One swallow does not make a summer!

I spoke to some media people who called up to enquire about the Anwar verdict and the possibility of an early election.

On the surface,PM  can now claim that he is indeed committed to reform agenda, and that Anwar verdict showed that he has been truthful to his cause. With that he can move to canvass for more middle ground votes, which have deserted BN  in 308, and likely to do so again in the next General election.

Even the former Bar Council chairperson Ambiga was quoted to say that it is a better result for BN.

With this, many expect PM to call for an early election, especially when the government is in the process of giving out cash handouts and BN expects that this would generate an atmosphere of feeling good which may translate to a certain amount of goodwill towards BN.

However, in my opinion, the Anwar verdict may not have gone down well with  the right wing hard core in the Big Brother, and this may be a big factor to consider if PM wants to call for election. Many of these right-wingers would have blamed PM for not exerting influence  (or did he?)  to get a verdict that would have sent AI to jail,  thus making sure that AI would be disqualified from the next GE. To the right wingers, Anwar as a martyr does not arise, since they can count on Perkasa and other right wing organisation to secure the more conservative bloc of rural votes. With the wily Old Horse behind them, we cannot discount the power of these right wingers.

Looking at the big picture and the lingering anger of the people from the cowgate affairs,  PM has to be seen to take some punitive action against some of those involved in cowgate affairs in order to try to pacify the people. The cowgirl will have to go, and if the cowgirl has to go, he has to gauge the response of the wanita which is actually the most effective campaign force working on the ground.

With March only 2 months away, and these factors to consider, PM is still having a hard time finding a good time to call an election. Anyway, I would now put my bet on the latter part of this year, perhaps June.

The actual date will actually hinge on the response of the people towards this ‘not guilty’ verdict. The next 2-3 weeks will be crucial to see whether the verdict works to the advantage of BN or PR.  BN will probably depend on  their special people to give them feedback about the sentiments on the ground. If the conditions are favourable, then even an early poll in march cannot be completely ruled out.

I personally welcome the not guilty verdict, and I too view favourably the peaceful handling of the rally outside the high court. Indeed there are signs of changes. Even the most archaic police force is changing. this is a good sign. But whether the whole reform agenda is real and whether it can be pushed through, it is still too early to say.

At this juncture, I am still committed to advocate a true 2 party system, and let the other side rule for once.

After all, one swallow does not make a summer.

 

…………………………………………………

(For those who may not know about the story behind the title of this post: Once upon a time, in a winter (in a very cold country), a person saw a swallow flying outside his house. Since swallows can be sighted only in spring, that person thought that this must be a sign that spring was near. So he sold all his winter clothings. The mnext day, the weather suddenly turned cold, and he was frozen to death.)

Hope we will not be like this person.

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23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 13:41:52

    Unfortunately many still fall into this trap. They are either have short memory or being short sighted.

  2. Nick
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 14:20:23

    Hello Dr. Hsu, the new year has dawned and with it a new beginning for our country. The verdict is exactly the tonic that our country needs. I don’t care whether Najib had a hand in it or not, it does give a “jump-start” or filip to everyone who uphold justice and truth. I just met a Swiss national and he was so happy with this news. It is as if foreign citizens wish Malaysians to have a fair and just system. They cannot understand how the entire government machinery can be trained against one man? Please let Anwar go, he and his family has suffered enough. There is a sea change in our Malaysian electorate, it is so evident everywhere you go. My own reading is that ‘Umno and BN’ is finished, they are now just clutching at straws. The elctorate is so fed up with all the blatant corruptions and evilness in the ruling class. Enough is enough. Reformasi ! Reformasi !

  3. Anonymous
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 18:35:31

    But it does signal the arrival of summer.

  4. A true Malaysia
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 19:12:54

    Najib (or Umno?) can’t play double headed snake to make ‘feel good’ factors in order to decide when to hold 13th GE.

    Sincerity is what count to make feel good factors. I don’t think corrupters in Umno can have sincerity at all. They are going all out to cover their back-sides.

    Furthermore, rakyat are determined with ABU. The longer Najib drags his feet, the worse results Umno will fare this coming GE.

    It’s better to have GE in March than June, if I am Najib.

  5. disgusted
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 19:26:25

    Something is missing here. DPM gave credit to his boss on the verdict. Perverted logic? Why thanked PM, has he a hand in the court’s verdict? For reform? What reform> why talk about reform if the court as claimed always maintain independence? If indeed, DPM says, the verdict is linked to reforms, then it is an admission of guilt that the courts has and is still influenced by the executive arm. To me, the whole political drama of thanking BN is complete garbage given history of the Old Horse sacking the judiciary guy. It hypocrisy to the highest order. This high profile case is truly exceptional with political implications compared to thousands of cases with political interferences. Cronies given light sentences and poor ordinary people facing the full blunt of the law. No, this case fails to convince me there is judiciary independence. Second point, the technicalities of the court drama itself (Anwar’s case) on uneven level playing field (unfairness) also showed hints of great political interferences.

