BN’s victory in the two just concluded by elections was not unexpected. Despite the allegations and scandals that would have toppled most governments in the world,BN still won as Malaysian politics are played on a different dimension.
The most brilliant strategy by the ruling coalition since the 2013 GE is playing PAS against DAP, thereby not only breaking up the rudimentary two-party system, but also causing the opposition parties to backstab each other. Without Anwar at the helm, PAS and DAP, the two ‘sworn-enemies-turned-friends-turned-sworn-enemies are back at each other’s throat again. Amanah, the off shoot from PAS, was not an effective replacement for obtaining suburban and rural Malay votes.
The general perception is that UMNO and PAS must have probably come to some undisclosed agreement to work hand in hand, (or just help each other). The clearest evidence is the private member’s bill by PAS president which was expediated in Parliament. Isn’t it strange that the ruling party would expediate a bill put forward by a major opposition party? Well, this is the politics of the Land of the Wayang Kulit; expect lots of shadow plays. Who is the best in shadow play? You know better than me.
PAS’s role in the two by elections is to split opposition votes, something of a spoiler. The results showed just that. But even without PAS, Amanah would not have won anyway, as the total of votes for opposition fell short of the votes obtained by UMNO candidates. So actually PAS is just the fallback insurance. Even without it, BN would have won even in a one-against-one contest,
Many of those who have voted for the opposition in the last GE were disappointed with the opposition parties, which have not lived up to expectations. The disarray, the power struggles, the backstabbing were not what the supporters have hoped for. The Kajang move, the PAS-DAP rows, the infightings in PKR, the DAP-PKR three cornered fights in Sarawak, all these give a perception that all the opposition parties care about is getting power for themselves. Not to mention some questionable deals in opposition held states which have been highlighted in media.
For the next GE, a lot of these supporters-turned-disillusioned-fence-sitters will probably abstain. Some Chinese votes are expected to go back to BN, too, because of disappointment with the opposition. Between the Devils and the deep blue sea, if the deep blue sea is not any better, so why not go back to the Devils? At least the Devils are more familiar.
Many of those I have spoken to have indicated that they would probably take a overseas vacation during the next GE, and not cast any votes. These are the urban educated people, the so called intelligentsia. Contrast this with the last GE when many of these same people were asking their friends and children overseas to come back to vote against BN.
What this means is that BN will probably do better in the next GE, as in the case of the recently Sarawak election.
Following the momentum of the by election victories and from a renewed position of strength,PM will probably call the next GE soon, since at this stage, with one-against-one contests unlikely as in the last GE, BN should win back many seats due to expected three cornered fights in many areas. Opposition can only expected to win in hardcore anti-BN areas, but that will not be enough to topple BN.
The opposition parties should by now realize that the biggest hurdle on the road to Putajaya is themselves; they have scored too many own goals that even a scandal tainted and weakened BN team can beat them easily.
In all probabilities, BN may even win more than two-third of federal seats, and it would be back to square one for everybody!