Six more months of good time before Election?

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Oct 15 2007
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Now that the Muslim festival, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, has entered its third or final day before the stock market re-open tomorrow, the shift has been on the sustainability of the bull which could see the charges gaining momentum towards the year-end window dressing. After that you have the Chinese Lunar Year celebration which falls on early of Feb-2008. Analysts, investors, punters and traders are equally excited with the stock market as almost all of them are optimistic the bull will be around – at least till the middle of next year, 2008.

Just like how the Chinese are damn sure their government will not let the stock markets crashing down before the Beijing 2008 Olympic event, Malaysian are doubly sure the current bullish sentiment will remains as any huge sell-off will not be “nice” for the current ruling government which is expected to call for snap election, rumored to be in the first quarter of 2008. Already, unpopular decisions which might backfire had been put in cold-storage temporarily although more and more scandals were trying to squeeze out from the Pandora box.

Pre-Election – play down problems, crisis and scandals

Malaysia’s Petronas pushing for gas price hike was discussed but no concreate decision was made (or rather delayed?). The scandal of which Port Klang Authority has racked up debts totaling about 4.6 billion ringgit (US$1.3 billion; euro960 million) because of problems with the Port Klang Free Zone was quickly swept under the carpet. The announcement by Works Minister Samy Vellu that the nation will see yet another toll-hike on Jan-2008 saw a fast response from Deputy Prime Minister Najib who said it has not been approved (yet). With the global oil price above US$80 a barrel, the government can’t wait for the election to be over to announce a fuel-hike.
Malaysia Crisis ScandalsMongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu, a murder victim, whose remains were destroyed with C4 explosives, is seeing her case somehow crawling at snail’s pace now. Altantuya had an extramarital affair with Abdul Razak Baginda, a defence and political analyst who is a close friend of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak. Interestingly the involvement of the elite police, who answer only to Najib, has raised questions about whether the deputy prime minister had ordered the bodyguards to do something about Altantuya.

Judge Brokered videoclipIt appears the internet generally and the blogosphere specifically have accelerated the pace the internal crisis and scandals being exposed, one after another. The latest being Malaysia’s Judiciary was compromised with the video-clip about how top judges were brokered, not that the judiciary was any better with the action by former premier Mahathir to put the judicial pillar at the mercy of Executive a.k.a. Prime Minister back in 1988. You saw the lawyers marching to the Putrajaya pressing for “Save the Judiciary” only to be played down by government’s controlled-media.

“Feel-Good” propaganda machinery on the move

Of course in the process you saw Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz took Nazri says lawyer crazythe express-lane to label the lawyers as pro-opposition and “crazy lawyers”. I already talked about how this scandal can be twisted with ease – just demand the whistleblower to reveals him or herself or else the half-past-six government (term awarded by Mahathir himself) can declare the video-clip was a fake and there’s no case after all. Instead of focusing in determining the authenticity of the video-clip, the three-man panel is more interested to find out who’s the whistleblower with obvious intention to punish him/her.

Really, it’s not that difficult to check the authenticity of the video clip. Since the authority already flew their people to United States for a holiday trip to beg the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) to help enhance the clarity of the blurred web-camera image of the person carrying the sports bag in which Nurin Jazlin Jazimin’s body was found, you don’t need a rocket scientist to ask for assistance from the same FBI on the video-clip’s authenticity. Furthermore if the United States can determine the authenticity of video-clips of terrorist Osama bin Ladin, how hard could it be to determine Malaysia’s own videp-clip?

Astronaut feel good electionFortunately the government has something in their propaganda card – the sending of Malaysia’s first angkasawan (I refuse to use the term astronaut because the NASA Space Station Crew’s Profiles and even the Russia Federal Space Agency said Muszaphar was only “Flight Participant”) which caused some people jumping for joy thinking it was the Malaysia-made rocket that sent the Malaysian to the space. Never mind that Malaysian was blasted off as a space tourist – part of the arrangement for the $1 billion Russian arms deal. Never mind the Malaysian space tourist was wearing Russian-made pampers up there. There’s zero achievement but with the easily-illusion voters out there, the ruling government will not let the opportunity passed by without pumping heavy marketing around it. What better way to create “feel-good” factor by glorifying the “well-spent” $30 million dollars?

Oppositions Always Lose

No matter how hard the oppositions scream their voice out on nation’s mismanagement, corruption, unfairness and stupidness, the ruling government is expected to win again in the next general election. Even if all the Chinese and Indians vote for oppositions, the existing government will remains victory. One has to remember that in the 2003 delineation exercise, the Elections Commission (SPR), had added 26 new parliamentary seats and 63 state seats especially in the states where the BN had performed very well in 1999. This redrawing benefits the ruling party tremendously. It’s like within the same population boundary, its “1 seat for opposition, 3-5 seats for ruling party”. It’s a battle opposition can never win, even until the cows come home.

DAP Supporters transferredIf the above is not enough, the Elections Commission (are they independent?) can always impress you with their creativity. Somehow, the DAP (one of the opposition parties) has discovered an influx of new voters in another one of its parliamentary seats. Checks showed here was a sudden increase of 1,835 voters in the Ipoh Barat seat held by DAP Vice-Chairman M. Kulasegaran. Not only that, secretary-general Lim Guan Eng claimed that on top of this increase, voters which were deemed supporters of the DAP had been transferred out. Earlier on, the Ipoh Timur parliamentary constituency held by Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang had swelled by 8,463 new voters in three months. What was even strange was the sudden increase of 3,208 postal voters in the constituency even though there are no new army camps or police stations in the area.

With the country’s wealth, nation’s machinery and the media at their disposal, no wonder the ruling government won the general elections since independence and will always win the future elections.

Assuming the election to be held on Mar-2008 and give-and-take another 3-month for the feel-good factors to die off, you might have less than 9-month for the bull to chase its tail before the game is over.

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