Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kalu dok menang gok saja sangatlah …..

Kalu dok menang gok saja sangatlah …..

Now is already the aftermath of a war. The police troops numbering six thousands (official figure) or twelve thousands (some claim) has gone home. The street is now starngely quiet. Even the party flags only recently waving proudly in the late monsoon gust are packed and stored for the next battle someplace else.

Last night when we drove around town (oops… Bandaraya), Yati remarked, ‘This is Kuala Terengganu that we knew.’

Perhaps as well Farah can now take off her ‘Ni Tranung ke Gaza’ notation on her Facebook wall.

I had refrained from making any comments on the election before the election. Too much has already been said and written.

But it was now over. PAS and Pakatan Rakyat winning it was only reinforcing the knowledge, hope and fear of many depending on which side of the divide they were.

I grew up in a fiercely parochial UMNO family. I watched and took pride in all UMNO winning the elections as early as my memory of attending the rapat umum during that historical first Barisan election. I remember Barisan (then both UMNO and PAS) bashing Kasim Ahmad on his poem of ‘tuhan sudah mati.’ I recall the impact of hate Utusan Malaysia created on the person of Tengku Razaleigh when he donned the tengkolok with what looked like a Christian’s cross in a Sabah campaign; with it igniting the fear of the Muslims, thus killing the hope of Semangat 46. I remember too the Lim Kok Wing led advertisement in the 1999 election, the advertorial in televisions, the full page picture of gnarling Lim Kit Siang, angry Anwar and ferocious Haji Hadi. Those were the days when newspaper played a major role in igniting the feeling of the masses.

But 1999 was also the turning point. With the extreme overkill, rakyat began to see and loath the popular media. I felt the same too. Oppositions saw the power of new media, the web and captured its potential to seriously challenge the establishment.

Sadly, Barisan’s campaign strategist in this is age of Youtube are still living in the cocoon of yesteryears. Internet has enabled anyone to check on any news to learn about what is exactly happening and what was truly said. Full text of statements, remarks and speeches can be downloaded to neutralize the venom of selective reporting. Body language can now be viewed and believed.

In those years, I recall my father (then a key UMNO campaigner) dashing everywhere to solve voters problem. Those who complain of not having electricity will have the tiang letrik put up almost immediately by then LLN. All for that important one vote. The actual power supply can wait till the next complain in the next election, if ever.

We now live in a much richer Malaysia. The election gifts are very much in practice albeit in grander scale. To UMNO, what is sadly happening is the negative impact it created. While a hundred contractor walked away happily with projects, the other seventy thousand nine hundred voters squirmed, ‘doh kita ni buleh mende?’ (so what do we get?)

In this KT by-election, the result was not really that bad. Thirty over thousands still for whatever reasons crossed the dacing. The cup can always be seen as half empty or half full.

The lost of Barisan was very much anticipated. Barisan though early on declaring themselves the underdog (so much for self esteem) did however put up a grand fight. Cost some say goes to a hundred million. It was of course a rumor but even a quarter of it is a serious amount of money.

A friend who came all the way from Kedah to help in the campaign (apart from ‘tunjuk muka’ and carrying a project envelop) drop by at 3 pm, on the election day, exhausted. ‘Dah kalah dah’ he said. ‘For that amount of money’ he said ‘Barisan should have worked out a magic.’ ‘What magic?’ I asked. ‘duit banyak ni tak payah teruk-teruk kempen. Hang bagi duit je kat pengundi suruh pangkah Barisan. Kalau hang bagi seribu sorang pun ada baki lagi dua puluh juta.’

Hahaha… we all laughed. A painful laugh.

That kind of sums up the mood in the run up to the big day. When asked ‘Barisan boleh menang ke dok?’ many simply answered, ‘kalu dok menang gok, saje sangatlah.

It is. Apparently

No comments: