A foreign journalist called up and chatted with me about the Sibu by election and its impact. He also asked about whether UMNo would move more to the right and be more extreme in view of the fact that they have lost the Chinese votes, and UMNO leaders may strategise that they have to be more extreme to win back even more Malay voters to compensate for the loss of Chinese votes.
I said it would be foolish if they do that since to be more extreme , they would alienate the CHinese more, and by extension, even Indian voters may be put off.
I said that the prevailing perception is that certain leaders in UMNO have outsourced their extremism to Perkasa, and the more Perkasa and the Old Horse behind make inflammatory racist remarks, the more BN would lose Chinese votes.
I also told him that even if UMNO decides to go more extreme , they have reached the limits of the Malays votes that they can get.
Looking at past elections, even at best of time, UMNO gets only about 60% or slightly more than 60% of Malay votes. Recent racist tones made by certain UMNO leaders have swung back Malay votes from 50 plus percent to slight over more than 60%, as seen in Ulu Selangor by election, and in my opinion, that is about the most they can get, even if they make more extreme remarks
I said that now the only way forward for UMNo is to really reform, to do away with racist tones and treat everyone fair and equal, to tackle the problem of bad governance, to return independence to judiciary, to enforce laws on all law-breaking citizens irrespective of their background ( and not be seen as practising double standardS), and be more liberal in religious tolerance, i think they can swing back some Non Malays votes.
But is UMNO willing to take such ‘bitter’ steps? As for Gerakan,and MCA, there are no other ways except to push UMNO for taking such changes, and if changes fail to come, they have to leave immediately and not cling to the coat tail hoping for crumbs to fall into their hands.
Otherwise, the writing is on the wall that there is likely to be a change of government come the next election.
On another point, there is no point trying to ‘bribe’ the by election voters by showering development projects on their heads. As citizens of this country and as tax payers, the voters have every right to development and to think that their votes can be swayed by using this tactic is archaic and naive.
This last minute attempt at vote buying is futile to the more educated urban voters, and this tactic in fact alienates even more the people staying in towns and suburban areas.