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Friday, August 12, 2011

Pakatan will take over in GE-13: "I feel it in my bones"

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:15 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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In the wake of the Bersih 2.0 rally for free-and-fair elections and given the many blunders made by Prime Minister Najib Razak in handling recent issues plus the "messy" way in which the country was being run, expectations for the Pakatan Rakyat to take over the federal government is high, come the next general election.
However, some remain unconvinced by the forecast of prominent academic Wong Chin Huat, who expects Pakatan to win 100 seats, 18 more than in the last general election. In the last general election, Barisan Nasional grabbed 140 out of the total 222 seats avaliable, losing its two-third majority.
Wong believed that the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally may help push Pakatan Rakyat's 2008 tally of 75 federal seats to a whopping 100 seats. That would mean 12 seats short for the PR.

Man on the street says ...
William Kee, an IT person felt that it would be tough for the PR to take over the government this general election. “Sarawak is different. The recent win of 15 state seats did not mean that it will be easy for the PR to win the Parliament seats. The Malay areas will be difficult to unseat while the Dayak, who are the Kingmaker did not realize the power of their votes. No matter how great the Chinese swing over, it’s only those few seats so the 100 seats have to be won without much help from Sarawak,” he said. At the moment Sarawak has two parliamentary seats, Bandar Kuching and Bandar Sibu (won in a by election last year).
Kee said at the rate the world economy was going, the election was likely to be set for November. Najib, he added, knows that if he delayed the election, it would be difficult to win seats when the pains of a sharp downturn hit the people full force.
Ralph Jewat, an Iban said he did not think it would be an easy win for PR in Sarawak. “Most of the Dayaks still believe in the government no matter what the Opposition says. A lot of the older Dayak think it is disloyal to go against the government.”
However, he personally is going to vote for the Opposition as he had moved to the city 15 years ago and seen first-hand how his people had been taken advantage of. He is also trying to persuade his elderly parents to vote against the government, but without much success.
But BN people want to vote for PR too
Ling HL, who is a member of a BN party, said the PR will take over for sure this election. Having seen the mess in her own party, Ling said most of her own comrades also wanted a change in the government. ‘There are too many things that are not right with the government. In the end, all the people will suffer while those in high places talk and talk and lie and lie to be voted in again,’ she said with disgust, referring to the electoral fraud.
One of her friends, Joyce who is in the committee of the same party said life was getting too difficult for the ordinary people as the government continued to turn a blind eye to the real issues in the country. “Instead there is too much politicking including in our own party. Everyone wants position and power but no one wants to work. So how do you expect us not to be disappointed? A lot of our members voted for PR in the state election,” she pointed out.
State Assemblywoman for Pending, Violet Yong felt that it would be difficult to break into the Dayak and the Malay areas. “Despite DAP going multi racial and PKR being multi-racial and PAS, things look difficult. But we must do our best to ensure that the people’s right are protected under a clean and fair government, unlike the present one,” she said.
Yong said the Bersih rally had created awareness among the urban people but in the rural areas, most were still unaware of what Bersih was all about.
I feel it in my bones
MP for Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen said he felt it in his bones that PR will take over the government in the coming election. He reasoned that Sarawak and Sabah are no longer Barisan Nasional fixed deposits. "The recent state election where PR won 15 seats tells me so. We are going to win maybe, 10 to 15 seats in the coming election (for Parliament seats).”
Chong said there were a lot of Dayaks working in the city, who were educated. “The awakening of the Dayak will make the change in this government. For too long, they have been oppressed and robbed of their own lands and are suffering with the rest of the people, whereas those high up in the government live super-high lifestyles.”
He expects the election to be in November as he believes Najib could not hold on to power much longer due to UMNO internal conflicts and the crash in the world economy. Najib, he said, would want to fight out this battle and put in his own people into the Cabinet, which currently is an inherited one.
Pakatan expects 110 to 112 seats
Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin said PR is ready to take over the government this time round. “We are very positive about the election and from our estimation; we could get between 110 or 112 seats. I think Sabah and Sarawak can deliver 15 seats. It is achievable,” she told Malaysia Chronicle.
Zuraida said the 15 PR seats won in the Sarawak state election has given them a lot of hope. "We are making headway in Johor, Kedah, Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Pahang. The people are just fed up of being poor with an uncaring government," she said.
Having gone down to the ground, being poor and dirt poor is common in this country, Zuraida observed. “The people who stay in the flats are just living within four walls. The living conditions are terrible and the BN has never tried to change the lives of these people. When I go into the rural areas, again it is the same thing. Malays, Dayaks, orang Asli, they are living from hand to mouth. This situation has to change,” she added.
According to Zuraida, the Wanita PKR has embarked on a ‘Wajah’ programme to educate women on issues and to teach them to be aware of their rights. “We have to get the rural poor to bring change for themselves and not to be scared or just wait for little handouts from the government in exchange for their votes,” she added.
Whichever prediction comes true, Malaysians should realize that it is make or break time for themselves. What Zuraidah has pointed is true, the people hold their destinies in the palm of their own hands. May they choose wisely in GE-13.


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