Richard Loh shares his theory on the elusiveness of the 13th General Elections based on events that have taken place up until now.
I had posted an article in 2010 that He would win solidly if the 13th General Elections (GE13) was called any month within that year, and I held my belief till the eve of Bersih 3.0. Even with His statement of “crushed bodies & lost lives” and rumors of His special team reporting that He might lose, I still believed He would win solidly.
After all, survey after survey had been providing similar results of his increasing popularity and the number of voters returning to the party. Even though most of the surveys were carried out via telephone, I still accepted the results. Further, my reading of the many opinions by political experts had cemented my beliefs that He would win hands down.
But things seem to have shifted post Bersih 3.0, indicating that He is fearful of losing the GE13.
It’s all a fluid situation
Is He really safe, politically? For realistic opinions about political figures, I’ve stopped lurking about Twitterjaya. Especially after seeing how the cyber-trooping armchair critics could spin, distort and lie to get into His good books. He was already strongly supported by the MSM, but now they were even crowning him as a ‘sensational twitterer’. Come on.
So, where does one go to conduct the most accurate political survey? Let me tell you where I went: Pasar Malam (night markets) and early morning wet markets. Here are the places where they live, breathe and opine – they being people who are seldom interested in politics but yet still aware of what is happening around them. They being regular Malaysians.
I have found that talking to these people face to face can reveal what is really on their minds even if they give textbook answers. Of course, not every one will be willing to share their political views but you will still get a decent 6 out of 10 people to talk.
So, what is the talk?
Well, it is true that He is gaining popularity as confirmed by the various professional surveys. It is also true that those who voted for the Opposition on 308 are now considering to vote for Him (or perhaps the ruling coalition to which He belongs). But there are also those who voted for the ruling coalition on 308 who will not be voting for it again.
Generally, most of these Malaysians were taken in by His disbursement of cash under the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M). But many do not believe in or understand His never-ending alphabet soup of economic terms – remember the GTP, ETP, PTP, NEM, NKEA, NKRA, NEAC, EPP? Sadly for Him, He can’t contest in every seat in the country and the majority of voters are waiting to see which candidates will be fielded in their respective constituencies before deciding on which party to vote for.
So, while being popular at a high 69% may rake in a few extra votes and put him in the lead, the real situation may be a bit more fluid. And I believe that this fluidity is cause for concern for Him (which may be what His special team means by saying He “may lose”).
Creating excuses to Avoid GE 13?
The only way GE13 will be called off is if the country is in turmoil.
Was He planning to avoid it from as early as 2010 when he famously called for “crushed bodies and lost lives”? Initially I thought He was simply trying to instill fear but subsequent incidents that have taken place indicates that He is willing to carry out this not-so-veiled threat if and when necessary.
Like his speech to Pekida for example, with its racial overtones to shore up more Malay support. Or His silence over Perkasa’s controversial pronouncements and Utusan Malaysia’s irresponsibly racist and religious reports and statements.
During His silence, provocations on the ground by gangsters and hooligans – seemingly linked to His party – took place, too, with the latest riot having been reported at Merlimau. All this seems to be aimed at creating tension among the rakyat with the hope that we would grow impatient and retaliate should all hell break loose. Fortunately, so far, the rakyat appear to be holding back; perhaps we are more interested in venting our anger peacefully, via the ballot box, as should be the case. Is He willing to let this take place?
Bersih 3.0 is a good example of how He could have truly earned His moniker as a Reformist, but chose instead to set the scene up for trouble. There was no reason to stop the movement from holding the rally at Dataran Merdeka, but He (and His gang) went ahead to get a court order to ban entry into the grounds. Why?
The chaos that ensued after 3 pm that day is now under investigation. Statements from various authorities have been that ‘rioters’ had breached the barricade so they had done a great job in containing these ‘rioters’. But if you were there that day, or if you have been reading reliable news reports and personal experiences of tear gas and water cannon encounters, of journalists being attacked and of the man-handling of peaceful civilians, you would realise that the claims by the authorities are one-sided.
To me, the approach they had employed to contain culprits of the breach seemed more like an attempt at creating more chaos. For instance, I could not leave after the rally had officially ended as the LRT stations were closed; there were no buses and taxis available either. So I prefer to call the entire episode one big ‘entrapment’. You can read my Bersih 3.0 story here.
So, yes, once again, the best opportunity they had to create turmoil for an excuse to call off the elections was Bersih 3.0. But they failed again simply because the rakyat had – in fact, has – no intention of overthrowing the government, despite accusations of otherwise.
I believe that upon seeing their failure, He and His friends changed their script, bringing in the IGP to spin yarns of Communist presence and support His theory that the rally aimed to topple His government. The demonisation campaign against Bersih 3.0 continues till today as His minions slave about to get the rakyat to hate and reject it.
I happen to also believe He used His party’s anniversary to show up Bersih 3.0, to demonstrate that He can pull a bigger crowd . Only His party members were impressed, I dare say. It may explain the shift of venom at individuals instead. Firstly, Dato’Ambiga Sreenevasan receives continued harassment outside her home. Then, Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim gets charged together with Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham Shaharin. We can expect more outright bullying to come our way and we can expect more silence from Him, too.
Lastly, there’s that cryptic reference He made to the Coca-Cola recipe when asked about the exact date of GE13. I mean, the Coca-Cola recipe has been kept a secret for over a century and will never be revealed. Was He trying to hint that the elections would never happen?
Keep calm and carry on
Whatever He may try to do next, we, the rakyat, must remain calm and refrain from reacting to any kind of provocation His people dishes out. We must be patient. We must choose to walk away from such baits to rile us up and nobody will call us cowards for it. We only have less than a year before the 5-year term is up. If we remain tolerant and ride through their ploys and shenanigans, He will have no choice but to dissolve the Parliament and call for the elections.