It’s not juz a growing economy and the goodies that win elections:
… robust economic growth of 5.6% in 2012, poverty virtually eliminated, inequality reduced and 400 legal cases against corruption initiated. And he was able to announce that a scheme to give cash handouts to poorer households will become an annual event.
All should be set fair, you might think, for Mr Najib’s ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional (BN), to romp home again at the election, as it has done in every ballot since independence in 1957.
… the outcome is in doubt, for the first time in Malaysia’s history. (Last but one issue of Economist).
When people get tired of the governing party or parties, no amount of GDP growth, goodies or appeal to self-interest will change their minds. They can be that daft. I mean if PAS becomes the strongest party in the PK, I’m sure Chinese and Indian women would be forced to wear tudungs. Remember too Anwar made his name in politics as a Muslim activist, not as a secular activist. Yet Indian and Chinese wimmin support PK because they support the DAP and Anwar’s party.
Seriously, there has always been been a large minority of M’sians who don’t like UMNO and its BN allies. What has changed is that a large number of voters who regularly voted for the BN got tired of the growing corruption in M’sia. Despite being given a ringing endorsement by the votes after Dr M stood down, Badawi was seen as overall ineffective especially in combating corruption. Came 2008, there was a swing against BN: it lost its two-thirds majority in parliament which enabled it to amend the constitution at will, and lost the plurality of votes on the peninsula, and lost a few states.
UMNO replaced Badawi with Najib, who has been throwing money at the electorate. But because he hasn’t done much on getting rid of corruption (and getting rid of pro Bumiputera policies, always a sore point among minorities), BN remains unpopular: unpopular enough to lose on the peninsula. And if the peninsula falls, the barons in the East (BN’s stronghold)will switch sides, even though one is an UMNO leader, and the other is a BN baron.
The issue of corruption got voters moving from BN to the Opposition. In S’pore, if the PAP, continues bulldozing its way on, and misrepresenting its “FTs are betterest” and “6.9m or bust” policies”, it will lose votes even if continues throwing our money on making life more comfortable for us. S’poreans would say, “About time, so no need to be grateful. And it’s our money leh”.
So it’s all about immigration. It’s all about the 15,000 — 25,000 new citizens, and PRs by the container-load that the PAP wants so that S’pore will have 6.9m people in 2030.
(Someone by the name of Victoria posted on TRE: “I am sick and tired of all these alt sites who will twist every story involving foreigners just to incite intolerance, hatred and xenophobia. There is really no need for such gutter politics to paint PAP in a bad light. The hard truth is either we want more foreigners or we don’t want foreigners at all.”
Well, Victoria, I for one am sick and tired of the PAP govt and the constructive, nation-building media asserting that FTs and 6.9m population are to compensate for S’poreans refusal to breed. I have yet to see any chart illustrating why a TFR of 1.2 needs to be compensated for by bringing in FTs so that population reaches 6.9m. Remember that the replacement rate is 2.1.)
The one thing that PM has in his favour is that S’pore doesn’t have a charismatic scoundrel, turncoat and opportunist that M’sia has in Anwar Ibrahim. Mr Anwar once served as deputy prime minister but fell out with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1998. He was caught trying to take Dr M’s job.
For the absence of an Anwar, PM should be grateful, though we may not. In S’pore, we have the likes of Tan Kin Lian, Tan Jee Say, s/o JBJ, and Mad Dog Chee clowning around. WP Low has characteristically stood aside, affirming that he is only a co-driver, not an aspirant driver. he is too modest. While he is certainly no Anwar, he is a cut above the two Tans, Mad Dog and s/o JBJ. He is no clown. He is a serious, systematic chap who knows his limits. Sadly, he has limited aims for the WP.
Another reason for PM to be grateful.
Related post: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/rebuilding-trust-the-pap-way-one-step-forward-two-steps-back/