost of living. The state of the economy will be a major issue in GE13.

F – FELDA

FELDA was listed on the Bursa KL in one of the largest IPOs recently. It remains to be seen whether the listing will affect the settlers’ support for the BN.

G – Guan Eng (Lim)

The current Chief Minister of Penang and a DAP stalwart. The work is cut out for the BN to unseat him and his party from Penang.

H – HINDRAF

In 2008, the PR’s good performance was not least due to the support it received from HINDRAF. It may have lost some of its lustre but it still wields some influence over the Indian poor.

I – the Indians

It cannot be denied that the Indians are among the poorest in the country. Many among them do not even carry a Malaysian birth certificate. While some analysts project that Indian support has returned to the BN, the Indians are surely the decisive factor in some constituencies.

J – the Jews

While there was a Jalan Jahudi in Penang – now renamed Jalan Zainal Abidin – Malaysia can hardly be said to be Jewish friendly. It is an irony that a people of a country which is about 7500 km away could be an election issue in Malaysia, but election issues in Malaysia range from the inconspicuous to the ubiquitous.

K - Karpal Singh

Dubbed the “Lion of Jelutong”, Karpal will again be the main draw for DAP. Could be a short fuse within PR every time Islamic state and hudud laws aspirations of PAS come to fore.

L – Lahad Datu

I would have listed Lim Kit Siang but for the far reaching social and political consequences of the recent Lahad Datu incident. This incident cuts both ways, giving nationalistic support for the BN as well as showing the hitherto unforeseen adverse results of Project IC.

M – Mahathir (Dr)

The grand old man of Malaysian politics. PM for 22 years. Still going strong with political rhetoric despite his retirement. Openly said he would not support UMNO in 2008 although he did campaign for his son, Dato’ Mukhriz in Kedah. Will surely beat the campaign trail this GE.

N – Najib Razak

The incumbent Prime Minister in his first GE as the PM. Had sought to implement a transformation programe for Malaysia. Independent voter survey has shown his individual popularity as the PM. GE13 will show whether his popularity will translate to a vote for his party, the BN.

O – Oh My God!

Things which some Malaysian politicians say in recent time could only be met with this remark.

P – Perkasa/PAS

Dr Mahathir has openly thrown his support for Ibrahim Ali to be nominated by the BN. If nominated by the BN, whether that decision would negatively impact the fence sitters in the urban areas is one thing for the BN to consider. Another question is, why must the BN field an outsider when many of its leaders are available for nomination.

PAS - an integral component of the PR. Also loose cannon within the PR. At loggerheads with DAP as far as Islamic state and hudud laws are concerned. A party which is not shy from claiming that heaven is a certain destination for its supporters.

QQuantitative progress

For the first time the government has sought to measure its success and effectiveness quantitatively. The ETP reports are full of numbers, rates and percentages. The PR has responded with its own set of numbers.

R – Raja Nong Chik

Widely tipped as the BN candidate for Lembah Pantai. Can he win the urban seat for the BN?

S – Social networking

The internet has been successfully employed by the opposition in 2008. Since then, social networking sites have been awash with political posturing by both the BN and PR supporters and politicians. Its impact on the electorate is undeniable.

T – Transformation

The Prime Minister’s key programe from day one. The GE will judge the voters’ response to this initiative.

U – Urban voters

If the voting trend in 2008 is analysed, a political demographic line could be drawn along the urban areas where support for the opposition was clearly stronger. Urbanites have grown to maturely ask tough questions nowadays.

V – the Victors and Vanquished

Whatever the result will be, it is imperative that the victors celebrate with humility and responsibility while the vanquished accepts the result peacefully.

W – Winnable candidates

Many candidates who won the last GE had since jumped seat. Candidates must not only be winnable but must also be trustworthy and honest.

X – X-rated videos

No, they don’t work anymore. Malaysians reject smut-politics and crave for smart-politics instead.

Ythe Y-generation

Young voters who will vote for the first time in this GE are educated, news-savvy and have a different world-view than the old politicians. Harder to please and easy to isolate, they form quite a force in this GE.

Z – Zealots

In a country as multi-racial and culturally diverse as Malaysia, racial and religious zealots are easy to breed and hard to control. The birth and growth of extreme right wingers is a cause for concern. Let’s hope the GE would not be marred by this factor.