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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 31 October 2010

The battle for Galas-2

As soon as we get into the Kelantan border beyond kampung Merapoh in Kuala Lipis, our sights are assaulted by waves of PAS banners and flags. The Kampung nearest the Pahang border here is Kampung Mentara is obviously a PAS stronghold. We immediately feel, judging from the volume of flags and banners, that this is PAS territory.
I had to calm my friends who are travelling with me. They are accustomed to the UMNO/BN way of handling by elections. This means, they are more at ease with the usual overwhelming firepower kick-ass approach. They prefer to see waves of party workers all over the country converging on a small town like Gua Musang. Then you would be assaulted by the sight of UMNO workers in vests, with walky-talkies and other state of the art communications gadgetry, crisscrossing the terrain with 4-wheel vehicles, the puteri UMNO troopers doing their rounds. It would be a boisterous affair and intimidating at times.
People in UMNO are more used to the big guy approach- declaring something in some official functions attended by busloads of people all over the country (including more people who will not vote in that area) ministers coming in and going out of managed functions, etc. so when you get into an area, where the UMNO approach is rather subdued, you get jittery. Can we win without firepower? These, you say are so unUMNO.
So, when you get a feeling that UMNO approach this time is rather subdued, you get thrown off balance. Perhaps this different approach taken by UMNO Gua Musang this time is an object lesson on a different approach.
UMNO Gua Musang in particular, has many things to prove. If this rather muted style is effective, will it be the new approach UMNO takes in future? To some, there's no money in this soft and muted approach. We can't get to use those Ninja Turtles (Toyota Land cruisers) anymore, we can't squeeze money from UMNO Perhubungan Negeri, and we can't demand to be treated as prima donnas.
Ada betul ke ini cara?
UMNO  Gua Musang and in particular its head Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah have the opportunity to educate UMNO on a new style of campaigning and winning the hearts and minds of the people.
This different approach is unnerving.
The new approach that is also a reflection of a government committed to engaging its citizens as real people seeks to honor its citizens as thinking people. We address people with real needs instead of digits. They are no longer 11,500 voters but 11,500 real people. So, we now disengage ourselves from the crass and crude methods of imposing our ideas on people. We refrain from using abusive language that vilifies our opponents.
For here, in Gua Musang, where issues are practically non eventful, victory goes to the party that makes lessor mistakes in public relations. Hence when I hear, the opposition parties have started going on the personal attacks offensive, I am thinking, they will lose.
Furthermore, we also know, sometimes that approach does not always work. In some places that highhanded methods creates antagonism and resentment among the locals. Just as in Galas for example. The majority have already made up their minds. If we overdo things, especially if we try to be smart-alecs, we can only create negative impacts.
I don't think we can do much in a Pas stronghold like Sungai Terah. Here the majority will not budge from placing their temporal and spiritual stakes with PAS. I went to the Chinese village of Kampung Pulai. Previously you will not see the presence of PAS flags and banners here. Now, you see them. PAS appears to have made inroads there. A group of party activists probably DAP volunteers were seen distributing leaflets. I asked for some to read which they readily gave. The issues are about the death of Teoh Beng Hock and the police shooting of the young Amirul.
But I am not unduly worried. If the overwhelming firepower kick-ass approach is not suitable to be employed by the BN and UMNO, it will also work the same way on the opposition parties. They may be able to secure some Chinese votes. But for most, it's about local issues.
We can't win people over with the usual barrage of vicious and spiteful personal attacks and using vile language. Even PAS has disowned this approach. So when its people resumed this attack mode, it will cost them votes. People will compare theirs with the civil approach taken by Tengku Razaleigh.
IN Kampung Sungai Terah for example, PAS and UMNO people get along very well each other refusing to allow political differences to divide them. A person's political preference should be respected.
DUN Galas does not require the heavy artillery approach and the aggressive techniques which can be intimidating. Here, a different style of political campaigning and hitting the stumps, which is now becoming apparent in Gua Musang and Galas. It's the patio or porch campaigning style. A house is selected and small groups gather to listen to reasoned arguments. They are done in a more sedate and civil manner.
I think because of these reasons, the BN and UMNO top leadership has delegated the primary responsibility of winning this Galas election to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
How does Tengku Razaleigh deal with Galas? I get a sense that he is going about employing psywar techniques rather than open warfare scorch earth take no prisoners method. The real battle is in the minds of people.
He has been servicing Gua Musang for 40 years. We just can't dismiss the impact of the man. Gua Musang is not an easy place to cover. Some places are easier reached by helicopters. Razaleigh Hamzah travelled by car to remote places.
Galas is bigger than the state of Selangor and DUN Galas stretches from the border at Kampung Merapuh right into the center of Gua Musang town. For first timers, coming to a new political terrain can be physically taxing. I hear a female DAP lawmaker vomited while making her way to Gua MUsang.
This different style is tiring because it involves a lot of legwork and grunt work. You engage people often in small groups extolling the virtues of your party. There are real and meaningful dialogues. And leg and grunt work is hard and consistent work that is not compatible with the lightning blitzkrieg methods the UMNO election juggernaut is more accustomed to. I hear some Perhubungan Negeri cancelled hotel bookings as Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said it isn't necessary to send overwhelming cavalry troops.
To win this election in Galas, requires a lot of legwork and the stamina of a long distance runner. That is why I think, the strategy employed by Ku LI appears to make effective headway.

It's also unnerving to the other side too. I asked a few people; they came back with similar answers. It's rather quiet they say. It's slow. This means, UMNO Gua Musang and Ku Li has been able to control the pace. You slow down your opponents too who are also accustomed to our version of scorched earth war tactics- demonize and vilify your enemy. PAS started that initially by disputing the academic credentials of UMNO's candidate. We mustn't forget that the majority of voters in Galas and Gua Musang are only Sekolah Atap qualified.
Banner and flag counts are poor indicators of influence and acceptance. Flags and banners are put up by people who get paid for doing that. It wouldn't surprise us that perhaps the same groups of workers are paid by both sides to put up banners and flags.
So I tell my travelling companions not to be unduly worried. Maybe this approach is in line with the desire of this election director, Tengku Razaliegh Hamzah to make it a low key affair. We mustn't also forget that this by elections is for the people of Galas to elect a representative who will serve perhaps, at the most for another 2 years before the next General elections.
Let's win this election in a way our opponents are unaccustomed with. Control the tempo and we control the outcome.


Anonymous,  31 October 2010 at 09:04  

I think Ku Li is doing it the right way. This is how elections should be run and not the usual gang-bang that we are accustomed to. But in Batu Sapi, the DPM is still dishing out mega bucks like it is his grandfather's money.So no matter what you say, Umno is still doing it the corrupt way.

Anonymous,  31 October 2010 at 11:23  

Taktik ini dinamakan memenangi hati dan minda amat berkesan pada zaman British dan Tunku Abdul Rahman dalam memerangi anasir komunis dahulu. Setelah berjaya memenangi hati orang melayu, kaum cina yang tinggal di kawasan pinggiran di tepi-tepi hutan dikumpulkan di suatu settlement di bawah rancangan Briggs yang mempunyai kemudahan-kemudahan yang baik dan terletak berhampiran dengan klawasan bandar, dan jugak kaum-kaum orang Asli terutamanya suku kaum Senoi dilatih untuk membentuk skuad elit oleh British yang telah dikenal pasti terlebih dahulu yang mempunyai kemahiran yang luar biasa untuk membunuh komunis di dalam hutan tebal belantara dari selatan thai ke johor dengan senyap dan berkesan. Gua Musang dahulu pernah menjadi tapak kuat komunis sebelum dikalahkan sehingga mereka melarikan diri ke Grik, sterusnya ke Betong dan di selatan Thai. Jadi tak hairanlah YBM Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh selaku Raja Tok Batin bagi orang asli selama 50 tahun di sana sanggup mengharungi hutan belantara demi untuk memenangi hati dan minda orang-orang asli di sana. Sebab itu suatu projek perumahan bernilai RM 300 juta dirasmikan oleh TPM, ini semua buah fikiran beliau

Anonymous,  31 October 2010 at 14:34  

Dato', Going slow tactics or Ku Lu fully understood that it makes no difference win or lose in this bye election.
UMNO cannot be detached from Ku Li in Kelantan. Without Ku Li, UMNO Kelantan will be totally wipe out and nothing will be left.
Jadi MT UMNO and all the UMNO warlords jangan perasan and jangan ada niat nak mempermainkan Ku Li walau pun Galas di menangi olih PAS.
So win or lose- tak ada apa apa and Ku Li will remain as he is and you bet! Unless there are too many idiots in UMNO who think they are better than Ku Li.
Just work hard and be honest, GOD willing you will win.

Quiet Despair,  31 October 2010 at 16:10  


You asked ada betul ke ini cara?
Betul sokomo bro. Tai tak syoklah.
Being so used to UMNO's brand of firepower,I rasa macam tak ada contest je.
Tapi ambo ndok Ku Li mene. Dapak Galah kelik UMNO semulo.
Ambo tok seh PAH mene.
Ku Li wanted the soft pysch war approach. But still PAS is accusing of phantom voters.
And yesterday the stupid NGO (KL people of course) created ruckus at an an MCA function by carrying Teoh Beng Hock's placards.
I dont think Gua Musang people care about a person who committed suicide.
I just hope that Anwar fella did not come to create havoc.
I see that Tun M and Khairy did not make an appearance.
Less people the better. Ku Li did say repeatedly it did not change the equation of Kelate Politics.
But for Ku Li's sake I want it to be his victory.
It is his future political stake.
And after reading reams on Galas, he's shouldering (galas) well and God will reward him. Insya-Allah.
P.S. Please stay there until results are out. We want blow-by-blow account from you.

Quiet Despair,  31 October 2010 at 19:19  

Teoh Beng Hock's sister Lee Lan was arrested for being rowdy at the MCA campaign in Galas.
She deserves being arrested. It seems she taunted the MCA people there.
But will this affect the Chinese votes??
And the IGP has warned about false rumours of troubles on election day.
This is really against Ku Li's call for a friendly election.
What has this people got to do with a contest solely between UMNO and PAS.
Trouble makers pure and simple.

Wenger J Khairy 31 October 2010 at 22:37  

Quiet Despair,

Will you fight if the same fate befalls your brother? Don't make fun of people who fight for their departed next of kin. Its disgusting and reflective of a poor upbringing.

Anonymous,  31 October 2010 at 23:03  

Quiet Despair...

You are really desperate lah.

Poor you. such warped logic.

Anonymous,  31 October 2010 at 23:18  

Padanlah dengan umurnya. Ku Li bukan pemuda lagi. Sesuailah dengan taktik psywar yang diketengahkan oleh beliau di Galas. Pemimpin UMNO/BN memang terkenal dengan taktik untuk melumpuhkan musuh poltiknya termasuk dalam parti sendiri. Pada saya apapun keputusan di sana nanti tidak akan mengubah gagasan 1Malaysia Najib yang semakin menggila.

Quiet Despair,  1 November 2010 at 09:59  

Wenger and Anon 20.03

If I sounded callous, I am sorry for that. It's got nothing to do with my upbringing where I have spent 30 of my 40 years abroad.
Maybe I didn't say the right words to get my point across.
Teoh's sister and brother-in-law have the right to fight for his death.
But it's the wrong place and the wrong time. Obviously they were being used by the NGOs who are for the rival camps.
And the pushing and shoving in two functions - MCA and Gerakan- to sign the petition for Teoh are not the done thing.
And in Kelantan, Teoh or Federal issues do not cut it.
Kelantan people are insular, parochial and care mainly for their own kind.
If you have studied, stayed and worked overseas, you would have seen that Kelantanese moved together to the exclusion of everyone else. They have their own associations.
Maybe the boy Aminul Rashid's issue may dent the votes, but not Teoh.
Ku Li knows well his state people and that is why he warned of confrontational campaigns.
He stopped short of saying non-Kelantanese are not really welcomed and worse if they bring their brand of politics.
Have you noticed that the Chinese in Kelantan are not like us in the west coast. They have assimilated well and even speak the Kelantanese dialect.
Here, we talk to you in Bahasa pasar to accomodate you. There everyone kecek Kelate.

Anonymous,  1 November 2010 at 10:13  

To Quiet Despair,

I hope your god will have mercy on you when it's your time to depart from this world, voluntarily or involuntarily.

Greenbottle 1 November 2010 at 16:39  

aiyahhh...ku li mau low profile sebab dia tak mau budak khairi and his gangs of hooligans making the same stupid mistake during his 'pade doh' 2008 fiasco in kelantan.

also, ku li tak se tengok puak2 korup umno bowok kreto besar2 menyibok gi gua musang cari akar kayu buat ubat tenaga batin dari ore2 asli...

and you umno people kena ingat ore gua muse suka ku li buke suko UMNO... ku li dok parti mano pong dia boleh mene lawan proven by his semangat 46 days not too long jange prase lah weh!

Anonymous,  2 November 2010 at 12:13  

“Have you noticed that the Chinese in Kelantan are not like us in the west coast. They have assimilated well and even speak the Kelantanese dialect.”

I don’t know what is so unique about Kelantan Chinese, but I do know they live under a ‘unique’ Malay government. If you wish to see more Chinese to be ‘assimilated’ the way Kelantan Chinese did, vote PAS.

And btw, Chinese Malaysian is always willing to ‘assimilate’ if the majority are 'ready'.


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