Saturday, March 5, 2011

Buying By-Elections In Malaysia

Merlimau and Kerdau vote this Sunday in their respective by-elections. These will probably be the last by-elections before the General Election is called. And BN is going all out to ensure they win with big margins.

The logic is simple. Winning big in these by-elections will, BN believes, give it a crucial momentum going forward. And so, they use every tactic and measure possible to win every vote.
Including, in Kerdau, gangsterism and violence in the form of nails sprinkled on the road to opposition ceramahs.
And objects, including stones, thrown at Mr.Anwar Ibrahim's car.
In Merlimau, they unleash discredited defamers to spread yet more calumnious lies, and who are so distasteful to us that we will not stain our post with their names.
Most of all, they use money.
Lots of it.

BN parties build sumptuous Bilik Gerakans, sometimes barely used. As do those 'parties' who support the BN from outside and are, no doubt, well compensated.
While the Oppsition struggles with bare huts by comparison. Or, in some areas, has no Bilik Gerakans at all.

The 1Malaysia "NGO", taking as their name Mr.Najib's discredited slogan, organises feasts and banquets and karaoke contests which would bankrupt Tonga, yet claim to have nothing to do with anybody. BN politicians, including the two-timing Mr.Chua Soi Lek, claim to have no connection to them. Their stunning strategy in Merlimau, as it was in Tenang, appears to be to entertain the Chinese out of their votes. The Chinese electorate declined to give up their vote for such frivoulous reasons in Tenang, but the "NGO", undeterred, is giving it another shot in Merlimau.

All this will, of course, work on some. While turning off others. BN particularly struggles with the Chinese Vote, which it seems, mostly cannot be bought. Unless you're in Singapore.

A walk through Taman Muhibbah in Merlimau provides startling revelations.
The Chinese houses have no BN flags displayed.
While almost every Indian household seems to have a BN flag stuck outside. They are paid, we are told, a RM100 'advertising' fee.
And its RM200 per head for votes. For the lucky household with 3 voters, a RM600 windfall. For a struggling family, a tidy sum indeed.
They are not urban voters, who will immediately question the source of such largesse.

We will not bother to predict how the results will turn out.

But we sense that, despite all their ugly tactics, BN will find the margins less than what they had hoped for.

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