Last Saturday night, the night when they counted the KT by election votes, I was out for a dinner with my wife.
Suddenly, the people next table started cheering. The joy was so spontaneous that this was as if Malaysia has won the Thomas Cup..Only this was because one of the people next table received news that PAS has won the KT election…
The people next table were all Chinese. It would really be unthinkable just a few years ago, to see this group of urbanites cheering for a victory of a party that threatens to implement hudud law if they come into power in the Federal Parliament.
How the sentiments of the people has changed since 2004.
Some of the Chinese hawkers in Pudu have told me that the crime scene is so bad that maybe Hudud law will help to curb crime. Anything cannot be worse than the present , I was told.
Why is this change so drastic? BN has only itself to be blamed.
There is a Chinese saying: Bad governance (or tyranny) is worse than tigers. BN has been perceived as a government practicing tyranny.
The people , especially the urbanites, are now so dead against UMNo that even a party like PAS, that was deemed to be extreme just a few years ago, is perceived to be better than UMNO. Of course, that the outcome of this by election would not bring about the implementation of hudud is one of the reasons why urbanites are rooting for PAS and celebrating the victory as if they have won a big prize.
The dislike towards UMNO has affected the component parties that are viewed as subservient. And the biggest of them all, MCA, has reverted back to its custom of infighting and factionalism. Gerakan, on the other hand, has been viewed as weak without a clear direction.
This dislike, or some would put it as hatred, has not decreased since MArch8. If anything, it has even grown more intense.. What with Ahmad Ismail incidence, the abuse of ISA in arresting a journalist for her own “protection”, , increased crime rate, the disappearance of a private investigator under suspicious circumstances, the aborted euroCopter purchase, the aborted sale of IJN (aborted only after public objections), rampant corruption…. all added to make this feeling more and more intense.
Although no keris is expected to be raised this time during the UMNO coming party election, perceived racist talks about converting all vernacular schools into a single stream by a YOuth CHief Hopeful does not endear UMNO to the public, as people view it as proof that UMNO politicians have not learned any lessons from MArch 8, and that they are still engaged in their old antics during party election times to play the race card to fish for support..
For the component parties, I can only say that the leaders are still in a self denial mode, hoping that perhaps one day the people will change their minds and swing back to them again..They fail to wake up to the reality that with so much of vested interest and so entrenched the culture of patronage and money politics, it would not be possible for UMNO to change, unless, as I have always believe, that they will only change when they lose in a General Election.
On September 4th 2008, Singapore Straits Times in an article titled “BN’s Chinese PArties in a dilemma” quoted from my blog this:
A Gerakan division leader in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Hsu Dar Ren, recently wrote in his blog that the party had become” a square peg in a round hole.
“No matter how good the reform undertaken by Gerakan, if it is still perceived to be subservient to Umno and impotent to push for changes within the coalition, it is signing its own death sentence,” he said.
Unfortunately, for Gerakan, What was quoted above still holds true.