Friday, May 08, 2015

By Elections - A wake up call for Pakatan Rakyat?

'As long as not Barisan Nasional' - that seems to be the popular sentiment, and at present that will translate into votes for the Opposition - the Pakatan Rakyat for the moment, but that too may change. 

With regard to the Pakatan Rakyat, there is growing disappointment because all that Pakatan Rakyat seems to be advocating seems to be 'clean, efficient and trustworthy' but really no drastic proposals with regard to existing policies and practices, and that is disappointing for many. The Pakatan Rakyat also seems to be good at objecting but really is not saying how they would have done things differently. 

With the Pakatan Rakyat now ruling 3 states - Kelantan(PAS MB), Penang (DAP Chief Minister), and Selangor (PKR MB) - people can now evaluate and see what it really means for the Pakatan Rakyat to rule. 

Focus unfortunately is more on Selangor - and here some of the things that people are saying - well, the only difference is that different people are in power ...and also that there are just 'different cronies'. The Kajang move - and the change of MB would have an impact for after all before this there was a lot of praise hailed for Khalid in his efforts to be more 'clean and efficient' and... then PKR itself started shouting a different tone...and Khalid now was 'bad guy'. The PKNS affair?...

Worse still is that PR's not having local council elections - not even any elections at the kampung, kampung baru, taman, kampung orang asli ...levels. The appointment for Local Council continue to be PR party reps ...and some 'civil society reps' - but then, PR ruled Local Councillors are also not free to vote according to their conscience - and the 'party whip' tells them how to vote?? People wanted Malaysia to be more democratic... and people to have a bigger say on how we are governed - but now, looks like even peoples' reps of the PR are really not 'peoples' rep' rather they are 'robots' who vote as directed by the party - so more like 'party reps' rather than 'peoples' reps '. And all these look very much the same as how BN have been ruling ... and this is what is disappointing people.

The recent absence of 26 Pakatan Rakyat MPs from Parliament when POTA was being voted on also disturbs people - Why are we voting in these PR candidates as Members of Parliament(MP) whose primary job is to represent people in Parliament but they are not there... 

LIVE Parliamentary Session - we have that now, so people also can follow Parliamentary sessions - and it saddens them when they see PR reps absent - or in some cases totally unprepared (something that could be seen from the 'silence' or even the comments they make..). Worse still, many of the elected reps are really not even 'full-time peoples' reps' - they are still spending too much time on their own personal business, profession, etc... Now, the salaries have been increased - will PR insist that all their sitting MPs and Senators be full-time peoples' reps? 

No more is the dropping by at weddings, funerals and shaking hands sufficient - People want to be consulted on matters - they want their reps to report back to them - and even in the PR governed states, how many times in a month(or a year) are the elected reps meeting with the people/constituents - here not a problem to get the Dewans/Halls for such meetings? Some are complaining now saying that before they were elected, they used to see them often...but nowadays after being elected, they are no more to be seen... and so, when they are also not there in Parliament - people get very angry... 

What about public assets,income, etc declarations - this will assure us that they are not using their elected position for self and family enrichment, ... how about how and where they use 'government allocations' - is it going to their supporters and cronies ...or is it going for the benefit of the most needed in their constituencies irrespective or party affiliations, ethnicity or religion? 

Selangor has been under the Pakatan government for sometime - what is happening to the policy of land for places of worship? Has it changed? How come we still have Christian churches in privately owned shop lots? Is there sufficient land being set aside for burial grounds? 

One of the thing that most Malaysians want is to be treated as MALAYSIANS - but alas, PR also treats us as 'ethnic groups' or 'religious groups' - HELLO, it is about 58 years since we became independent...Analyst from political parties and otherwise also seem to be very much looking at it from an ethnic perspective...

Pakatan Rakyat really needs to get their act together - or else...

