The great thing about the results of the Kuala Trengganu by-election is that the old politics of the Barisan Nasional will no longer work. The past winning formula – money, media and machinery – could not woo the voters to throw in their support for the BN.
The BN poured in money in the millions to tantalise the voters; it mobilised both the federal and state machinery to mount an aggressive campaign; it had the solid support of the pliant media to give the widest one-sided coverage. This was the winning formula the BN had consistently resorted to in the past with great success. But this time it did not work in its favour.
In fact, this formula was an utter failure in the March 8 general election. This same formula failed to make a difference in the Permatang Pauh by-election when the BN was given a drubbing. And for the third time in ten months, the old formula of money politics failed to deliver the votes for the BN.
Money politics has definitely lost its allure and the voters cannot be enticed into voting for the BN solely on goodies given and promised even more if they were to win the election.
Even fear tactics of dire consequences should the BN be rejected did not make any impression on the voters.
By now, the BN must be throughly lost and confused. And deservedly so!
If the BN fails to abandon its politics that has kept the people apart; if it doesn’t discard its unfair policies that reward its cronies and punish its critics; if it doesn’t openly condemn the extremists among its midst; if it doesn’t reject the bigots who destroy our harmony and unity, then it is doomed to become irrelevant to Malaysian politics.
21 January 2009