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The MALINDO DEFENCE Daily

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Malays still the kingmakers


Malays still the kingmakers


Monday, 31 January 2011
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The Tenang by-election result and the results of those by-elections before this have proven this point. Umno can’t depend on the non-Malays. Umno needs the Malays and they need Malays who are nationalistic to the point of being racists to remain in power.










THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Chinese votes alone not enough for Pakatan
Pakatan takes another hard knock in Tenang, making its goal of capturing Putrajaya looks all the more harder.
Syed Jaymal Zahiid, Free Malaysia Today
Yes, the Chinese votes for Pakatan Rakyat have increased significantly at the Tenang by-election but the fixation on this often masks one crucial fact – its inability to capture the Malay votes.
Too often the swing in Chinese support towards the opposition hogs the limelight, but the fact remains clear that without the Malay votes, Pakatan’s Putrajaya quest is impossible.
Barisan Nasional (BN) saw its candidate Azahar Ibrahim garner 6,999 votes against the 2,992 gained by PAS’ Normala Sudirman, with a majority votes of 3,707.
This is about 1,200 more than the victory margin attained by the late Sulaiman Taha of Umno in the 2008 general election, whose death triggered this 14th by-election since the last general election.
In the immediate aftermath of the election, the discourse turned on the Chinese votes as seen in the debate between BN and Pakatan politicians on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
The discussion on the return of Malay votes to BN was given little, if no attention at all, despite the clear fact that it signals Pakatan’s inability to capture the support from the country’s majority electorate.
The rise in BN’s majority could only mean one thing: if the Chinese votes had strayed away from the ruling coalition, the votes of other races must have made up for the increase in BN’s majority.
The turnout for the Indian voters, who make up about 12% of the 14,753 eligible voters here, was said to be a meagre 25%. Their votes had little impact on the outcome.
This means that Malay support made up most of the majority gained by BN.
Malay power
Pakatan chief and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had admitted in the past that the bloc must widen its Malay power base if it ever hopes to capture Putrajaya.
The continuous decline in Malay support in almost all of the 14 by-elections, including Tenang, clearly indicates that Pakatan has failed miserably in its campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Malays.
And BN’s Malay lynchpin, Umno, is well aware that it is not heavily dependent on Chinese support to maintain power. Without the help of its non-Malay component allies, Umno parliamentarians alone hold enough seats to form and maintain the government of the day.
Of course, the continuous swing in Chinese votes towards Pakatan is a wake-up call for MCA, especially its president Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Tenang falls under the Labis parliamentary constituency, a supposed stronghold of the MCA supremo. It is now helmed by his son Chua Tee Yong.
Soi Lek, in his first term as MCA chief, is under great pressure to regain Chinese support. The failure to do so in his own fortress reflects badly on his presidency, but this is a separate discourse altogether.
So for now, Pakatan’s credibility as a potent opposition force is questionable as the Malays continue to abandon the pact. And capturing Putrajaya is nothing less than mere wishful thinking.
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That was Syed Jaymal Zahiid’s analysis of the Tenang by-election, which was published in Free Malaysia Today. And one thing you must note is the reference to Malay votes being the deciding factor in any election. In short, Malays are undeniably the kingmakers in Malaysian politics.
Whether it is Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Rakyat, or any man and his dog, when they talk about Malaysian politics or Malaysian elections it must be on the basis of Malay votes, Chinese votes, Indian votes, Dayak votes, Iban votes, Kadazan votes, and so on.
In Thailand it is simpler. It is either red shirts or yellow shirts. In Indonesia it is either pro-Reformasi or pro-Golkar. In the US it is Democrats and Republicans while in the UK it is Labour or Conservative (now made a bit more complicated with the LibDems as the new kingmakers).
But in Malaysia the division is very complicated indeed because we have to further compartmentalise the voters according to race. And if that is not complicated enough, the Malays need to be further compartmentalised into pro-Islam Malays and pro-Nationalist Malays.
More than two years ago I attended a MCKK Old Boys dinner and was seated next to Nazri Aziz. We had a most interesting discussion and he told me that in the March 2008 general election 51% of the Malays voted for Barisan Nasional, meaning Umno. This also means 49% of the Malays voted for the opposition.
Nazri admitted that Barisan Nasional did not do too well with the Chinese and Indian voters where 70% and 90% respectively voted for the opposition.
Now, in spite of three-quarters of the non-Malays voting for the opposition and only half the Malays voting for the government, Barisan Nasional still managed to form the government, although with not enough seats to control two-thirds of Parliament.
So, how many percent of the Malay votes would the opposition need to win to kick out Barisan Nasional and to form the next federal government, assuming it can still garner 70% of the Chinese and Indian votes (it looks like getting 90% of the Indian votes like in 2008 is now impossible)?
It appears the opposition would need to win at least 65%-70% of the Malay votes, which is impossible to achieve.
This is because of the gerrymandering where Barisan Nasional has very cleverly drawn up the constituencies so that they need win only 40%-45% of the popular votes to continue holding on to power, although it may just be with a simple majority. And we must not forget Barisan Nasional’s ‘fixed deposit’, the 57 seats from East Malaysia, which almost all went to Barisan Nasional in 2008.
I sometimes wonder whether it is an uphill battle and that the opposition will never get to march into Putrajaya. Instead of talking about forming the next federal government or marching into Putrajaya maybe we should instead be talking about trying to ensure that we have a strong opposition, thereby acknowledging that Pakatan Rakyat will always remain the opposition, albeit a strong opposition?
The fact that the opposition appears to be at each other’s throats more than focused on attacking Barisan Nasional and that the pro-Pakatan Rakyat Bloggers and activists are more concerned with trying to outdo each other and to bring down one another does not build confidence at all. It is not enough we have this very powerful Barisan Nasional to deal with, but we also have internal feuds and civil wars to contend with.
Malaysian politics and Malaysian elections are still very much about race and religion. Only a minority of Malaysians are concerned about ideology, performance, delivery, good governance, transparency, fundamental liberties, and so on. The majority are still focused on making sure that those of their own race and religion get to become the leaders and get to form the government.
How does Pakatan Rakyat get around this? It is not easy. As long as Malaysians are compartmentalised according to race and religion and they make decisions, such as voting, based on this criteria, then it is going to take a long time before Pakatan Rakyat can gain acceptance from the majority of Malaysians.
Officially we have such a thing called 1Malaysia. But if 1Malaysia really succeeds and Malaysians start thinking along the lines that we are all Malaysians and it does not matter what race and religion you are, then Barisan Nasional, in particular Umno is in deep shit.
No, it is not in the interest of Umno that all Malaysians think along the lines of 1Malaysia. Umno needs PERKASA and PEKIDA and all those ultra-Malay groups and paramilitary movements. Like it or not, Barisan Nasional’s and Umno’s future is in the hands of ultra-nationalist Malays. The day the Malays stop thinking as Malays and start thinking as Malaysians would be the day Umno is given a funeral.
The Tenang by-election result and the results of those by-elections before this have proven this point. Umno can’t depend on the non-Malays. Umno needs the Malays and they need Malays who are nationalistic to the point of being racists to remain in power. And they need to retain almost 100% of their East Malaysian ‘fixed deposit’ to make sure that Pakatan Rakyat will never march into Putrajaya or even become a strong opposition in Parliament.

