By LIM MUN FAH
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
About a hundred thousand of Umno members and supporters in red shirt had filled the National Stadium at Bukit Jalil to celebrate the party’s 66th anniversary. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak derided the Pakatan Rakyat, but did not attacked the Bersih, while offering seven reasons why people should support the BN in the election. The move has strongly conveyed a message, namely the 13th general election might be coming soon.
Has the celebration, as the Prime Minister said, marked that Umno will win a brilliant victory in the next general election as a strong team? The answer might be yes, or no. It is because all answers suggested before the election are only predictions.
According to a recent study by University of Malaya Centre For Democracy and Elections (Umcedel), some 49% of Malaysians in the Peninsula are expected to vote for the BN, which has doubled the Paktan rakyat's support rate of 21%. The survey might be enough to boost the BN's morale, but supporters of the Pakatan Rakyat might still question its objectivity and credibility.
In any case, If we can put aside our political stands and take it as a neutral survey, the survey has indeed conveyed some messages which are worthy of the attention of all parties.
For example, the survey pointed out that in the most crucial state of Selangor, Malaysia voters seem indecisive. Some 34% and 33% of voters support the BN and the Pakatan Rakyat respectively, and the remaining 33% of voters have yet to decide which way to support. If the survey truly reflects the voting tendency of urban Malays, it is clearly a potential crisis for the BN.
In addition, the impact of the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal and the data showing 61% voters think that the government should stop the Lynas rare-earth refinery plant project are issues should be concerned by the BN.
As for the Pakatan Rakyat, the voting tendency of Indian voters showed in the survey is a major worry. According to the survey, 62% to 67% of Indian voters in Negeri Sembilan, Perak and Kedah support the BN while the Paktan Rakyat are supported by only 5% to 10% of Indian voters in these states. It would be a major obstacle for the Pakatan Rakyat to occupy Putrajaya.
It is paradoxical, however, that the same survey also shows that up to 60% Indian voters in Selangor are supporting the Pakatan Rakyat, which is much higher than the Chinese support rate of 49%. How could there be such a big gap between the Indian support rates of Selangor and the other three states of Negeri Sembilan, Perak and Kedah? Does it reflect the different voting tendencies between urban and rural voters? Or does it show errors in the survey?
Objectively speaking, the survey involved only 2,282 respondents and we should not over judge or interpret it based on our own political stands. We should be more concerned about the public opinion during the election, as well as political behaviours, regardless whether it is a manipulation in the name of public opinion to increase their moral points or dirty means to create white terror atmosphere with violence, they are the signs of election mania that we should avoid in the process of a democratic election.
If we are truly transforming into a more democratic country, we should then show our sincerity and maturity! Let's have a transcendent and gentleman's battle which is fairer and more transparent, instead of a corrupted election full of chaotic confrontations and ploys!