Picking up the Remains of the Bagan Pinang By-Election

By Masterwordsmith

What is left for the country when all kinds of bizarre excuses are given for a win or a victory in a by-election? Who is going to take responsibility for the outcome which has only served to fan the burgeoning pride of the status quo which does not at all reflect sentiments at the grass root level?

I know I can be emo sometimes, but the current scenario in my country or what's left of it make me want to rant and pinch myself many times to have a reality check in response to the cry of outrage that rises from my heart. So here I sit before my laptop, riddled with doubts, pessimism, anger, shock and even bewilderment in response to the Bagan Pinang by-election to ask this simple question: Hey dude! Is this my country?

By now, most of you would have seen the many responses to the by-election. Allow me to present my humble views. Please do not misconstrue my intentions. I do not wish to lambaste PR. Neither do I want to laud and magnify BN. Humbly, my desire is to give a fair and objective opinion of the scenario, based on my readings and interaction with those who were there at Bagan Pinang. Let's look at the situation with eyes wide open and learn a few lessons to be prepared for other by-elections in the future.

1. Long-term Strategy and a Blueprint for Victory

It is obvious that Pakatan Rakyat does not have a practical and effective blueprint to strategize its course of action both as a united coalition and as individual component parties in their effort to be the next ruling government. Despite its convincing and resounding March 8 2008 victory and also that of other by-elections, component parties of Pakatan Rakyat are not really that united and seem to delight in coming together as a cameo appearance in a drama where the winner that takes it all would be the one that has the machinery, strategy and money to knock out its opponents. Let's examine the issue at a more micro level.

Firstly, the old adage of "pride comes before a fall' rings true. In the light of past victories, some seem to be overconfident, arrogant, myopic in vision, clueless in strategy and quite indifferent to the fact that to succeed, PR has to move as a composite unit, completely gelled together to the extent that even if a tsunami were to hit them, they have the capacity to stand firm, strong and united. Did they consult each other to plan and to execute their plan so that their man could win?

Secondly, in the Bagan Pinang by-election, many PR supporters thought that the voters would vote for the PAS candidate for the sake of PR. Hello – get real!! Every area has its own unique population whose ideals, psyche, inclinations, aspirations, mob behaviour and public opinion may differ from other areas. One cannot wrongly assume that just because PR performed well in the past, the same would occur in Bagan Pinang. It did not. Such foolish, idealistic and complacent thinking seriously undermined the performance of the Opposition to the delight of the status quo. Right from the start, I knew PR would lose as it sent its poorly trained soldiers to battle ground with absolutely no vision, message or media/communication/campaign strategy and it does not surprise me at all if many returned battered, disillusioned, angry and clueless as to what should be the remedy for an inner tumor growth that is slowly weakening the coalition whilst some stubbornly refuse to face reality, choosing instead to live in their cocoon of ridiculous excuses for the loss.

Contrastingly, consider BN. Why did Isa win?