Comments (29)Add Comment
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written by DPG, January 31, 2011 23:34:51
I support and agree with most of the comments, asking the 64 million-ringgit question, "Why are the non-Malays still voting for UMNO/BN? This real answer to this queston is a very big mystery. After the open discrimination, after all the "special rights", after all the "ketuanan", after all the open insults, like the conversion cases, like the pendatang cases, and asking the non-Malays to go back where they came from, why, why?
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written by Mestizo, January 31, 2011 21:30:34
Unfortunately all by election is about race and religion in Malaysia and almost nothing to do with development of the country. Unfortunately, most Malaysians are so easily influence so much so they can be screwed for 4 to 5 years but they just need a a couple of weeks to be convinced such thing did not happen and they happily believe it.


I wonder when will majority will wake up. Believe me it is not about race. It is about the country economy, it is about corruption, it is about inefficiency, it is about us falling behind our neighbours and particularly the so call asian tigers. The rate it go not too far from now, Malaysia will be exported maids.
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written by syd, January 31, 2011 18:12:39
Reason obeys itself; Ignorance submits to what is dictated to it. - Thomas Paine
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written by nagappan, January 31, 2011 17:43:55
"Tenang should have been a neck and neck fight, but it was a trashing...... why? Indians and Chinese why?"
Good question. Interesting too. I think the calculation is more complex. I wish someone will show how this happened.
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written by Aria, January 31, 2011 17:31:06
Slightly less then 50% of the people of Tenang were Malays. But BN won almost by a 70% of the votes.


Why are the Indians and Chinese for BN. Don't they know that BN has said that the Indians and Chinese are Pendatangs! That means that the Indians and Chinese are not welcome in Malaysia. Why are the stupid Indians and Chinese still voting for BN?


Tenang should have been a neck and neck fight, but it was a trashing...... why? Indians and Chinese why?
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written by NanoNano, January 31, 2011 17:31:05
Maybe it'll be good to let those jokers, numblutzs and dumbos in the cabinet to continue mismanaging the country. It then becomes a pariah state and Walah!, the citizens of all races (Yes, including the malays) will take to the streets.


