Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dari Bekas Tentera : Adakah BN akan menang di Bagan Pinang?

Recent events does not look good for the BN alliance; with the MCA divided between Chua Soi Lek and Ong Tee Keat and the MIC aiming its missiles at Tun Mahathir who is accused by Samy Vellu of interfering in the affairs of his party. Samy claims that the “Indian comunity is upset with the BN, and not with him”. Don't Samy know that when he mentions the BN, it also comprised of the MIC of which he is the boss; hence he is equally to be blame? This is the usual Samy's antics; blame others except himself.

I just wonder whether Samy realises that he does not command the entire Indian community in this country any more, but rather he only commands those in the MIC. If he had the command of the entire Indian community, he would not have lost the Sg. Siput constituency during the 2008 General Elections, which he had won for umpteenth time. Had he contested anywhere else, he would have lost any way. Is he now going to say that it was BN's fault that he lost? The Indian community is so divided now, especially after the Hindref 'uprising' where most are said to be angry with Samy.

What Tun Mahathir commented was the obvious, that the Indian community has had enough of Samy; his arrogance, loud and boastful language. He proudly claim his 30 years as a politician, oblivious to the fact that as a Minister he was merely apple polishing his BN bosses; and have ignored the plight of the many poor Indians; especially those living in the estates. Who does he blame in this instant; the BN or himself?

I think as a soldier, I have visited the families of the poor estate workers more than Samy does. Some don't even know that Samy existed; let alone see his face because most cannot afford to buy the Indian daily.

The 'all the president's men' that won the Saturday's MIC party elections, and the lost of Datuk S. Sothinathan for the Deputy Presidency may not be good for the BN in the up-coming Bagan Pinang by-election. Sothinathan is from Negeri Sembilan and his lost can have a negative impact on the Indian voters, who may not be pleased with the MIC. The Indians comprised about 20% of the total 5171 voters in Bagan Pinang.

The Chinese voters that comprised almost 10% is another cause of concern for the BN with the MCA leaders in tatters. Which MCA leader would lend support for the BN during the campaigning is going to matter very much to the Chinese voters. Remember that former Health Minister Chua Joi Meng is now with the PR pack. I am not surprise that if Ong Tee Keat is bent on demonising Chua Soi Lek, the latter might gang up with Chua Joi Meng, to campaign for the opposition. If this happens, this signals the eventual demise of the MCA.

Now what about the Malay voters. Of the 5171 total eligible voters, the Malays makes up almost 66% of the voters, and out of this, 37% are postal voters who are military voters. This is an exceptionally high percentage that can easily influence either a win or a lost for the BN. Being a former servicemen, it would be difficult for the opposition to sway the support of the soldiers, who traditionally have been supporting the government of the day.

There is also the perception that postal voting is not transparent and flawed, especially having to cast their votes a few days ahead of the actual polling date. Actually, there is no reason to do this, especially if the postal voter is located in the same constituency where the voting is held. The voter can cast his vote like anybody else, and his name checked against the nominal roll usually prepared by the Armed Forces Record & Pension Directorate. If this is done, transparency is upheld and there will not be any accusation that absent voters ballot papers are marked and place in the polling bags.

Now, if one were to ask me to assess the wining chance of the BN in the Bagan Pinang by-election, I would say that the BN should concentrate more on the Malay and Indian voters to ensure a win because the two races forms the majority. The Indians and Chinese community are clearly divided now and have lost confidence in the MIC and MCA. I think they are more incline to vote for the PR candidate, regardless of who it would be, and this have been the case in the previous by-elections.

And if the PR comes in convincingly during the campaigning, and if Isa Samad is the BN's candidate, I then foresee a situation similar to the Permatang Pasir developing during the campaigning. While many have confidence that Isa Samad can produce the result, my intution tells me that if Isa Samad's does win, it can spell trouble to the present MB leadership of Negeri Sembilan. If at all UMNO wants to see the removal of the present MB who is said to be a non performer, then Isa Samad would be their best choice.

In the case of the PR, losing the by-election does not matter much for the PR in Negeri Sembilan state assembly, as the status quo would remain. But to win is a major setback for the BN, and a clear indication that the PR is gaining ground in Negeri Sembilan. This would then be BN's greatest fear during the next General Elections.




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