Pakatan Rakyat, +65 vs Barisan Nasional, 0 in Manek Urai is a fallacy (actually it is PAS, +65 vs UMNO, 0) and therefore, reading the narrow loss (or victory depending on your side of the fence) in this Malay heartland as the initial sign of stemming the GE12 tsunami is premature.
Early punditry has thrown up a variety of observations; "Malays are split down the middle", "UMNO Youth Chief, an MU fanatic swung the MU youth votes", "the susceptibility to bribery cannot be reversed...the case of the Muhyiddin bridge", "respect for Tok Guru's has waned", "Najib's increased popularity was a factor", etc. yet who knows what exactly is happening.
One thing is for sure though; that Pakatan Rakyat is the panacea for all the country's woes is also a fallacy but it remains the only light at the end of a long tunnel if Barisan Nasional cannot change.
This piece by Hussein Hamid in The Malaysian Insider reflects my sentiments too:
The next GE is for Pakatan Rakyat to lose — Hussein Hamid
JULY 16 — I could write about what Anwar (as in Ibrahim) and what he represents for the many Malaysians who yearn for a Malaysia that is free from corruption, nepotism and all the promises that a “Man who would be King” can promise before his ascent to the throne... but I will not.
I could write about Mahathir and what he has done for our country in the years he has been in power — that he has made Malaysia into a conglomerate that made strange bedfellows of business and politics — where his brand of “take no prisioners” reign tolerated no opposition to his rule — where Umno and himself was the ruler par excellence… but I will not.
I could write about Pak Lah who came in with a bang and left without even a whimper… but I will not.
I could write about Najib, Rosmah, Altantuya, leaping frogs and things that go bump in the night — but I will not.
I am no card-carrying member of the “I am a Melayu/Bumiputera” brigade but I am a Melayu who has benefited greatly from the largesse of Umno in the years that it has effectively dominated the politics of our country.
The ills that are now so self evident in our country, in the systems that prevail in the country, in the police, in the failure of so many of our leaders to lead by example, in the virtual breakdown of our own self belief that we as Malaysians can get a fair deal from our elected leaders is a manifestation of the many years that we have allowed Umno to appoint leaders who have put self preservation before country.
Umno is the political party that the Malays had to have so that in time they will understand that the politics of greed and avarice will not only bring a country to its knees but also mean the Malays have lost their place in a country that they once call their own.
That we, as a race, have to pay so heavy a price for the follies of our elected leaders is now a reality. But the future has overtaken us.
The Malays are no longer alone in proclaiming that Malaysia is their country. There are others who have earned that right because over the years they chose to make Malaysia their home.
Too many Malays now understand that the division between “them” and “us” no longer exists. We are one.
Together we want change and it will come — but the process of growing up is one of trial and error, making informed choices of what is the right thing to do for our country and most critical, the tolerance and acceptance and celebration of one another as being different and yet united in wanting what is good for our country and for us. We have begun the journey.
Pak Lah started us on that journey when he unwittingly opened the way towards openness and decency in the way things were done. Anwar was released, the media could and did say things they could not say before, his ministers, MBs and Umno itself were unshackled and were given enough rope to act as they thought fit (and in the process, as we had hoped, hanged themselves).
The last general election is in large parts a result of these changes that was only possible when Pak Lah took his place in our history books — albeit at the expense of Umno, Barisan and, some say, the Malays.
But for most Malays it is a small price to pay for our entry into a real partnership with the others in Malaysia as we enter into an era of accountability and responsibility in the governance of our country that we now expect from those whom we elect as leaders — be they from Barisan or Pakatan Rakyat.
Pakatan Rakyat will need to negotiate a steep learning curve as it come to terms with what it can and what it cannot do when in power.
There will be opportunities to enrich themselves beyond what mere mortals can only dream of and some among them will succumb to the temptations.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely — again the heady emotions of wielding power at state level will make anyone salivate at the thought of wielding power at the federal level — what will they do to make that a reality?
Do what Umno has done? God forbid!!
Common sense tells us that “good intentions” alone will not hold Pakatan Rakyat together. What will? The spoils of wars?
Much too soon the unravelling of Pakatan Rakyat has started — what we see and hear in public must surely be the tip of the iceberg.
The union is too fragile and without cohesion to survive effectively unless there is unity in purpose.
I hope I am wrong but this I know. The next election is there for Pakatan to lose.