In politics, a political party’s fortune can be like yoyo, one moment down and the next moment up. People’s opinion change overnight sometimes.
Take the case of US president. Mr. Obama was riding so high 2 years ago, beating Hillary Clinton in his own party nominations and then went on to win the US presidency making him the first black president in US history. He inherited a society that was in recession, economy in tatters, and the banking sectors in big trouble.
Obama represented a hope for change and he clearly played this hope to the tilt, and won.
2 years down the road, his rating has gone down so much that he has pactically dragged his party’s fortune down too. In the midterm elections just conducted, Democrats did badly and lost the control of the House of representatives and some senate as well as governors’ seats.
What the difference 2 years can make.
Coming back to Malaysia, we do not have any midterm elections, and so the only way to gauge whether the support for a party has increased or eroded is the by election, of which we have more than 10 since 308.
Today, there are 2 by elections being held together, one in Malay heartland of Kelantan and the other BN’s ‘ Fixed Deposit vault’ of Sabah.
There are many in BN who have repeatedly said that Malay votes have gone back to the Big Brother in a big way, no small parts due to the right wing politics that were being played and Perkasa, like the Tea Party of US, has attracted many supporters back to UMNO. It was also said that unlike 308, part of the Indian votes have gone back too.
Many ordinary people also think that there are some improvements over those years under the sleepy head, even though the process of reform is still slow, and to me, it is still merely cosmetic. But just like plastic surgery can make a person prettier in appearance ( but not inside), cosmetic changes also can make some people/voters change their minds.
So today is an important day to see whether what was said was really happening on the ground, and whether those cosmetic reforms that have taken place can really change the mindsets of some of the voters.
If so, we can perhaps expect a General Election quite soon.
Malaysia’s ranking on World Bank’s latest the Ease of doing business index has improved. This is perhaps one of those rare time where our ranking have gone better. At least it is an improvement and we should give credit where credit is due. Malaysia has moved from 23 last year to 21.
But to improve further, there must be better governance and less corruption. With corruption, businessmen will face lots of hurdle if they want to start a business. And corruption has further deteriorated this year. If this mother of all evil is not tackled seriously , I expect our ranking would remain around this level.