Sedia Gempur or Reformasi?

By Straits Mongrel, SABM

The skies were a threatening grey by 8 o'clock. It would surely be a matter of minutes before the rain poured. In the backdrop of the numerous pondok panas set up at the Barisan Nasional's gathering point, the Port Dickson sea was etching dark and gloomy lines. But inside the pondok, a different sentiment permeated. Panas indeed.

Overheard: "Today, we change the story. No way dia boleh menang 8-0 (in the peninsula)."

Yesterday was Nomination Day for the Bagan Pinang By-election. Barisan Nasional – which runs the Negri Sembilan state government – was in earnest mood to show that the coalition has been retooled, recalibrated, and ready to rumble.

It displayed the character which is now so familiar to the people of this country – yesterday, the weather notwithstanding, the ruling party flexed its machinery.

Thousands of BN supporters showed up in a display of might and organisation. Many were ferried in by buses. They came clad in crisp uniforms, and bore proud flags. And true to the microcosm of real-life Malaysia, they grouped together in clusters either in their respective component parties or ethnicity. There was Umno in darah red, MIC in vermillion, IPF in its star-imprinted shirts, Puteris in pink and many more.