MARCH 19 — What was supposed to a resounding victory for PKR en-route to Putrajaya has been thwarted by a number of unlucky events for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim despite the standing-in of his most loyal political partner and wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Three major turns have taken place since Anwar’s announcement of his intention to contest in the state seat of Kajang N25.
First being the coup deal between Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and the federal government. Some say, it is just an MoU which can come to nothing at the end.
However, the far-sighted view is that it could forge an impasse within PKR that is meant to hobble Pakatan’s reach to Putrajaya.
Kajang residents, on the other hand, were found to be unperturbed by the water shortage with as high as 65 per cent of Malays saying they are not affected by the recent water shortage and they believe that the water rationing is due to the dry season.
Likewise, relatively few Chinese voters think the water rationing is due to the tussle between the state and federal governments, and also blaming it on the dry season.
The second event was Anwar’s jail sentence of five years, which caught everyone by surprise. Our polls show that 46 per cent of the Malay respondents think Anwar is guilty but they also think the judiciary is being manipulated.
Although Malays think Anwar is guilty, it doesn’t mean they don’t believe that governance is not being compromised by the BN. Is that why what was to be another wave of reformasi at the Kajang Stadium on March 7 barely made a sizzle?
Or, could reformasi have been revived if not eerily overshadowed by a third event? That of the missing Flight MH370. World news has not stopped spinning since, thus edging PKR’s what was to be a headline — rousing campaign of injustice to Page 8 or 9 snippet. Chinese voters, initially fumed by the sentencing have also been doused by the nation’s grief over the MH370 incident.
Only one per cent of the Chinese respondents say they think he is guilty, but it doesn’t mean that they think he is innocent. They just feel that the sodomy charges are irrelevant for an opposition leader who offers them a hope of change. As such, they will continue to support
Pakatan in Kajang.
CENSE estimates give PKR 56 per cent Malay support, 82.5 per cent Chinese support and 67.5 per cent Indian support.
However, our poll is expecting the turnout rate for the Malays is likely to be lower at about 75 per cent, but high for Chinese and Indians at about 90 per cent. Simple as it may seem that the Wan Azizah-Anwar Ibrahim team may indeed get a more than 10,000-vote majority from the 6,824 previously.
However, neither party will come out happy with this result. As politics of greed would have it, a 10,000 to 12,000 majority is a far cry from being mentri besar, much less compensates a jail term.
As for MCA, the cool reception towards Wan Azizah doesn’t mean that the Chinese no longer believe in the opposition. It means reaching a self-imposed benchmark of 30 per cent Chinese support is much harder in regaining its status as the second largest party in the coalition.
*Fui K. Soong is the CEO/Director of Centre for Strategic Engagement (CENSE) political research and policy communications think tank.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.