The results did not come as a surprise to me because as I had said in the May 24 posting that the Bugis warrior who is known for his "cash is King" strategy would succeed in retaining both seats.
I had also elude to the fact that in the 2014 by-election in Teluk Intan the Barisan Nasional's carpet bombing had led to the ouster of the incumbent DAP. The BN has always had the upper hand in a by-election.
Also I should be the last to be surprised by the difficulty of changing the mindset of the voters away from the Umno/BN hegemony.
The burden of responsibility is mine too. For nearly four decades I inculcated in the minds of the Malays that Umno is their protector and the BN is the best party to rule.
What surprised me is that despite the revelation of the wrongdoings of the Prime Minister, (Datuk Seri Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sanrobone), Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, with the collusion of the BN, the people still gave their votes to him and his party.
Sadly, their decision would only embolden him not only to continue defending his wrongdoings but to commit new ones if he so wishes.
But the blame is not on Mohd Najib and his cahoots alone. Those who voted for the BN must also feel ashamed that they had allowed his handouts and promises to influence them. They literally sold their votes for pittance.
Apart from "cash is king" there are other reasons for the BN's victory. Among them are:
1.There is the pervasive climate of fear. There were still many Malays who feared that if they did not vote for the BN they would be penalised. These are people who directly depend on the government like civil servants, policemen and soldiers, and those whose children are enjoying scholarships or are hoping for one, or who are waiting for government jobs.
2. The racial card played by BN by demonising that DAP and the Chinese, and whoever working with them. Unfortunately for Pakatan Harapan (PH), some Chinese had played a trick on them. Many who voted for the opposition during the 2013 General Election changed side on June 18.
There is a reason for this. With the pouring of cash and the promise of development projects, the Chinese, being traders and businessmen, would stand to gain. The Malays would spend the cash at Chinese shops and the Malay contractors would cede their contracts to the Chinese tauke.
3. The splitting of votes between PH and PAS gave the BN the boost. Had there been no vote splitting, the BN could have been defeated or at least not winning so handsomely.
4. Umno and the BN are not strong but the opposition due to the inter- and intra-party rivalries had literally shot themselves in both feet.
5. Hopefully things would not be the same at the General Election. The BN resources would be dispersed and the peer pressure among voters would be stronger. But the opposition must be prepared to be more united.
6. The stumbling block is PAS. Mohd Najib had succeeded in turning PAS into its mercenary soldiers. They are doing the fighting for him.
The Togo Syndrome
If we still fail at the coming General Election to make the changes, we must be prepared to suffer the Togo syndrome and run the risk of moving even closer to becoming failed state.
Togo in West Africa is the most unhappy country in the world, according to the annual World Happiness index produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative under the United Nations. It is also one of the poorest in the world.