|Our Own Columnist,||26 November 2013|
It is interesting to note that in a twist of events, even the BN candidate for the Sg Limau by election who lost to PAS’ Mohd Azam Samat has admitted that the Umno-BN machinery had been soliciting for votes by way of corruption.
Most glaringly he admitted that government machinery had been used during his campaigning in the lead up to voting last November 4.
In addition to this he detailed how these agencies went all out to bribe the people into voting the BN and yet the support that was expected did not materialize. For instance, he mentions about how in one area he saw the FAMA going in to distribute fruits and chicks. “Truckloads of chicks were given away, but if you count the people who came for the chickens and the votes we got, I’m sure the numbers are different,” he was reported to have said.
This goes to confirm some comments on the by election and support for BN in general as observed by the former autocrat of 22 years who in his column is reported to have said that election goodies offered by political parties could no longer ensure victory. He emphatically stressed that “cash handouts and gifts will not ensure victory”
While some may take this as a jibe against Premier Najib for all his 1 Malaysia handouts that he has made as policy, it is interesting to note how Mahathir has also referred to the performance of the BN at the 13th GE as evidence of how and why such an approach may not always work. In his blog posting he said: "This is evident from GE13. Those who did not support did not support. The money given was a waste, whether government money or otherwise.”
So does this mean that a new trend is slowly beginning to emerge, that despite “investments” in the form of cash handouts and other material goodies, the people may just not vote for the party concerned? Would this mean that the “cock has finally come to roost”?
If that really happens then it is the end for BN, because all along BN has only been able to garner support by giving out cash and other material handouts. If this does not work then, they are doomed.
Another interesting thing to note from the Sg Limau by election is the manner in which the BN and Umno leaders carried themselves. Despite Sg Limau being a rural and traditional community where values of simpleness and straightforwardness are practiced, Umno did just the opposite.
There was this insincerity of the BN when canvassing for votes. While it’s chief minister was going around donning a PAS-like skull cap, those who came from outside the state built up a scene that the villagers could not stomach. As in the words of an academic associated with University Malaya’s UMCEDEL, these people were running around with their SUVs causing a ruckus that the people there were not accustomed to. The BN he stated could not discard the opulent culture when campaigning among simple villagers.
That’s not surprising. The BN is only out to get the votes so that the culture of apportioning the wealth among its cronies may continue.
~ Harakah Daily