It ain't too far-fetched you know.
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written by philip25, January 31, 2011 16:33:47
s long as the malays see things racially, there is no hope for the others. If they are willing to allow UMNO with all its corruption to carry on we the others ar doomed. In 30 to 40 years time the non malays will just be a fraction of the population and this country would have gone to the dogs. As long as the malys do not open their eyes and make the correct decision to oust UMNO, this country is gone
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written by Fart Fart Wah, January 31, 2011 16:11:02
We may have to admit that as the days go along Anwar maybe becoming a liability to the party. Unless he changes things form within and starts listening his ambition to get to Putrajaya is dead meat. I think he has not learned from his SEp 16 prediction fiasco. To me he looks to be in a fog..thick one..I do not see a clear direction for the Malays. Pas loss because of the candidate. The Koran does not preach that women have to wear tudungs or cannot shake hands with men. Men are not dogs. Shaking hands is a normal friendship act. It is not as if men will jump and rape you after that. In a multiracial country PAS has to get real and assimilate. I think the Muslim men should wear chastity belts so that muslim women do not fear rape. The keys by the way should be thrown into the sea to make it safer. Bloody fools this PAS fellows.
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written by daeng_chelak, January 31, 2011 15:23:05
As suspected, the johor malays are orang Jawa. They hated the chinese from way back in the earlier centuries, in their own homeland, for converting them to Islam. They brought along that hatred as they migrated here.


so BN is playing well into the game...smilies/cool.gif
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written by Taikohtai, January 31, 2011 14:13:26
But but but but didn't Mamak Bendahara said the Chinese are kingmakers?
You you you you mean he wasn't telling us the truth?
Wait wait wait until LKY hears this...........may may may may be he will save Malaysia, no no no?
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written by batsman, January 31, 2011 14:02:26
I meant to say sour grapes. heeheehee
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written by Aduh, January 31, 2011 14:02:06
It was not the case of the Malays being the kingmakers, BUT s-uruhanjaya p-enipu r-akyat being the manipulator.
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written by batsman, January 31, 2011 13:58:44
aisehman - is there quite a bit of sore loser mentality on this issue too?
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written by Prince of India, January 31, 2011 13:51:56
My grass root friend report from Tenang.PR representative went inside the Estate to garner votes from Voters.They saw mostly every house have BN flags.PR made u turn and back. My friend went inside the estate to find whom they are supporting and ask about the flags.UMNO play good game here just went inside the estate and hang BN flags mostly everywhere.Indians in the estate told my friend they still support PR coz BN already rule 50 over years but can't even make fixed salary for estate workers.They need changes but PR approach still lacking.U turn once u saw BN flags why ?
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written by NanoNano, January 31, 2011 13:30:26
Yup, without malay support, PR gets nowhere.


Maybe and therefore, until bolihland actually goes bankrupt, runs out of oil, suffers from hyperinflation, all due to economic mismanagement and corruption, where all bolihland citizens incl malays suffer, then, that will be the time when the malays will revolt.
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written by earthman, January 31, 2011 13:01:30
Malays being the majority and systematically programed by Umno will be the king maker for yet a long time. As long as the Malays are made to feel unsafe about their race and religion, they will support whomever can comfort them. One way for Pakatan to transform the minds of the Malays is through education on the universal rights of every human beings on the freedom to live a happy and contended life on earth. To remove their inferiority complex and live an abundant life as a human.
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written by Aduh, January 31, 2011 12:46:22
The result of the Tenang by election had been fixed. It must NEVER be taken as a true reflection of the wishes of the voters and draw any conclusion from it.


beEND/umNO and s-uruhanjaya p-enipu r-akyat can only rig and manipulate during by election, when they can concentrate all their agencies in one area. The true test will be during GE.
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written by Smiles21, January 31, 2011 12:46:00
Yes, I partly agree that most Malays will fully support UMNO as long as they need to be spoonfed by UMNO. But it is a different case when you compare with most of the Kelantanese Malays. Sorry, I don't mean to be biased.
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written by by2020, January 31, 2011 12:36:25
Dear RPK, I salute your persistence trying to fight for change in this country. But if your analyse the result of Tenang by-election, you may find that all your effort will be futile, you are aginst the wall and going no where.


BN candidate is tainted and cheated, this is proven by a court case, the area is flooded in front of the eyes of the electorate on the pooling day. Yet majority of the votes still going to the ruling party. What can you conclude from this?


Majority Malaysians are stupid, idiotic up to the point of unable to differentiate the right and wrong, good and bad.


Can you see any future with them?


May be they don't care if their leaders are tainted, may be they don't care if their house get flooded, then what they care? Racism? Happy with the high commodity prices that bring extra income?


We are not yet at the point of Tunisia, yes, this is for sure. But are we heading there? When the commodity prices shoot up, will the food prices followed? What is the overall impact to Malaysia? Even every individual? Can we depend on high commodity price alone? Or competent government and good governance is more crucial?


Malaysians may be divided more than the racial lines, it is also divided along the "better-informed" and "stupid and idiotic" Malaysians. Can you change those "stupid and idiotic"? Are they happy when you try to do that?


For those who see the problem coming, what we can do probably is only to leave. Leave for the greener pasture somewhere and hope that other Malaysians will wake up one day to realize the damage of this corrupted government, then red carpet will be rolled out to welcome your return like what they are doing now with those so-called "overseas talent". May be we have to wait until reality bites.
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written by Super Admin, January 31, 2011 11:44:19
Dear Awang Kuku, you think the Indians in Tenang care two hoots about Kugan or the Chinese in Tenang care a damn about Teoh Beng Hock? Get real. And the internal strife you mention is already happening...in Pakatan Rakyat.
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written by Awang Kuku, January 31, 2011 11:40:23
So it looks impossible to topple BN/UMNO. To me there are two ways:
1. History has proven that to topple or defeat a strong enemy, one needs to create an internal strive within the enemy. The 13 component parties within BN must find themselves fighting, especially with UMNO. When the discord is planted, victory is near.
2. Simple, but not easy, is to create a Tunisia/Egypt effect. Pakatan must start going to the grassroot and the masses to stir up emotion of discontent against UMNO/BN. "Teoh Beng Hock" effect has already taken effect among the Chinese. The "Kugan" effect seems lacking. (I just don't understand the mentality of the Indians), and the shooting of Malay teenager seemed dampened by sectarian Malay leaning. Pakatan must fully capitalize these effects to win support, even if blood will flow. We had the BERSIH effect 2 & half years ago, and we almost forced Abdullah Badawi to quit. Let's do more. These effects must flow to the villages, rural folks.
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written by ibabonma, January 31, 2011 11:21:22
(BN) saw its candidate Azahar Ibrahim garner 6,999 votes against the 2,992 gained by PAS’ Normala Sudirman, with a majority votes of 3,707.


That really means 67 % of the eligible voters cast their votes in thunderstorms, rain and floods that occurred at every inch of Tenang?


Who transported them to the polling station? Are the voters that committed to cast their votes under that unfriendly weather that rained throughout, flood everywhere and made it impossible for you not getting wet under what ever circumstances?


SPR did not anticipate that the weather was going to be that bad for sure. But how could it be possible for SPR, Umno and Pas to arrange and mobilized enormous logistic at the last hour to transport the 9,833 out of 14753 voters to the poling stations? You think they can use express buses to ferry them?


What I am getting is, the 9,833 voters are for real?


Say what you like, my suspicion against SPR is still the same i.e to them election is an art of the impossible …. half responsibility and half cheating.
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written by SamYap, January 31, 2011 10:31:14
I have always maintained that we need the Malay votes to kick out the robbing thieving lying UMNO. Its just too bad that the Malays do not see or refuse to see or blinded by UMNO; that our country is heading in the wrong direction. Too bad for our country. Too bad for the Non-Malays and in the end, too bad for the Malays too.
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written by Wisdom above, January 31, 2011 10:20:27
Let's FAst and Pray ( BerPuasa dan BerDoa) for the "THIRD FORCE" in SABAH AND SARAWAK to WAKE up from their Slumber and REMOVE the " negative BN " from among their Midst.
Let's just ASK 100% of OUR East Malaysian ‘fixed deposit’ to exercise their ROLE as the " 3rd FORCE " to KICK OUT the negative " BN " forever!
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written by nagappan, January 31, 2011 09:38:06
Another thirty years time this will be a Malay country with 95% Malays. Then only two Malay parties, whatever they are, will rule, taking turns. Till then slowly and steadily non Malays will lose any semblance of political power. and more and more will emigrate. The same will be true of Sabah and Sarawak. They will get out of this grouping called Malaysia and become independent states. This is inevitable.
Unless another tsunami comes along in any form.
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written by temenggong, January 31, 2011 09:35:18
I think the Malays were frightened by Pas candidates, especially those with jangguts, kopiahs and gloves! Normala was a disaster, and even Azizah was heavily criticised in Tenang. In Tenang it was a rejection of Pas. Pas may do well in the 4 Malay states, but not on the west coast states with mixed constituencies.
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written by alacarte, January 31, 2011 09:28:04
UMNO's tactic of frightening the Malays worked, that's why they kept the BTN, UTUSAN propaganda machine to brain washed the Malays, not all Malays fell into their trap but more than 50% do, why?


Malays are the majority in this nation, more so in the next decades (due to greater productivity in procreation and imported ones), if all these younger generation got their brain washed and need crutches to survive then Malaysia will be a MEDIOCRE, MEDIOCRE... and then FAILED STATE EVENTUALLY.
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written by Pegasus, January 31, 2011 09:22:06
Well, PAS AND PKR... listen and do right in order to win the malay votes!
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