In 1999, BN survived mainly because of the Chinese support. This support was partly due to the fear of PAS and its Islamic agenda. There was a swing of Malay votes towards PAS and PKR, but the swing was not enough to deny BN a big victory.
Then in 2004, because of the “work with me, not for me” factor of the new PM, BN won big.
By winning a record number of votes, the government became so big headed , arrogant and corrupted that many people chose to vote opposition in 2008.
Even Chinese and Indians, who were formerly so frightened of PAS’s ideology, had no qualm voting for PAS. Actually it was not because they felt PAS is good, but because they were so fed up with BN that anything else was better than BN.
Some told me that nothing could be worse than UMNO. Thus the massive vote swing was not because of people liked PAS , but rather people hated UMNO more. PKR benefited in the same way, mainly because of the resentment of people towards the ruling party.
So, it would be wise for leaders of PAS and PKR, and to a smaller extent DAP, not to become too big-headed and arrogant like their counterparts in the Big Brother. To do that would be the surest way to lose support.
PR must understand that the odds are always against them winning the next election. After Bersih, things may have become brighter. Their odds have improved, and there is now a real chance of them winning the next GE. But having a real chance does not mean ‘sure win’. BN still has the upper hand.
In the run-up to the next GE, whoever fumbles and shoots himself in his own feet would be doing a big service to the other side.
The recent JAIS raid of a dinner in a church is very high-handed and should be condemned by everyone. The MB of Selangor has tacitly acknowledged that when he regretted the action of JAIS. But surprisingly, an exco under him, a PAS leader purportedly in charge of religious affairs, defended the JAIS action, giving the impression that he was all for it.
At the time of writing, we still do not know who ordered the raid. But the perception among the people is that the exco in charge of religious affairs, the PAS leader, was behind it.
In PAS, like in any other party, there are factions; the more conservative and the more liberal. But both factions must understand that the action of even one individual would affect the image and perception of the whole party. What the conservatives do would affect the liberals, and vice versa.
If he has actually ordered the raid, then he must be prepared to answer to the people and his more liberal party colleagues. He must also realise that his very action of defending JAIS is a Godsend to BN.