Truthfulness can be a factor in winning polls


Kuo Yong Kooi

Yes, the word ‘harapan’ (hope) is a valuable word indeed. One need to look no further than Barack Obama’s first term presidential campaign, he was lactating hope to the electorate. It was the right theme to be used at the right time. The American electorate had enough with George W Bush’s lies about weapon of mass destruction and war on terror. They were suffering from war fatigue, with over-dosed daily news of dead soldiers returning from Iraq in body bags.

Of course race is a major factor in all of Malaysia’s elections, but one should never underestimate that truth may be a major factor in the future general elections. One needs to feel the pulse of the electorate a few months before an election to ascertain that.

I think the newly-born opposition pact should ponder and act on the word truth, because without truth there is little hope. Truth and hope comes together. The rakyat had been drowned with lies for the past few decades by the Umno regime. All the rakyat need from the opposition politicians is a little bit of truthfulness in their dealings. Truthfulness will win hearts and mind.

Obama’s ‘hope’ theme had totally lost its shine when he campaigned for his second term presidential election. This is because the electorate has seen his policies in action prior to his bid for the second term presidency. Of course let’s not deny that there are other factors like the first time a black man is running for office in the White House was not there during his bid for a second term in office.

Let’s extend that argument to the case of Anwar Ibrahim’s Reformasi 1.0 and 2.0 bid to get the rakyat’s uprising after he lost his sodomy trial. One needs to ask why that oomph factor is not there when it comes to the urging for Reformasi 2.0 movement. It is unfortunate that the rakyat has seen Anwar in action leading the Pakatan Rakyat pact.

I do not want to sound crude by criticising a man languishing in jail at the moment because of the politically motivated prosecution orchestrated by the Umno regime. We have to examine sincerely why the oomph factor is not there now as compared to Reformasi 1.0 so that we are able to find new and effective ways to move forward.

Let’s for argument’s sake; hypothetically assume that Tuan Guru Nik Aziz is in jail at the moment instead of Anwar, I don’t think the Barisan Nasional government will still be standing today in this scenario.

What I am trying to get at is the late Nik Aziz has got the truth, honesty, humility and simplicity qualities in him that win the hearts and minds of the people. My intuition tells me that PAS will lose Kelantan in the next general election because of these factors are not there now under the current crop of PAS leaderships.

It is important that the new Pakatan Harapan pact get these basic ‘truth and humility’ factor in their heads in planning for the next election. Of course if the economy collapse before the election, we all know what will be the major factor in determining the outcome of the election.

You can use smart political analysts to calculate all the statistical possibilities, internal and external polling to maximise your probability in winning an election. What Malaysia is hunger for now are those qualities that the late Nik Aziz had. I believe that if the opposition pact got those factors right, It will transcend the major race factor in the coming elections.

This is because the race factor has peaked in the last GE13. Malaysia is split right in the middle due to party loyalty and race factors in the last election. Any further agitation on the race issues will not give BN more votes, in fact it will lose more because the East Malaysian king-maker parties might tilt in favour of Pakatan Harapan if Umno continue on this current path.

The Malay heartland is also sick of Umno scandals and lies, too. There will be many fence sitters willing to vote for the opposition come GE14. But if they see politicians in the opposition camp behaving the same as Umno, then what is the point for them to cross over? It’s safer to stay with Umno because at least they said over and over again their rights will be protected.

Take for example the first minor hiccup by the Pakatan Harapan faced at the launch on the issue of why PSM was not invited to join the newly-formed pact. I personally know a few PSM character, they will not lie on this matter. I personally do not know YB Ong Kian Ming or Khalid Samad, but from the fact that they both point their fingers back to Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says a lot about where the source of the idea of PSM’s position on Article 153 come from.

I am a hundred percent supporter of the opposition cause. I expect some truth in this matter. It does not matter if the truth hurts, I think by speaking the truth, the opposition will get somewhere in the next election. DSAI tried things like Azmin misunderstood my hand signal, that’s why the barricades in Bersih 3.0 was breached, I will retire if Pakatan rakyat do not win GE13 or the roundabout ways to explain why the “Kajang move” was initiated. That is why Reformasi 2.0 movement have got no oomph factor this time round.

My guess on the reason why PSM was not invited is because PKR wants to please PAS in case they decided to turn up to the roundtable talks. We all know that Hadi Awang is allergic to PSM. If Dr Wan Azizah says that as the truth, I will forgive her straight away and move on, in fact it does not matter what the truth is. The rakyat is hunger for truthful speaking politicians.

We do not want to see another roundabout explanation as Umno usually does. Umno politicians never say sorry, in fact they always said it is someone else’s fault or someone has mis-quoted.

It is great to see Hanipa Maidin saying sorry, we need more politicians like that. These are the qualities that the rakyat are yearning from their politicians, to be able to say sorry. If Pakatan Harapan continue to uphold and practice on the qualities of the late Nik Aziz, then the electorate will see that it is worth it to take a few days off from work and take the few hours bus ride from wherever they are to come back to vote.

Truth feeds hope.