London Bridge is falling down?

In his analysis, Kian Ming found out that the percentage of those aged 35 and below voting for BN has decreased by 4.4 per cent while those from 35 to 55 decreased by 1.5 per cent and those aged 55 and above decreased by 0.8 per cent. 

The Borneo Post

THE Kuala Terengganu by-election is over, with the opposition once again toppling the BN in a by-election with a convincing victory of 2,631 vote-majority.

On the day of the by-election last Saturday, I received calls from as early as 5.30pm asking about the results.

Such was the enthusiasm shown by the people although the by-election was held far away in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

By 8.30pm, I received a text message from a senior journalist based in Kuala Lumpur while sipping a cup of cappuccino at a coffee chain in town and the SMS went like this, “London Bridge is falling down. PAS wins with 2,631 votes against BN.”

One may say the result should not be a benchmark for the looming state election which has to be called the latest by the fourth quarter of 2011.

But I beg to differ as the Kuala Terengganu by-election result has confirmed one thing, that the political tsunami or avalanche as some people may be fond of calling it, is for real and that it should not be taken lightly as former Gerakan president Tan Sri Lim Keng Yaik had done when he brushed it off as “just a breath of fresh air”.

After the March 8 general election, the Permatang Pauh by-election had been seen as a barometer for many political parties and analysts on the effect of the so-called wind of change blowing in the country which has been ruled by the Barisan Nasional for five good decades.

The overwhelming majority obtained by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is instrumental in the formation of the Pakatan Rakyat consisting of PKR, DAP and PAS confirmed that change is in the making in the nation’s political landscape.

The KT by-election result has confirmed that the people of Malaysia are ready and have no qualms about having a change of government for the better.

A doctorate student, Ong Kian Ming, in his analysis on the KT by-election noticed that there was a surge in the number of young voters voting for the opposition.

Despite the swing in Malay votes towards PAS which he regarded as insignificant and the strident claim by MCA that they have maintained or even increased the Chinese votes, Kian Ming cautioned that the result should be worrying for BN for the fact that the younger voters are more inclined to vote for the opposition.

Two million young new voters are expected to register with the Election Commission by the next general election and this group of Generation Y will decide who will rule the country.

In his analysis, Kian Ming found out that the percentage of those aged 35 and below voting for BN has decreased by 4.4 per cent while those from 35 to 55 decreased by 1.5 per cent and those aged 55 and above decreased by 0.8 per cent.

He also found out that younger voters are less susceptible to vote buying.

So, let us come back to the next state election.

I was very blunt with a former assemblyman recently when he asked my opinion on the ground sentiment as I did it in good faith with no malicious intention.

With 71 state seats up for grabs, my prediction would be that the urban Chinese seats would see a disastrous outcome for the BN component SUPP which lost eight seats out of 19 seats it contested in the 2006 state election.

With PBB likely to contest in more than half of the state seats, a former political secretary predicted that a skeleton few may fall to the PKR should the latter take on PBB.

The former political secretary is not so optimistic with the view that the opposition would form the next state government but he did not rule out the possibility of the opposition denying the BN the two-thirds majority if no urgent or drastic effort is forthcoming.

Regardless of anything, no one should take the KT by-election for granted as we have seen that the old politicking method is as good as a nostalgia which is no longer appealing to the young voters.

Handing out of monetary fund and casting fear of racial tension do not bother the voters anymore as they have access to the Internet who aspire for a corruption free, transparent, accountable and a fair and just society.

As one senior politician put it: Changing the people may not be the best solution as what matters most is a change of mindset.

But there is this old saying which says we cannot teach an old dog new tricks.