In a few hours from now, eligible voters for the Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai by-elections will cast their votes. The results of the last ten days of intense campaigning by the two main political parties i.e.BN and PR will finally be known by late evening of 7th April. Political observers have given little hope for any one of the independent candidates winning the by-election in the contested areas. Some are likely to lose their deposits. But their participation can be telling on the outcome of the majority votes to be won by winning candidate, especially in Bukit Selembau.
I have somewhat lost interest in monitoring the three by-elections, unlike the two previous by-elections, since the 'political crisis' in Perak erupted. I felt that the voters of Perak have lost their rights to choose their own government, and that elected representatives today; be they state or federal representatives, can no longer be trusted to remain loyal to their voters. Defectors to me no longer represent the people that had voted them in. In fact, they have betrayed the voters trust; hence they don't deserve to remain elected representatives, let alone to claim that they are elected representatives.
I feel that the peoples interest in the three by-elections has been over shadowed by events of the recent UMNO general assembly. This has somewhat given the opposition an edge in making their presence felt early in the areas affected by the by-elections, while UMNO is too busy sorting themselves out for the general assembly.
What BN lacks in their early preparation, the party edges PR in its campaigning effort, since the former has the full force of the media (electronic and print), and some government agency to act as their 'proxy' in the campaigning. There is a total blackout of any good news reporting of the opposition by the mainstream media. And if the BN is to believe that they have succeeded in neutralising the opposition by this means, they are totally mistaken. In fact, it has angered people more, and the results of the two previous by-elections is sufficient proof.
It is hard to predict the outcome of the three by-elections, but from what I gather, the fight will be stiff, except for Batang Ai, which is most likely to favour the BN candidate. In the case of Bukit Gantang, PR candidate Dato Nizar Jamaluddin is hard to beat, and is the sure favourite to win with a sizable majority. Bukit Selambau has a 50-50 chance for both the BN and PR, and there seemed to be no clear favourite.
And one should not take Samy Vellu's assessment to be the gospel truth, and I am told that his presence at Bukit Selembau will have no bearing on the MIC's candidate chances of winning. And what about Tun Dr. Mahathir's presence at Bukit Gantang? Will it garner support for the BN candidate?
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 11.00 pm on April 6, 2009