  6. klm
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 22:45:48

    There is too much rage in the air. As far as I can see, there is no extra goodwill generated from the verdict. I hope not. The rage must be kept burning. There are too many things gone wrong in this country. The people cannot let Najib pull the wool over their eyes. He got to go together with his dumb sounding party as well as the associates.

  7. Dr Hsu
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 09:33:35

    anonymous,

    read the appended story in the post above.
    The person in the story saw a swallow and immediately he sold his clothings , not knowing that summer has not come. It snowed the next day, and he died frozen.

    Is it not better for him to sell his clothings when the weather has really turned warm?

    As it is, if we are in the midst of deep winter, and by seeing a swallow, we misjudged and think that summer is here, we will all be frozen. The little change we have seen is the swallow, but if we immediately think that BN has changed, and throw our support back to BN, we may not see anymore reform and we will be back to dark ages.

    That is the meaning of this idiom, and I personally would wait till i see all the snow melts and all the flower bloom before I trust them again

  8. Kenny
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 11:07:39

    Malaysian Insider reports that the prosecution is going to apply to the A-G to appeal. This shows the decision was also unexpected for them. If the case goes to the Court of Appeal Anwar’s chances are slim. The higher court you go the more subservient to the executive. Why? Because only obedient judges get promoted.

  9. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 11:57:40

    Never mind, Dr M did lose the Jan 9 battle.

    My opinion is that the fascists and the Mahathirists overestimate their strength.
    Evidence: low turnout at fascist counter-rally on Jan 9 and at Bersih 2.0

    And remember how Dr M was totally silenced during the Abdullah Badawi years?
    Even the UMNO guys in Kubang Pasu (his own old constituency) did not back him because he had no largesse to throw around.

  10. Dr Hsu
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:15:53

    This is from Singaapore straits times on anwar verdict:

    http://www.asianewsnet.net/home/news.php?id=26196&sec=1

    Anwar verdict may pave way for earlier Malaysian polls

    Teo Cheng Wee
    The Straits Times
    Publication Date : 11-01-2012

    With all eyes on an impending general election in Malaysia, the acquittal of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on a sodomy charge suggests the date may come sooner rather than later, observers say.

    That means Malaysians could be heading to the ballot boxes in the next few months, although an election does not have to be called until the middle of next year.

    If Datuk Seri Anwar had been found guilty, it would likely have stoked public anger and generated support for the opposition, making it hard for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and its dominant party Umno to contemplate early polls.

    “No matter what we would say, voters would have accused Umno of using its influence to jail Anwar,” said assemblyman Suraya Yaacob, a leader in Umno’s women’s wing. “It would’ve been impossible for us to defend ourselves to them.”

    The acquittal however removes that sympathy factor. For the undecided fence sitter, the acquittal also returns some credibility to the BN and continues building on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s image as a moderate reformist.

    The ruling coalition was quick to point out, soon after Mr Anwar walked free on Monday, that the judgment proved that the judiciary was independent and that the government held no sway over it.

    Datuk Seri Najib can now continue to build momentum by making good on his promise of repealing the Internal Security Act in Parliament in March, said political analyst Ong Kian Ming, who specialises in electoral analysis. The announcement about doing away with the unpopular law, made last September, had won Mr Najib widespread praise.

    “In the light of these developments, it makes sense not to delay the election,” said Dr Ong.

    Analysts pointed out that a series of generous handouts being dished out these few months have also sweetened the electoral ground.

    Starting next week, for instance, households with a monthly income of RM3,000 (US$954) and below would receive an unprecedented one-off handout of RM500 from the government, to help them cope with the rising cost of living.

    More than 80 per cent of households in Malaysia are expected to benefit from this scheme.

    This comes on top of a recent one-off handout to all primary and secondary school students, as well as RM200 book vouchers for all students in public and private local institutions of higher learning.

    “If Najib calls the election too late, the people might forget about these handouts,” said political analyst Sivamurugan Pandian. “The benefits might also be lost on them, if the global economy takes a turn for the worse later this year.”

    Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday said that BN’s preparations for the next general election will continue as usual, despite Mr Anwar’s acquittal.

    “Whatever the decision, it was the court’s. We prepare for the elections not because we are under pressure, then only we get cracking. We have been working as usual,” he told reporters.

    But Mr Najib has also gained a reputation as a cautious operator, under pressure to return a two-thirds parliamentary majority to the BN.

    As such, there may still be surprises in the coming months which may affect the timing of the election, noted former Gerakan leader and political observer Hsu Dar Ren.

    A controversy over the alleged misuse of public funds for a cattle project, for instance, flared two months ago, and continues to threaten the position of Umno’s women’s wing chief Shahrizat Jalil.

    Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s husband heads the cattle project.

    “Najib will have to settle outstanding issues like this before he calls for an election,” said Dr Hsu.

  11. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:27:08

    There’s so much financial hanky panky on the part of the regime and its cronies that the scandals will be unending. The independent mass media just needs to do its job.

