Devoid of substantial and real issues, “buy-election” seems to be the Opposition’s current favorite catchphrase, as they try to wrestle Barisan Nasional (BN) in the dense political jungle of Kerdau and Merlimau by-elections.
In Kerdau and Merlimau, as in all the other by-elections before that, the opposition has been trying to employ hard and fast strategies to gain voters’ support. One of them is by accusing BN of buying their way to victory through a flurry of project announcements by BN leaders – hence the catchphrase “Buy-Election”. The strategy calls for the opposition to incessantly complain publicly that BN is committing corruption and breaking election rules by dishing out election goodies during campaign period. And to show they mean business and give credence to the allegations, police and Election Commission (EC) reports will be lodged by their leaders.
But what many people don’t realize is that the opposition’s cry of “Buy Election!” is actually a well crafted and well rehearsed “fail-proof” political strategy. Consider this: If they win the by-elections, opposition will say that despite BN’s spending spree, the rakyat still choose the angelic Pakatan Rakyat and have spoken against corruption. And if they lose, it will be used as an easy excuse to justify a “dignified” defeat by that evil and cruel BNl! Ahh... can’t have it better than that.
This article is not so much about the strategy which is clearly a desperate attempt to win votes. It will be touching on the sheer hypocrisy of Pakatan on this matter. But if you don’t mind, let’s digress a bit.
With the Kerdau and Merlimau campaigns gaining momentum by the day, imagine a Twitter conversation that goes something like this:
PR guy: (with angry emoticon included) Bloody BN buying votes with $$$! BN is corrupted 2 the core! That is against EC rules what! Stupid BN! They only know how to bribe people! Unlike them, PR is always very gentleman & never do such thing lah friend!
BN fella: You think so?
PR guy: Absolutely! This evil BN must taste its own medicine lah! And EC as usual is bias one, I tell you!
BN fella: Hmm... me think not!
PR guy: (with irritated emoticon) Now why wud u b stupid enough to say that hah? How much BN buy you ah, friend?
BN fella: Let’s see. Remember Hulu Selangor by election (17 April to 25 April 2010)? Didn’t Anwar & Khalid dish out goodies to get Hulu Selangor votes?
PR guy: Bullsh*t?!! R u nuts or wht?? My Anwar will nevr do that! U better tarik balik!
BN fella: LOL.. If u want BN to stop, ask PR also lah!
PR guy: Shut up!
BN fella: Hah3.. whatever lah friend!
What that BN fella said is absolutely right. Well, remember this:
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim announced the abolishment of quit-rents for shop houses in Hulu Selangor. (Source: New Straits Times, 20 April 2010)
What about this:
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaking in Hulu Selangor and promising 100,000 land titles to poor homeowners in the constituency. In addition he said, “… there is also the Orang Asli, whose land is being whittled down by development. The state government will have to allocate them reserve land and I think the state has agreed to this.” (Source: 'Hulu Selangor voters prove a challenge to Anwar'. The Malaysian Insider, 13 April 2010).
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had presented bonuses to all village chiefs and Jawatankuasa Keselamatan dan Kemajuan Kampung (JKKK) in Hulu Selangor on 20 April 2010. The bonus to each of them is RM1,381 which amounted to a total of RM616,000.(Source: Kerajaan Selangor bayar bonus kepada Ketua Kampung, JKKK, SelangorKini Online, 21 April 2010).
And don’t even make me start talking about the infamous Nik Aziz’s campaign promise of heaven if you vote for PAS. Heck, come to think of it, not only was it a cunning form of vote buying, it is the ultimate sly attempt by an old soldier to buy your very own soul!
Such is the audacity of Pakatan Rakyat!
*This article first appeared in THE MALAYSIAN DIGEST website.
*Some information were taken from articles previously published in THE NUTGRAPH