Post Kajang By Election


Azmi Sharom

The Kajang by election is now over. It did not capture the imagination of Malaysians as a whole because naturally we were more concerned about the fate of the tragic flight MH370. Now that it is all done and the PKR has won as expected, what can we learn from this little political episode?

Very little actually. The result was not a surprise as I don’t think many people thought that the BN would win. Neither did anyone really think that the BN would lose their deposit. Lim Kit Siang’s call for the by election to be a referendum against the BN and its treatment of Anwar Ibrahim was perhaps a tad optimistic. The fact of the matter is that the conviction of Anwar Ibrahim is not going to convince BN supporters to switch sides.
No matter how unjust it may seem to his supporters, the shock of his first trial and poor treatment at the hands of the authorities is something that lies in the past. The lines are now already drawn and those who support the Opposition and those who support the BN are more or less fixed as can be seen by the almost identical results of the Kajang by-election.
Of course both sides have decided to spin the results in their favour. The MCA claim that they are slowly getting back Chinese support while the PKR has pointed to the fact that they have obtained a bigger percentage of the votes and that there are signs that the Malay vote and the youth vote are in their favour.
They both may well be correct, however the numbers we are talking about are very small plus the low voter turnout also means that any analysis could not be very accurate. So where does this leave the political situation in Selangor?
Actually, as far as I can see it is back to square one. The whole reason that PKR forced the by election was to get Anwar into the Selangor state legislature and then hopefully have him appointed Menteri Besar. That can’t happen now and so everything remains the same as before.