Azmin Ali, the deputy president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR – People’s Justice Party) is the last person on planet Earth you should trust. An ex-UMNO, he’s a two-headed snake that cannot be trusted. In fact, he’s more venomous than Islamic party PAS’ President Abdul Hadi Awang. If both are snakes, then Azmin is a cobra while Hadi is a python.
A python usually eats its prey many times larger than itself. After ingesting such a mammoth meal, it needs time to rest peacefully and begin digesting their prey. Because it can’t bite off more than it can chew, a python greedily swallows everything. And that’s when you move in to catch or kill the snake. It will be defenceless and needs days or weeks to digest, rest, relax and recuperate.
Unlike a python Hadi Awang who likes to show off to all and sundry how much they can swallow, a cobra, on the other hand has hood that expand out like a half umbrella to make itself appear bigger and scarier. Cobras have also developed an elaborate system of bluffing to intimidate their preys. And cobras will gladly dance to your tune before they strike and kill you.
So, while Hadi Awang would not think twice about the consequences of screaming hudud law, hugging a super-corrupt leader and telling the world that his PAS “would rather herd the cows of UMNO than the pigs of DAP”, Azmin Ali is a better strategist who prefer to use his brain instead of his toes to think. For that reason, Azmin is more venomous than Hadi.
Nevertheless, both are snakes and cannot be trusted. It appears both PKR and PAS are locked and couldn’t agree on the formula for the coming by-elections in Sungai Besar (Selangor state) and Kuala Kangsar (Perak state). Like a python, Hadi Awang wants both seats while cobra Azmin is still dancing for one seat – Sungai Besar.
Hadi Awang’s argument of wanting both seats is nothing more than they were traditionally contested by PAS. He conveniently ignores the fact that it’s “not their birthright” but merely a “privilege” by virtue of PAS being the opposition parties. However PAS’ “license to contest” has expired after Mr. Awang drove the party to become an UMNO-friendly party.
If UMNO is allowed a straight-fight with PAS, there’s no guarantee that Hadi Awang would not play drama and pulls his candidates out of both seats to give UMNO a walkover, as a special gift to PM Najib Razak. That would be a spectacular screw-up if opposition DAP, PKR and Amanah do not push for a multi-cornered fight.
Therefore, Azmin has no choice but to push his party for at least one of the two parliamentary seats. With his boss – Anwar Ibrahim – in prison feeding mosquitoes, Azmin has to demonstrate that he’s a leader who can negotiate and not subject to intimidation by PAS, a party who technically has crossed over to the evil and corrupt UMNO camp.
Azmin is trapped in the Selangor State Legislative Assembly where he’s leading the state government with 29 seats – DAP (14), PKR (13), Amanah (2 – splinter of PAS). The opposition is made of UMNO (12) with support from friendly party PAS (13) plus Independents (2). In the 56-seat assembly, Azmin’s position will be jeopardised with just one assemblyman defecting.
But why did he dare to allegedly threaten to sack three PAS exco members from the state assembly if the party still insisted on contesting in Sungai Besar, knowing very well it was PAS who supported him as the new Chief Minister during the “Operation Kajang“? The simple answer – this is nothing more than a stunt from drama queen Azmin Ali.
By threatening to bite the same hand that feeds him, it would make him look cool and awesome. Suddenly, Azmin Ali looks like badass Donald Trump. All the assemblymen from DAP, PKR and Amanah have little choice but to rally behind him. This will strengthen his position. At the same time, he’s also helping enemy Barisan Nasional to retain the seat.
Without the Chinese voters (31% of 42,837 eligible voters) behind PAS, the Islamic party is doomed to lose big. With Hadi Awang and Azmin Ali pretending to be at each other’s throats, opposition votes will be split in a three-cornered fight with UMNO. Clearly, PM Najib Razak has already prepared to celebrate a sweet victory before the by-election began.
However, there’s another secret reason why Azmin’s strategy of serving both sides of the political divide could bring in handsome rewards, without even Hadi Awang and Najib Razak realizing it. One has to analyse the results of Sungai Besar’s past elections in 2004, 2008 and 2013 to understand it. The political tsunami happened in 2008 and 2013, not 2004.
In the 2004 general election, PAS lost with a whopping 7,349 majority. It was the golden age of former PM Abdullah Badawi where he won big after resignation of highly unpopular Mahathir Mohamad. Between 2004 and 2008 general election, PAS took home 7,988 votes and 11,060 votes respectively. Still, UMNO managed to win with 5,009 majorities despite the tsunami.
What is particularly interesting is the 2013 tsunami – the ethnic-Chinese Tsunami – as some would like to call it. This round, PAS’ votes skyrocketed to 18,296 votes or 49% of total votes cast. Roughly 90% of ethnic-Chinese votes went to Islamic party PAS. Based on turnout of 88%, at least 10,231 of Chinese voters had blindly voted for PAS.
Now, based on a national poll done by the Merdeka Center last year, the crucial Malay vote bank for Najib regime stood at an alarming 31% in August 2015, as opposed to 52% in January 2015, thanks primarily to 6% GST implementation and RM42 billion 1MDB scandal. That’s a 21% plunge in potential ethnic-Malay votes.
Assuming ethnic-Indian votes were split 50:50, and 90% ethnic-Chinese votes went to PAS, it means PAS only managed roughly 31% of ethnic-Malay votes in 2013. In other words, UMNO managed a razor-thin majority win of 399 votes due to 69% of ethnic-Malay votes. And that was achieved “before” the introduction of GST and 1MDB scandal’s explosion.
Hence, if the same 21% plunge in Malay votes polled by Merdeka Center still stands today, the results of the coming Sungai Besar by-election could be modeled based on the following assumptions:
- PAS will get only 5% of Chinese votes, remaining 85% will swing to PKR, while BN to maintain 10% of hardcore Chinese supporters.
- About 20% of angry Malays will swing their votes out of UMNO, and are to be captured by both PKR and PAS equally (10% each).
- Amanah, a splinter of PAS, is able to swing 10% of PAS votes to PKR. Since this is an urban seat, this is highly possible.
And voila, based on the modelling results, PKR can actually capture the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat with 1,562 majorities, even if there’s a three-cornered fight of PAS-UMNO-PKR. Of course, if PAS were to pull out at the eleventh hour under the instruction of supremo Hadi Awang, and direct supporters to vote for UMNO, it’s game over for PKR.
Still, the key voters here are the Chinese. The party that can attract the Chinese block of votes will have the upper hand. And it’s up to DAP and social media to swing this huge block of Chinese votes. Therefore, can you see why Azmin Ali will emerge the biggest winner no matter which side of bread is buttered? That’s why the drama queen is threatening to sack PAS exco members.
If the modelling works, Azmin Ali can confidently lead PKR in the next 14th national election with a huge win in Selangor, eliminating PAS entirely. He would not have to depend on PAS for support anymore, as long as DAP stays behind him. Heck, he can even advice Sultan of Selangor to dissolve the assembly – before Najib calls for a snap national election – and win the same way Adenan Satem did in Sarawak.
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