I Have A Dream – A Day When Money Can’t Buy Votes

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Jan 19 2009
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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C, stock) was splitting (what happen to the financial supermarket buzzword? *grin*) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC, stock) was getting a whopping $138 billion government bailout. What a major milestone in the history of American capitalism. Nobody dares or cares to predict the bottom because the fact is the United States will keep spending billions or trillions, if need be, to revitalize the ailing economy. Intel Corp. reported its net profit plunged 90% to $234 million while Motorola, Oracle, Microsoft and even the Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG, stock) is laying off their greatest asset – people. Who says Google wouldn’t chop their staffs even though it’s still very profitable? It’s a cruel world out there.

One day before Barack Obama is to be sworn in as the first black U.S. president, the stock market is closed in honoring the slain civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. – famous for his “I have a dream” speech more than 45 years ago in 1963. Now everyone is waiting for Obama’s speech Tuesday with 85% polled said it will be an excellent or good one. On the contrary it appears the Malaysian PM-in-waiting, Najib Razak, could be having problem leading the country, let alone commanding the respect from the people in Mar 2009 when current PM Abdullah Badawi is expected to hand-over the crown to him. If the result of just concluded by-election, Kuala Terengganu, is any indication to measure Najib’s approval to become the new PM, he fails.

Not only did the opposition PAS won with a stronger majority of 2,631-vote margin, the opposition also gave the still-arrogant ruling party UMNO a run for their “money” and a hard kick on the butt by wrestling the parliamentary seat. The 2,631-vote margin might be less than the expected figure (5,000 to 8,000 majority) but there’s so much the opposition can do against the wealthy ruling government who has been claimed to be spending up to RM1,000 (per-vote) in vote-buying. Even two journalists were not spared when they suddenly given envelopes containing RM600 although the purpose for doing so is still unknown (to write that the loser has win instead *scratching my head*). It’s hilarious to read how the Chinese voters were bribed with early “ang-pows” worth RM200 each only to donate it to the opposition, not to mention for the dinner hosted by opposition.

Martin Luther King UMNOHowever when all the news were drumming that the Chinese voters were the kingmakers and should be treated like a spoilt-brat, the by-election result surprisingly showed that the Chinese still voted the ruling government. Almost everyone called the Chinese cowards and deserve to be secondary citizens who could be easily bribed with RM35 million of Chinese schools and projects goodies but revelation by RPK seems to makes sense. With a whopping 8,000 police personnel stationed in Kuala Terengganu and the multiple threats and intimidation from ruling government to avenge the Chinese voters should they voted for the opposition, who can blame the old and conservative Chinese voters not to pee on their pants? There were more than 1,000 young Chinese voters who didn’t turn-up, most probably because they’re saving their leaves for the long Chinese New Year holiday which is 1-week away.

But the icing of the cake was the theory that the Chinese voters somehow “knew” it would be the Malay voters who would swing big to the opposition hence there was no need for the Chinese votes. To save their businesses from being targeted as part of the “retaliation” operation by the ruling government later, the local Chinese voters decided to give enough votes to the UMNO to paint a picture that the Chinese are still with the ruling government but at the same time give the remaining votes (40% to 45%) to the opposition and let the Malay votes deliver the ultimate “punch”. It was a brilliant strategy if you ask me, if only this was made known to the opposition strategists. It was just like the “Art of War” whereby you lure the enemy into an area while you prepare the final assault on another main target. So while the Chinese voters were the red-herring where the ruling government spent days and nights trying to suck-up to, the Malay voters were slowly convinced to deliver the blow.

And to read that Najib (and his wife) was actually speechless with the defeat but brave enough to declare that the latest defeat was just a temporary setback is laughable. However credit should be given where it’s due and you should be proud to have a leader like Najib – how many of us could pull a thick skin and shamelessly hide our head under the denial-syndrome mask and smile over it? Yeah right, the country can never go into recession. Tell to tell that to the retrenched workers after the Chinese New Year dude.

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