BERITA DAILY LETTER: Jason Chin, via e-mail

The steam leading up to the formation of a new government under Pakatan Harapan seems to have staggered in momentum. Maybe it was a case of peaking too early. As judgment day is approaching, it is becoming evident that Pakatan will fall short again.

Despite a predicted drop in Malay support, the latest survey by Merdeka Centre with regards to the May 9 polls is hardly surprising. Numerous studies conducted have revealed that BN will prevail in the coming elections. Some boldly even claim that they might win additional seats.

BN is possibly at its weakest point now with regards to popularity. However, their likely undisputed triumph in the coming polls is largely due to the Opposition being administratively weak. While most candidates from BN started work on the ground in respective constituencies more than a year ago, Pakatan candidates were left in a limbo till 2 days prior to nomination day.

Witnessing infighting among Pakatan members for seats gives a feeling of déjà vu, as the exact thing happened prior to GE13. It’s mind-boggling to see how they have not learned from past mistakes.

The comedy that transpired during nomination day is contradictory to their verbal intention of “saving Malaysia” with a professional & efficient Government.

Not obtaining required documents, forgetting identity cards, bankrupt individuals filing nominations, and ineligible address shows in preparation. Ironically, candidates of DAP had no problems. Most candidature issues were from Pribumi and Keadilan. Are these individuals even serious in the supposed change?

Despite clearly knowing that there may be lopsided decisions from the Election Commission, as it allegedly happens every election, yet there was still no Plan B. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Pakatan has already lost at least 5 seats due to amateur errors.

Moving on with the campaign, Pakatan seems to largely focus on areas that they are surely going to win. What is the advantage in increasing the majority in areas that are sealed? Having huge turnouts in Pakatan fortress is not going to bring any added leverage, besides “syok sendiri” in pictures.

The focus should be on 50-50 areas instead. With all due respect, candidates lined up against the MIC President in Segamat and MCA President in Bentong will likely result in defeats for the opposition. The grand plan of fielding Gobind Singh Deo, Dr Boo Cheng Hau, Tony Pua, and Teo Nie Ching in difficult seats also failed to materialise. Most of the big guns of Pakatan have resorted to standing in “save seats”, giving BN incumbents a sigh of relief.

How can you win a war when the generals sit in comfortable positions while inexperienced and new soldiers are put out there to slay the goliaths?

Failure to perform duties in respective constituencies will cost Pakatan. Lembah Pantai, which is an opposition seat will likely fall back to BN under Raja Nong Chik as Nurul Izzah Anwar also opted for a save seat in Permatang Pauh. Nong Chik has been serving Lembah Pantai for years despite losing in GE13, and his effort could be fatal for the opposition, which is probably why Nurul Izzah is not defending her seat.

Inability to come together with a consensus in areas like Sungai Siput and Cameron Highlands could affect in loses for Pakatan too. The multi-cornered fights between PSM, PKR, and PAS will split the opposition votes, which would only favour BN.

The opposition have somehow failed to realise that they have to take the fight to BN, and not vice-versa. They need to gun down BN seats if they are serious in winning, while BN needs to just defend theirs. Instead, some of the opposition seats like Lembah Pantai and Sungai Siput may fall. The presence of PAS in numerous areas would inadvertently split the opposition votes obtained in GE13.

Unfortunately, all the shortcomings staring Pakatan in the eye are not new. It was there in 2013 as well, but just as they have forgotten Mahathir’s past, they have forgotten their past strategic mistakes as well. Repeating the same thing isn’t going to yield different results.

There is a huge question mark in new candidates fielded by Pakatan. Would they perform? Should we give them a chance? What if they are one-season wonders like Dyana Sofya? The young lass, who was portrayed as a giant killer and touted to have large potential in 2014, fielded against Gerakan’s juggernaut in Teluk Intan, disappeared and is not even a candidate in 2018. Imagine what would have happened if she defeated Mah Siew Keong? Things could have been horrendous and people would have suffered. Residents of Teluk Intan are thanking their stars Mah won 4 years ago.

While Pakatan seems to live in a wonderland using the same old strategies, BN has definitely stepped up their game in GE14. Mahathir’s constant slip-ups and slurring, which is natural for anybody his age, does not augur well with having a 93-years old prime minister, who intends to stay on till 95.

His constant delusions of persecution are becoming comical rather than sympathizing. If the elections are held on social media, BN candidates might even lose their deposits. However, as we have witnessed umpteen times in recent by-elections, the reality is completely different.

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