Can Mahathir defeat BN in the next GE?

August 7, 2016

It all pivots on the question of what is the price of crude oil per barrel from now to the next GE.

That in my opinion is the key determinant.

If the price of oil is stays below the average median of USD$40 from now till the next GE. I think it will be uphill for BN.

Under those constraints if BN is to win the key constituencies in the mainland. They have to seriously consider an alliance with PAS…otherwise their chances of garnering the votes in the Northern districts especially along the rice belt would be very shaky.

As that is where the opposition will most likely place their heavy guns and contest very fiercely.

As for the cities, it’s a foregone conclusion, BN will lose spectacularly. But this hardly matters as the number of votes is not reflective of the number of seats. This is the way politics is conducted in Malaysia and Singapore. This I am certain has already been factored into the calculations of the BN planners.

However if the price of oil is able to maintain a median average of USD$80 per barrel – it’s very unlikely the new opposition party will ever be able to make significant head way…their attempts to gain ground will be blunted.

BN will win by a landslide.

Everything hinges on the price of oil.

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‘UMNO and BN in the towns and cities is an invisible party….the average towner probably doesn’t even know who their MP is. Neither does he care and this is not unusual. Not at all.

But in the kampung, UMNO is very well organized along sectarian, religious and communal lines. This should not come as a surprise. As since Merdeka (independence) it has had nearly 70 years to perfect it’s super complicated ritualized way of maintaining discipline along with engineering consent…this especially so in the kampung (rural) districts. There is layer after layer of command and control structures and it’s very hierarchical from the YB (Yang Berhormat: MP) to the Penghulu (village headman), Imam (cleric) right down to the grassroots common villager.

Say what you want to say, but from what I have been able to make out the system is first class and virtually unbreakable.

In the kampung people are very simple minded…they can be manipulated very easily – that is why when Najib says his money is a donation….very few people understand this statement is directed at predominantly village folk. That is his target audience. In opinion Najib has gambled right.

To understand this one needs to understand history. Najib is the son of Razak. The second PM of Malaysia. Razak was a great visionary. He is regarded as the benefactor of the planter till this day. It’s not uncommon even today to visit plantations only for one to find a framed picture of Razak (you come to my plantation, you will also see a framed picture of Razak beside the pic of the Agung)…that is how well regarded he is by the planters. The father of modern commercial farming in Malaysia. Added to that Planters are very strange folk. They live by their own social code that starkly differs from orang Kota (city dwellers). In the rural district, when the son is in trouble….they will still support him as the memory of the father runs deep in their psyche. They never forget. Their attitude is, ‘biar lah!’ (It matters not). So the son can do no wrong. As the father was considered a peka gentleman and that by itself exacts loyalty.

People in the cities don’t understand this concept, but in the rural districts – they have deeply etched memories, that is why they slap their foreheads with a sense of incredulity…but in the kampung this is quite normal.

Kampung folk generally don’t care very much about 1MDB to them it’s a very distant concept that cannot be imagined – first they don’t know what it is…or even how many zero’s make up a billion and even if they do, they can’t possibly see what it all has to do with their way of life or even how it might affect them.

It is what it is!

At one level, it’s not inaccurate to say kampung folk are by nature ignorant…and that is at least truth to some degree otherwise what can possibly account for their bovine response to 1 MDB.

Besides most kampung folk have only known UMNO all their life – even PAS along with their appendages such as Al Arqam is quite a new concept….and since kampung folk still venerate the idea of the monarchy. It’s likely that religion, ritualistic tribal practices, kinship along with tradition will still play a preponderant role in moderating the final count of votes.

Personally I do not see how an opposition party can ever unseat UMNO in the kampung (rural district) especially the farming belt in Perak and Northern Johor, Kedah and Terengganu….I believe the status quo will continue despite Dr Mahathir being a fire brand in the new opposition camp…I do not believe the opposition has either the resources or networks to break thru the kampung ritualized way of power and politics.

I rate their chances to be minimal to zero.

That is reality.’

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