BN’s Crisis

Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia | 04-Aug-2008 – Isn’t the situation favourable to BN? How could it be a crisis?

Perhaps, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be charged, convicted and imprisoned. All the problems will be resolved and the situation will be stabilised, bringing BN a peaceful regime.

We may think that way but the outcome may be the other way round.

Intelligent BN leaders should have noted that the situation has changed over the past few days and a big storm is heading towards BN. And far-sighted leaders should be well prepared for the disaster.

What are the changes in the past few days anyway? I have noted three:

Firstly, the by-election in Permatang Pauh may bring a snowball effect. No one will naively think that someone can actually beat Anwar in the by-election. I believe the majority votes will be more than 10 000.

It can’t help no matter how much resources BN put in the by-election. The only question would be how to lose not so badly. Yes, BN will say that Anwar’s influence is strong in Permatang Pauh and it is only one of the 222 parliamentary seats. It will not affect the overall situation even if they lose it. However, this is not true in politics.

This has reminded me of the Tambunan by-election in 1984. At that time, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan broke up with the Berjaya government and he returned to his hometown Tambunan to once again seek for the people’s commission.

Pairin was smart to define Tambunan as the resistance base and the by-election as the start of the people’s realisation. Pairin won the fierce battle and seen as a Sabahan hero. Later, he founded Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and won the elections, ousting the Berjaya government.

Anwar is as intelligent as Pairin. Indeed, he is more charismatic and influential than Pairin (even the then Pairin).

Anwar wants to leave his fate, particularly the sodomy accusation to the people in Permatang Pauh. He is destined to be a tragic hero as he may be charged at any time. This will not only help him to gain victory but as well expand the by-election effect.

The by-election may trigger dissatisfaction over the government and some politicians. This may bring a snowball effect to the country.

Secondly, Pas has put an end to the talk with Umno. The emergency brake made by Pas has failed the Malay unity. Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s three-point declaration has rejected Umno, as well as consolidated the unity of PKR.

Umno’s stratery to cozy up to Pas ended here. At the same time, BN’s internal relationship of mutual trust has been hurt. Meanwhile, it brought BN’s non-Malay supporters a negative impression. It will be a major test for Umno to repair the internal relationship and the perception of non-Malays.

Thirdly, the independent Merdeka Center research firm found that public confidence in Malaysia’s political and economic future has dwindled dramatically in recent months. Respondents generally did not believe the sodomy accusation against Anwar was true.

Meanwhile, the survey showed that the Prime Minister’s popularity hitting an all-time low. His popularity dropped from 99% when he first took the office to 68% before the general elections and less than 50% recently. Also, only 11% of the respondents believed the sodomy accusation.

This will be a confidence crisis to the BN government. BN is now facing three major tests and it has to change its behaviour before the situation turns worse. (By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew )