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Just why are they so frightened?

  • I'm quite certain BN will lose the popular vote again, like they did five yeas ago. I am less certain they will actually lose the elections... Still, the unexpected can happen.

By Azmi Sharom

I find it very funny when a competition is already so one-sided and yet the likely winners are still running scared.

For decades now, elections have been heavily in favor of the BN. The mainstream press is under their control. The television and radio are under their control and will only play their side of the story (also known as propaganda).

They have loads of money (I don't know from where) that they can use for extensive advertising campaigns.

Even the game I play on my smartphone gets interrupted by BN adverts!

The authorities bend over backwards for them so they can do things like set up thousands, maybe even millions of flags even before the official campaign period.

And of course, like everyone knows, the delineation of our constituencies has been in their favor ever since the Election Commission lost its independence and power in early 1960s.

Yet, despite all this they are still trying to make it even harder for the opposition to win. The choice of Wednesday as polling day is a clear example of this. People will find it harder to go home to vote; potential polling and counting agents will also find it inconvenient as they will have to take leave too.

And because of the gerrymandering, every single vote against the BN is important, as it has been estimated that they only need 35% of the popular vote to win the elections.

So, polling day on a work day is a big deal!

Despite all this, we still hear the DPM telling voters in Singapore not to take leave to come home to vote! And the latest hilarious desperate sign of desperation is he asking older voters not to be swayed by their children!

Why so frightened? I feel quite certain that the BN will again lose the popular vote, like they did in the last GE. I am less certain that they will actually lose the elections. But these signs of fear is indicative of two things.

Firstly, they are worried about young voters and secondly, they are worried, full stop.

This is a good thing because in a democracy, those who hold power ought to be frightened by the voters. This is a good sign for the future.

As to the present, well, it will still be an incredible David versus Goliath scenario and it will be quite miraculous if the opposition wins, not because the people don't want them but because the constituencies are so badly drawn.

Still, the unexpected can happen.

(Azmi Sharom is a law lecturer at Universiti Malaya.)



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