Today, we received news of another death of a politician. This time it's in Sibu, Sarawak. Condolences to the late Sibu MP who died after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Not too long ago, we heard about the death of Hulu Selangor MP, causing another by-election this year. We already know when the by-election would be, which is April 25. This by-election would be a good indication of whether support is coming back to BN or support for change remains status quo.
If BN wins Hulu Selangor, that means people's support for BN is on the rise again, with a recovering economy and an unemployment rate of only 3.6%; which means good times of the economy is coming back. The rule of economics about a strong economy is that, the incumbent party would hold firm. And there's no prizes for guessing that one.
However, if BN failed to regain the Hulu Selangor seat that it lost 2 years ago, what are the implications? For me, I am lazy to think of the implications, but I know one of them is a signal to BN that retaking Selangor is never an easy task. Of course, there were rumours that the PR state government of Selangor was about to fall during the month of January 2010, with sabotage works under the alleged orders of former MB, Khir Toyo (UMNO), was already in place. There were backlogs all over the place. Thus, the stage was set.
However, it didn't really go according to plan as the death of Teoh Beng Hock at the MACC premise was hot news in Selangor, and all over Peninsula Malaysia. Almost everyone was talking about that. Thus, taking over 3 months ago wasn't a good idea at all. So they postpone it and said they will win back Selangor in the elections. We'll see about that. If majority of Selangorians are happy with PR's governance, they might give them another term in office, and vice versa.
For me, I plan to register as a voter as soon as I turn 21 this October. 1 vote can make a load of difference. Being a former BN supporter in secondary school, I was ignorant about some of the lies that the mainstream media spinned. Yup, I read newspapers, considering most of them the truth. I didn't check and balance. I don't know blogs, I don't know Malaysia-Today, I don't know Malaysiakini, I don't know Malaysian Insider, etc...
In pre-U, a friend of mine, son of ADUN Batu Buruk, was reading those blogs that I was never exposed to. So, I became curious, and I read it as well. I find that so many things that the mainstream media is hiding from us. They had almost nothing but praise for BN, which sounds one-sided in any case. But of course, the same thing happens when you read only opposition blogs without its balances. It's also one-sided. So, who do I turn to for balanced coverage of both BN and PR, and of course, not to forget, Independents? MALAYSIAKINI. Another friend of mine also gave me his username and password so that I can access Malaysiakini and read the whole news. Yes, weaknesses of BN and PR exposed well in this section. Some do their jobs well, some are sleeping on it. Malaysiakini is the best thing that can happen in politics, because they bring that check and balance to either federal or state governments alike. Letters posted on Malaysiakini were from both sides of the divide, and those fence sitters. It's enjoying to read those letters of both sides so that we can evaluate for ourselves.
Of course, there are 2 newspapers I know that are also quite balanced in their coverage of both BN and PR. "The Sun" and "Sinar Harian". I rarely read The Sun, but one of my pre-U friends worked there part-time before he went off to RMIT in Australia for studies. He said The Sun was quite balanced, and I can vindicate his statement when I read it for myself. Even sometimes I bought Sinar Harian. It's quite heartening to see people's problems being highlighted. So both sides of the political divide had their fair share of weaknesses. It's good that these daily life problems are reported so that people have a voice to those responsible, whether be it PR or BN. So, I can only wish that the rest of the mainstream media (Star, Utusan, NST, etc...) can be like Sinar Harian and The Sun. Fat chance I guess. ;P
Anyway, back to the by-elections. We all know Sibu was under Sarawak United People's Party, a component under Barisan Nasional. They won it with a majority of 3,000 last time around. Therefore, I can't see Pakatan Rakyat winning this seat, with Sabah and Sarawak are BN strongholds, except for Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. But, but... they do have a chance in the very least to slash the majority from last time, provided with the right tactics.
So, here's my 2 predictions for Hulu Selangor and Sibu:
Hulu Selangor - BN to win by a majority of 5,000 - 7,000 votes
Sibu - BN to win by a majority of 3,000 votes
Why I say Hulu Selangor is the case? This is because, it has long been a BN fortress. Back in 2004, they won this seat by a majority of 14,000+. For them to extraordinarily lose this seat is unbelievable. But since then, I can bet they have learned their lesson. Never ever take votes for granted. Serve the people, and you will be courageously rewarded with self-satisfaction.
So here's to April 25 and the other date I don't know for Sibu until EC decides. It's gonna be fireworks. Cheers.
P/S I still remember my vow that I will play ping pong left handed all day if PR wins in Hulu Selangor. Man... do I love to be a pessimist. ;P