Unless there has been a decisive swing in favour of the BN in the last one year, the projection could be a tat too optimistic bearing in mind that the BN had lost additional seats since the 2008 General Election and took a pretty severe beating in the 2011 Sarawak state election.
Anwar: Pointing the way towards Putrajaya
Voices of the People
Away from the seat of power and, depending on who we listen to, the feelings vary vastly. Here are some examples that I had picked up.
A retired Punjabi Lt. Col. of the Malaysian Armed Forces: “There will not be a general election. Close to the expiry date of the Parliament, an emergency will be declared and election is postponed.”
It sounded a bit over the edge. I told him: “We are dead if parliamentary democracy is suspended for whatever reason.”
An Indian dermatologist: “Najib (Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister) is popular. He works hard and is doing a good job. But are the BN and Umno popular? What about the people around him?”
A Chinese consultant working for a government-linked company and an ardent supporter of the Prime Minister: “There is an improvement in Chinese support for the BN – maybe two or three per cent more.”
A Malay executive of a BN-linked company: “Isn’t this an election for Anwar (Anwar Ibrahim, the parliamentary opposition leader) to lose?”
(He also told me that his mosque in Kajang received extraordinarily high donations soon after the disbursement of the BR1M allocation and some members of the congregation told him that they had donated their BR1M for mosque activities.)
A Malay driver: “I asked my form three son to go to a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah near my flat and tell me what they said. He came back and told me ‘they talked about the submarine and Rosmah’s ring.’” Rosmah Mansor is the Prime Minister’s influential wife.
A bank clerk whose bank distributed BR1M: “They came to collect their money wearing their party shirts.”
(She was referring to people wearing Pas and PKR shirts and t-shirts when collecting their BR1M allocation.)
An expatriate Malaysian upon being told that she received a letter from the BN signed by Mohd Najib: “Ha ha, after all these years? How much are they offering me?”
A Kedah Umno operator: “We are going to work closely with the pondoks. They have rejected Anwar.”
A Malay student of a private university and a first time elector: “The Federal Territory Minister sent me a postcard welcoming me as a voter, but nobody has come to solicit my vote and the votes of the people in my area.”
An influential Umno veteran: “If Najib win big, he will become even more arrogant. So are the people around him. We must be prepared to criticise him. I will. If he does not do well, Umno will show him the door like Pak Lah (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Prime Minister Mohd Najib succeeded.)
I asked him what he meant by Mohd Najib being arrogant.
He said: “When he first became PM I could tell him things. Now he tells me things. He is very confident of himself.”