Many thought the Malacca state election would be a battle between Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan.
Many also thought that the 1MDB saga and the other mega-bucks corruption cases in court would sway the election outcome.
Some even felt that the bitterness over the PH collapse during the Sheraton Move last year would be a key factor.
But strangely, many did not notice how Barisan Nasional flags had blanketed Malacca in the run up to polling day.
Some will take comfort in the low voter turnout – 66%, down from 85% in the 2018 general election – as a factor in the PH loss.
But the truth is the BN win did not come out of the blue, amid the turmoil surrounding PN and PH. It is a sign of things to come in the next general election.
It is time for a rethink. After three years of exposing BN’s failures and mega-corruption cases, why did the voters give BN a commanding two-thirds majority in the state election?
Is there a serious disconnect between politicians, the government of the day and the people?
Just before polling day, many quarters felt this state election was too close to call. Without the election campaigns of pre-Covid times, voters seemed to have already decided who they would vote for.
The short-lived PH government, the ‘backdoor government’ after the Sheraton Move, the truce government of PN – all these must have made a deeper impression on voters far away from Kuala Lumpur.
Who did not know that there was a convicted criminal whose court appeal is pending, canvassing for votes and acting like a celebrated hero or ‘Boss’.
Who does not know that the Rulers had given their blessing for PN to heal a politically deeply wounded nation.
But the votes went to BN!
Perhaps PN will now have to build bridges with PH – and other smaller parties like Gerakan and myPPP – to prepare itself for the general election.
If PN remains inert, then it may be construed that it is part of a larger agenda to facilitate the return of the BN government, which has ruled the nation for six decades.
If PN partners BN, it will only confirm how both sides were involved in the Sheraton Move. This would be a windfall for PH, which could exploit the issue, provided PH works the ground from now.
Malaysian voters are mostly not reformists and their 2018 experiment could not survive a full five-year term. Believe me, this has nothing to do anymore about racial trends in voting patterns.