In the 1999 General Elections, Najib almost lost in his hometown, Pekan. He had won by a wafer thin margin of just 241 votes and speculation was rife at the time that the controversial postal votes got him through. The standing joke then was; although he was subsequently appointed Minister of Defense elections many (including those in BN) referred to him as Minister of Post.
Those tracking results of the Sibu by-elections today would have felt a sense of deja vu if they remembered Pekan 1999 and especially after Najib's last-minute, last-ditch, 3 hour whirlwind 3rd campaign visit to Sibu yesterday.
Official results were expected at 9.00 pm latest and by 8.14 pm, with 103 out of 110 voting streams counted, DAP was said to be ahead by 3,944 votes. By 9.00 pm the unofficial margin stood at 2,590 with 109 streams counted but the Election Commission had delayed the announcement of results pending the postal votes! The EC also stated that it was revising the voter turnout figure which for the whole evening was said to be 59.86%. The stench of a rat was beginning to permeate.
Finally, at about 11.00 pm (2 hours delay) the EC announced that DAP had won by a margin of a mere 398 votes. The turnout had been revised to 70% and of the declared 2429 postal votes; 70 went to DAP, a whopping 2,323 to BN, 36 to the Independent, and 208 were Rejected. What did the "postman" try to do? Was an attempted "fix" averted because of too many watching eyes? Or was there actually a "fix" to avoid showing a defeat of landslide proportions? You decide! Whatever it is, the easily abused postal voting must be removed from our elections process.
Read the Malaysiakini report on the Sibu by-election day before watching this must-view video, "Selepas Tsunami" (I understand it is deemed not seditious) that tells you why the Rakyat is still pissed off after 8th March 2008:
Selepas Tsunami (After the Tsunami) from Pusat KOMAS on Vimeo.