    The propaganda ploy of distribution of financial handouts to buy votes (in a fiscally irresponsible manner) will only work amongst the
    poorly-informed. Anyway, if offered, just take it and ….. vote for reform !
    (The government’s money is our money and not the PM’s money.It’s our hard-earned tax payer ringgit)

  12. Dr Hsu
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:29:42

    kenny
    If indeed this is a political decision ( noted the if ), then only a few people may know about the outcome and the pressure on the judge. AG may b one of them, but the prosecutors may not know.

    But as i said, we must give the benefits of doubt to the judge… who did the correct thing based on the flimsy case against AI.

  13. BeWildered
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:42:43

    Based on my own observation for a long period of time, I stick to my ‘Pimp Management’ model as far as what BN government is doing. The Anwar verdict is just the carrot side of the pimp management or a real fluke case by a single departed judge. Overall, it is still a pimp culture of governance: deep rooted corruptions, abuse of power and authority, tendency of legitimized violence ( do not under estimated the three bombs, next time, it can be a car bomb and many people will die for nothing. Please note that there are few hundreds police on site, do not know how many more plain clothes, and yet, three bombs can go off, inuring 5 people.).
    Look at all the countries which had chronic phase of corruption such as the old Cambodia, Iran during the Shah regime, Egypt and many countries in Africa. All these countries spawn extremism regimes after that and seldom recover ever to democracy. It is worth to ponder whether these are casualties of a bigger global conspiracy or just self destruction of these countries.
    Dr Shu is correct, one swallow is not a sign of summer.

  14. Li Li Fa
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 12:44:22

    AI’s case verdict is a victory for justice, but falls short of a triumph for the legal system in this nation, so says LKS. He also likens it to: one swallow does not make a summer.

    Here one can observe that the politic supremo (LKS) and political observer, Dr.Hsu do think alike and have the political wisdom in their own observations.

    Incidentally, Saiful’s father is now pressing for an appeal to the case, and I wonder how long this will drag on, and how much public funds and time are mobilized for this eventuallity. Will it push the much expected 13GE to a later date, i.e. after March/April 2012?

    Maybe, the swallows are more certain as they come back to signify the arrival of Spring, when thousand flowers bloom and joy and laughter in the air during the Chinese New Year festivities.

  15. klm
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 13:34:24

    Dr. Hsu. I sent you an email with some inside info on the case. Seemed there may be more than meet the eye.

  16. Dr Hsu
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 13:52:45

    klm
    thanks for the info.

    Well, in this country, anything is possible. Polictis in this country is all about trade-off. I would not be surprised that both No.1 have a trade off since it would be to the mutual benefits of both..
    But for the sake of the country, i hope what you have heard is not true.

  17. klm
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 14:48:12

    Dr Hsu. I fully agree with you. If that trade happened, then it is the end of the country. There can be no more future.

  18. Kenny
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 15:53:42

    You mean a deal? Remember one of the the first things Anwar said when he was acquitted was that he will concentrate on vanquishing BN. If you’ve seen his wife’s reaction at the court you’ll believe that she only knew it there and then.

  19. Dr Hsu
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 10:50:28

    when straits times singapore asked me to comment on the posssible poll date, (pls read the article in one of the comments above), I said that PM has to settled certain outstanding issues like cowgate, before going to poll.

    Looks like what I ventured is right, and now that the cowgirl is forced to take leave, I thik this is the beginning of the end for her. Once this issue is settled ( at least now), they can at least answered to those rural folks that they are taking action against the culprits and in the process, try to sooth the anger of the people.

    They will also tell their members that ”Some time in politics, someone has to be the sacrificial lamb “. Wanita will then closed rank and then they will call the poll.

    I personally beleive that it will be between March and June, with end of May to June the most likely date now, unless news of another scandal breaks out.

  20. klm
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 12:52:30

    Dr Hsu. There is no end of scandals. Najib has only 1 cover but 10 boiling pots. He can only cover one at a time. He will not be able to simmer down all of them.

  21. Li Li Fa
    Jan 13, 2012 @ 13:24:10

    Time and tide waits for no man. The truth shall prevail. Even if things have to boil over. Let it be.

    It may be Jibby’s aim to cover up as many boiling pots as he can. Time will come when all will boil over and exposed, despite all the covering up.

    As the saying goes: you can fool some of the people some of the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.

    This is the best opportunity for PR to consolidate, resolve, plan and move strategically to march into a victorious win at Putrajaya.

  22. klm
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 11:08:14

    Najib Says Polls After Economic Reforms Produce Results. Now you got it. It will be eternity before this can happen.

  23. Dr Hsu
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 11:44:02

    klm,
    politicians always will have something to justify what they say.

    If he suddennly calls an election after having said that he won’t, he will use many reasons to justify it. So PR better be prepared, and not be caught wrongfooted.

    I have learned not to trust politicians after walking near them for some time.

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