#GE13: Phantom voters, election tactics & ballot boxes in Sarawak

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Almost all blue in Sarawak last night.

It was evident that after the election results were announced, there was dismay on both sides of the divide. The National Coalition, BN failed to wrest a comfortable 2/3 mandate, and eventually lost more than they gained, while the loose People’s Alliance (PR) failed in their attempt to win Putrajaya.

The results was disappointing for both sides as it was evident that PR has made inroads in some of BN’s strongholds, namely Sarawak, Sabah and Johor. Things do not look good for BN in the next five years when another election is set to be called.

Despite that, we have some questioning the result, with them saying the Election Commission (EC) was not fair. Whether it’s true, I do not know. I wasn’t at the places said to have ‘some incidents’ happening, nor am I sure if the things really happened. It’s all word of mouth, and this is subject to fabrication.

Despite the huge calls for ‘Change’ this time around, it does seem that most of us seem to forget a few little things after the results were out. Some seem to have vented their frustration online by making abusive remarks, and others are calling the EC a cheat.

Regardless, some have been also calling Sarawakians and Sabahans as ‘unwise’ and ‘not smart’ because we ‘helped’ BN back into power. Well, we ‘helped’ alright, but name calling is so uncalled for. Also, the term ‘voting wisely’ has never been gazetted as meaning ‘voting for PR’.

It amuses me how before the poll comes one said ‘come back to vote’, and the followed by ‘vote wisely’, but ended up scolding the choices you may have made.  It’s as if they think the words ‘come back to vote’ is short form for ‘come back to vote PR’, and ‘vote wisely’ is a hidden meaning for ‘vote PR’. Bull.

On top of that, let me also shed some light on the reasons PR was defeated in Sarawak (since I can’t speak for Sabah as I was not there). Please note that my six points below are based on what I have seen myself:
1) PR election machinery failed to challenge BN – There were posters, flash mobs, and many more, but they were not effective. Posters were ill designed (too small to even read), and not strategically located.  The videos online were limited to a small fraction of voters, who may either be disgusted by the constant call for change, or enjoying the ridicule made.
2) PR focused too much on the slogans ‘Ubah’ and ‘Ini kali lah’ without explaining to the rural folks why they wanted to get into power properly.
3) PR brought in national issues which were not the main concern of Sarawakian rural folks. Issues like corruption, Althantuya, prices of cars etc are less significant to NCR, resurfacing roads, and providing electricity. BN on the other hand made promises of more development, and at the same time showed indication of trying to ‘finished off what they have promised’.
4) PAS brand of politics has made many non-Muslims fearful of voting for PR. Sarawak has over 70% non-Muslims, go figure.
5) PR continued pointing fingers, but failed to deliver themselves in rural areas. BN on the other hand gave handouts, which although may not improve the people’s well being, helped solved some problems they face.
6) BN has a good track record in town areas they have won. For example in Petra Jaya and Santubong, they have ensured some teething problems are dealt within the past 5 years, while PR were seen unable to exploit any issues except for calling for ‘change’.

Well, the above are merely my opinions, and I know some may not agree with me. Either way, I think this GE13 has brought some very positive results for Malaysia in general with extremist like Ibrahim Ali being voted out from Parliament.

Also, the voter turn out was the biggest ever this time around with a whopping 80% coming out to vote, and now no state is safe for anyone. Even the Johor, Sabah and Sarawak which some claim to be ‘fixed deposits’ seem shaky.

The unfortunates are the racist claims are getting even louder among hard core political party supporters, there were reports of ‘extra ballot papers’, and there was a lot of lies and deceits moving around during campaign period.

Money politics was also used in broad day light, although I’d argue that receiving money does not mean you’d be voting for a particular party.

One things for sure, if I had the power to add in ballot papers and appoint ‘phantom voters’, I’d ensure I’ll take a 2/3 majority this election. Well, it didn’t happen last night, did it?

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