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Friday, 30 December 2011

Nearing the end of 2011

Another year has come and go. It only feels like yesterday that I was still in my summer holidays before continuing my final year degree studies. Well, it wasn't exactly a holiday as I underwent imternship in KPMG for 2 months (including spending a month in Johor). Going to Kulim Berhad is still fresh in my mind, and they make headlines very recently with their intention to sell off their majority stake in QSR Brands, which in turn owns KFC. I wish I would still be an auditor now and earn myself another trip to Ulu Tiram and bombard the employees with a lot of questions with regards to the stake in QSR.

Oh well, what can we look forward in 2012? I'm already 22, going on to 23 next October. The most anticipated event would be the General Election. With the uncertain political on-goings in Malaysia, it's hard to determine where the votes would go this time around. I'm a first-time voter, like thousands of others who had registered post-GE 12. These 1st-time voters would be a make-or-break in forming the next government of Malaysia. But, this is only crucial if Sabah and Sarawak tilted more in favour of the opposition, which is highly unlikely in Sabah, due to the lack of leadership in PR, as well as the lack of recognition towards local-based parties in Sabah and Sarawak. I can only hope that the opposition would give way to the local-based parties to face UMNO heads on in Sabah, then only we would have a fighting chance to add to the 1 parliamentary seat of Kota Kinabalu. The main priority would be to avoid 3-cornered fights or more, but I don't see that issue being solved anytime soon. No compromise is the big problem. There's no problem of compromise in Peninsula Malaysia, but in East Malaysia, that seems to be persistent. I can only predict at best, PR would be adding 5-10 seats from East Malaysia in addition to the ones they currently hold (Kuching, Sibu, Kota Kinabalu), but that would be insufficient to win even a simple majority to form the new federal government.

BN also has nothing much to worry about (despite whatever they are saying in the media, be it mainstream or alternative), as their 3R strategy (race, religion, royalty) is working very well in order to swing the Malay votes back into their fold for the next GE, but they would still struggle in the urban areas. Lucky for them, there is more non-urban areas than urban areas. This sort of imbalance is a concern for Malaysia's regional development policies for the future, as they know rural areas rely mainly on the mainstream media, and that's where their main vote base is. They have a fighting chance in Penang to defeat the PR-led government where they swing most of the Malays to their side over the last 3 years with endless propaganda. Kelantan? Maybe they can eat into the current majority held by the PAS-led government, but that's about it. They are wary of Nik Aziz as a formidable political foe in Kelantan, and they're going to have a hard time uniting UMNO Kelantan, with all the in-fighting going on. Selangor? It seems they can defeat PR with the issue of trash not being collected. Sabotage is the only thing they need, and it's working well. Kedah? Very uncertain on where the votes would go. Perak? That would be a very interesting battlefield, their chance to justify the power grab that happened back in February 2009. But it may also be a chance for the silent voters to show their discontent at the power grab.

Well, that's the states being currently held by PR. What about those held by BN? Perlis is as safe as the Rock of Gibraltar. Terengganu is unpredictable whereby voters can extremely swing from one side to another (as it happened during the 1999 GE, they were solidly behind PAS, only for them to thrash PAS in 2004). There's also a huge civil war (not literally a war, but big spats on many issues) between the pro-Idris Jusoh faction and pro-Ahmad Said faction. The former is the previous Terengganu MB, while the latter is the current Terengganu MB. But whether it'll be enough to swing the voters back to PAS remains to be seen. I think the impact would be minimal somehow. Pahang? With the Lynas issue pretty big and still ongoing, maybe the opposition can win a few more seats, but never enough to bring down the state government. N9? With Isa Samad back in the fold, we won't see PR coming so close quietly again like they did in the last GE (21-15 state seats in favour of BN). Malacca? It'll be interesting to see if Ali Rustam can be defeated by PAS candidate Bakrin Sidek in Bukit Baru, which may see BN defending Malacca, but a real possibility that its CM may be defeated. Johor? An UMNO fortress forever. If anyone of you remember the Tenang by-election, that is your indicator of how strong Johor is in the hands of UMNO. Sabah and Sarawak tak payah cakaplah.

In summary, it'll be an unpredictable GE. More Malay votes going back to UMNO, but more Chinese votes are swinging away from MCA to the opposition. Indian votes? Err... We can't really read what is on their minds. But I'm assuming BN will get the lion's share, except for those educated ones. But the Malay votes are all that BN needs in order to retain control, and I foresee a 2/3 majority for them next GE.

9 comments:

Ethnic Chinese Bystander said...

"They have a fighting chance in Penang to defeat the PR-led government where they swing most of the Malays to their side over the last 3 years with endless propaganda."

The DAP membership has to reflect demographics if it wants to remain relevant. Even Penang is now a Malay majority state. UMNO is not the only dinosaur.

Ahmad Syafiq said...

Yes, UMNO knows it and I'm sure they already knew like everybody else that Penang is now a Malay majority state. That is why they focus mainly on Malay votes to stay relevant. They want the Malays to forget whatever corruption is done and unite to protect their respective cronies.

Ethnic Chinese Bystander said...

As a DAP supporter, it's hard for me to say this - BN had more legitimacy when it was in power than DAP today. BN's support was across communities.

DAP's greatest enemy in Penang is not UMNO but its own complacency. It cannot be happy with current levels of Malay support if it is serious about its legitimacy as a govt for all Penangites.

Ahmad Syafiq said...

Well, as far as I can see, DAP are heading in the right direction by having Malay intellectuals to join them for a start, in order to shed the PERCEPTION that it's a mostly a Chinese party. Perception is the most important factor in politics, and no one party can escape that fact. It's a matter of how they deal with the perception that matters.

Seminyak Hotels Bali said...
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Richard Byrdk said...
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reginag said...

That is being polite. I like your attitude towards them.

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