Reasons why BN won Galas
BY TERENCE FERNANDEZ
AND MARIA J. DASS
BY noon, the drove of PAS supporters going into the polling centres in Kampung Baru and
Sg Terah seemed a bad omen for the Barisan Nasional supporters.
“At the moment, it doesn’t look very good,” said an Umno supporter outside SJKC Kampung Baru, his forecast compounded by a Special Branch officer who said BN was still in
for a slim win. However, by the time the orang asli votes were counted, it was evident BN had recaptured Galas. PAS only retained its Sg Terah stronghold by a reduced majority of 266.
PAS’s Dr Zulkefli Mohamed had, in fact, entered the premises of Dewan Sivik but made a U-turn
when told it was not going to be PAS’s night.
Even Kelantan Umno liaison chief Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed was surprised by BN’s 1,190 vote majority compared with the 646-majority the late Chek Hashim Sulaima gained for PAS in the last general election. So, what turned the tide for BN? Capitalising on the Ladang Rakyat issue and the loss of ancestral land played a huge part in garnering the orang asli votes.
Zulkefli was wiped out in all the six orang asli polling centres, obtaining just 321 votes to Ab Aziz
Yusoff’s 1,322. Of course, allegations already hurled were that the votes were not counted at the polling centres but flown to Dewan Sivik, where “anything could have happened up there”. But, then, how does one explain the 8% swing in Malay support from PAS to BN, the 60% Chinese support and 90% Indian backing?
One should not use the cliché “the people know only the BN can bring development”. It all has
to do with personality. Ab Aziz, 49, a local boy and much fitter than the 44-year-old Zulkefli, worked his charm from dawn till dusk. Zulkefli’s reserved style did not go down well with the voters. “I don’t like it if I cannot read a person,” said one voter, comparing Ab Aziz’s firm
handshake to Zulkefli’s lembik (weak) one.
The voters took to the personal touch of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, whose name alone used to be enough to win elections. Mustapa accompanied him and, together, they were the “silent killers”.
Loud and aggressive styles of campaigning, once the hallmark of Umno, was replaced by
the gentle one-on-one style of Ku Li and Tok Pa. Umno leaders deemed “aggressive” were persona non grata in Gua Musang. But the irony was that the PAS and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders were resorting to personal attacks and namecalling.
Tags like calon jahat (villain) or bodoh (stupid), kurang pendidikan (uneducated) were freely used in the ceramah – but they were responded with nervous laughter and even jeers from the
largely Malay audience, who did not take kindly to the mengumpat (gossip) culture of speaking ill of your neighbour.
While the BN banked on local issues close to constituents’ hearts, like housing and land grants, PAS only had stale national issues to play on. “What has Teoh Beng Hock got to do with Galas?” asked one Malay voter. One Chinese shopkeeper voted for BN, saying she was put off by the aggressive style of campaigners representing Teoh. There were a total of 2,317 Chinese voters.
Only the DAP would resort to the constant harping of the Teoh Beng Hock issue as a political issue . The case is pending at the coroners inquest and what is the purpose of bringing it to Galas ? Has the DAP run out of ideas how to fight the BN ? or have they run out of issues ? Is TBH really that big to bring down a govt ? when it concerns the MACC or is it a case of suicide ?
Why didn't the PAS people bring the Aminulrasyid case to Galas ? and demand justice for him since he was shot dead by the police ? another govt agency ? Why is it that this was not done ? The answer lies simply in not throwing mud at an imaginary target and not to politicise it . In this case they are smart not to throw mud at one's own race but not the TBH supporters who have been USED by the morons within the DAP .
Creating disturbances during the MCA ceramah is liken to gate crashing as the issue is whether he committed suicide or was he intentionally or accidentally pushed ? And that is for the coroner to decide whether the MACC has a hand in it . But what has it got to do with the MCA ? It goes to show that the DAP has no substance let alone govern the country , perhaps they are good and experts at creating disturbances , mischief , slander , spins issues to their advantage and to blacken the govt .
Even 165 of the 185 Indian votes had returned to the BN. The tarring of a road to Sri Subramanyaswamy Alayam here three days before polling day and a string of Deepavali functions could have swung the Indian votes in favour of BN.
There were no such gesture from PAS, other than banners wishing “Happy Deepavali”.
There was none in Penang by DAP. No Open House !.While the DAP claims to represent the Indians , there was no Deepavali open house hosted by Lim Guan Eng or the DAP or for that matter the State Government .
Many say the ghosts of 2008 have been exorcised for BN. But will Galas end up like Ijok, where there was a different outcome in the general election? The political manoeuverings in the
background made it an intriguing by election. What kind of strategy was the
BN employing by approving the 5 sen hike in fuel two days before polling day? Is there truth to talk that a loss for the BN is a necessary evil to rid of Ku Li once and for all?
On the 5 Sen hike in fuel prices it was never an issue , since it only affected Ron 97 which was mainly for the high end cars ie luxury cars and high performance cars and for foreign registered cars .
That PAS was facing a BN onslaught by its on-again-off- again ally may have factored in the silence of any attack against Ku Li. After all, if it wants to remain strong in Kelantan and realise the dream of capturing Putrajaya, PAS cannot alienate Ku Li completely. Hence, for PAS, it was a case of the proverbial telan mati ayah, ludah mati ibu
and gravely altered their style of campaign, with nary a mention on oil royalty , something that both PAS and Ku Li agree on. As for Ku Li, if Galas had proven anything, it is that he has to roll up his sleeves to earn votes. He was not this visible even during his own campaign but the message that he sends his own partyis that he is still a force to reckon with.
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