Pematang Pauh voters serve Pakatan, BN a warning to get act together

PKR's Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on the way to the counting centre last night. She is the new Permatang Pauh MP, winning the seat by 8,841 votes against Barisan Nasional's Suhaimi Sabudin. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, May 8, 2015. 
PKR's Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on the way to the counting centre last night. She is the new Permatang Pauh MP, winning the seat by 8,841 votes against Barisan Nasional's Suhaimi Sabudin. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, May 8, 2015. 
With a smaller voter turnout, PKR had its absolute majority slashed by more than 3,000 votes in Permatang Pauh yesterday, but analysts dissecting the by-election said Barisan Nasional (BN) was still the bigger loser.

There are also warnings for both sides, as BN's losses came from among Malay votes, while Pakatan Rakyat (PR) appeared to concede some Chinese votes to BN.

BN’s failure to get more votes in Permatang Pauh, especially from Malay areas, mirrored the cold shoulder it got from the largely Malay seat of Rompin in the by-election there three days ago, said political analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat. Although BN was the incumbent in Rompin, its support level went down by 5% from 2013 levels.

BN failed to take advantage of the infighting between PKR and ally PAS, and despite a strident machinery, did not manage to erode support for PKR's Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. She won by a margin of 8,841 votes against BN's Suhaimi Sabudin. Given the lower voter turnout, her win translates into 57% of all ballots cast, roughly the same vote share PKR had in the 13th general election. In the national polls two years ago with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as candidate, it took 58.56% of votes.

In contrast, BN received 40.1% of all votes cast in Permatang Pauh this time, slightly less than the 40.3% it received in 2013.

This is despite BN pouring vast amounts of resources into its campaign and the disunity in the PR machinery, which saw some PAS allies threatening to boycott PKR.

“BN campaigned hard and we expected PR to suffer. But they did not increase their votes even with all the PR infighting,” said Wong, of the Penang Institute.

Both BN and PR have internal struggles, the former from attacks against its chairman, who is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and the opposition from discord over hudud and threats of sabotage by some segments of PAS against PKR in Permatang Pauh.

Yet, even with internal strife in both camps, BN was the weaker of the two, Wong said. It failed in this by-election to capitalise on the chaos and disillusionment with PR to garner more votes.

PKR outpolled Suhaimi in Permatang Pasir and Penanti, constituencies with majority Malay populations of 72% and 76% respectively.

Dr Wan Azizah won 63% of the popular votes in Permatang Pasir and 57% of all votes cast in Penanti.

She won majorities in 16 out of 19 polling districts in those two constituencies. In at least eight of those districts, she managed to beat Suhaimi by a vote margin of 2 to 1.

Dr Wan Azizah said after the results were made official last night, that Malay votes went up by 4% to 5%, mostly among young voters.

“At the end of the day, people may not like the PR but they hate BN more,” said Wong.

Taking a different view was Wan Saiful Wan Jan who said PR had nothing to shout about since it did not increase its vote share even with all the issues plaguing BN, such as the unpopular goods and services tax (GST) and scandals involving government-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

PR's infighting prevented it from getting more support from a public disenchanted with BN, Wan Saiful said.
“(Permatang Pauh) showed that even if people are angry with BN, they are not convinced enough to vote PR. This is why PR really needs to resolve its internal squabbles soon.”

Those squabbles, he argued, were starting to eat into its support base among the Chinese.

In Sungai Lembu, a polling district which is 98.7% Chinese, BN managed to increase its support of the popular vote to 30.4% compared with the 16% it garnered in 2013, according to Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.

Wong, however, said this did not represent a true swing of the Chinese vote towards BN but more of a reluctance to vote for PR this time.

This is based on lower turnout – 75% of Sungai Lembu’s 533 voters came out to vote in the by-election, compared with the 90% in 2013.

Also, there was no swing apparent in Seberang Jaya, a constituency with a 23% Chinese population.

“There were ads in a Chinese newspaper that said that ‘both sides are disappointing’, so it could have swayed Chinese voters to stay home and not go out and vote,” said Wong.

Either way, if PR's internal discord continues and makes voters feel it is no better than BN, it could hurt the opposition pact's ability to hold on to marginal seats.

“It is unrealistic to expect Chinese voters to go back to BN, but realistically, they could stay home and not vote.

“BN does not need the Chinese to vote for it, all it needs is for the Chinese to not vote for PR.” – May 8, 2015.
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