Saturday, May 03, 2008

Next political tsunami could be bigger if…

By BN Loyalist
THE political tsunami that swept Penang, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Kelantan, drowning and sweeping away the once mighty Barisan Nasional state governments and several MPs, clearly stunned Malaysians who woke up the next morning to see their political landscape changed drastically.
Apa sudah jadi? (What happened?) — many a Malaysian and even politicians on both sides of the divide raced to ask themselves.
The BN was not really infallible as was said many a time but was finally proven to be so as voters overwhelmingly decided to swing to the opposition parties who were no better than the BN.

But why?

BN old-timers and heavyweights were shown the exit in the most ungracious and merciless manner, thus adding salt to injuries and bruises sustained in the electoral battle.

The magnitude of this BN election debacle was neither foreseen nor expected.
People power was evident in our democracy after it had happened elsewhere in the region. BN is now so badly bruised and one wonders if at all the damage inflicted on the coalition is reparable.

Khairy Jamaluddin, the Umno deputy Youth chief declared soon after the results were known that the BN would fight back. But the way I look at it, only two possible scenarios could develop from the stunning political development:

• The opposition parties especially PKR and DAP which now savour power in their hands, could screw up their rules along with PAS, and allow BN to regain and regroup and fight back successfully like what Khairy said, or
• The powerful presence of the opposition parties of PKR (once written off), DAP and PAS in five states and in the national parliament, could further erode the power base and support of the BN which could eventually deal an even bigger blow in the next round.

Factors that contributed to the massive BN losses were ethnic frustrations, a better organised opposition front, economic difficulties and general dissatisfac-tion with the administration which included the arrogant attitude of BN and Umno politicians.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not to be blamed solely. And, what about the Internet’s powerful influence on voters?

It is true the opposition parties were hardly featured in the mainstream media. It is an open secret. There is no need to deny this. Yet, by word of mouth and through the help of the Internet, they managed to get their messages across to the electorate. BN’s opponents had skilfully exploited the Internet.The outcome of the general election was worse than 1969’s. The blow was even more severe.

What can BN and especially Umno politicians learn from this disaster?

I hope to see an answer in the coming years. Or the political tsunami would be a bigger wave.

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