The other side of the story by Wandering Troubadour is taken from http://wandering-troubadour.blogspot.com/
Armchair warriors who wrote comments on the Manik Urai by-election sitting comfortably from their study rooms based on information that they skimmed through the Internet at best hit the outer ring of the target if not missing hitting the board at all! It is interesting to note that many did simply just that -- write from afar basing their opinions on those who make a living on writing news.
I was there smack in the middle of the war, espionages and counter-strikes. And BN has never been dirtier.
The amount of money that changed hands with voters was simply unbelievably high that almost every household can have a one-month holiday to savour their fortune. Only the Almighty knows the extent of their guilt and no mortal soul can claim that what they did was immoral, as nobody knows who voted for whom, at least for most of us that is.
It is amazing what money can buy. Maybe RM50 per voter did not work anymore but RM500 hooked even the very hearts that loathe corruption. They reason in their heads that it was a gift and hence free from any sin whatsoever associated with it. It was a meagre sum to the haves but a windfall to the haves-not. For a household with three voters, they took home a month’s equivalent of a wage.
But in a climate of distrust alternative plans were laid in abundance. Coming from multiple sources, voters were spoilt for bounties. Some walked away with three sets of gifts each giving a person’s take-home present of RM1,500. All one had to do was to wait for the go-between to approach him or her. It was a case of supply outstripping demand.
Keeping people (read voters) at poverty level and on the brink of starvation almost always pays in the end. They can easily be bought. After all it is not often such a by-election comes their way. Opportunity comes-a-knocking, it is a gift from above.
RM500 per voter was at most RM5Million. Considering three sources each armed with RM10Million, a total of RM30Million were spent with RM15Million going directly to voters and the rest as usual fall off the gravy trains into the hands of local warlords.
The majority of the people were veiled by beauty of dough and sweet smell of the ringgit and simply cast aside wafer thin belief in favour of worldly reward. Greed and selfishness are traits of human beings that will inevitably surface when income is scarce and food is hard to come by. BN knows this very well since their very existence and struggle is about nothing but money.
Analysts are coming out with a host of reasons for PAS’s dismal performance or BN’s success in gaining more territories. Some attributed BN’s “success” to Najib’s 11 points reward to people for allowing him to remain up to 100 days in power and also his “contributions” to economic excitement. I want to simply say “Bollocks”. This is what the BN think-tank would like us the public to believe. But if they themselves believe the spin as well, it spells disaster for them comes the 13th general election. We wait patiently for that day to arrive!
PAS and PR as a whole must not buy the argument that BN is gaining ground as a whole. However, the opposition cannot simply brush it aside either. BN has the “Money” part or access to it with little effort. But in the long run, tycoons’ and “taipans’” patience are running thin and coffers are running dry. If the economy that is very much in need of tending were left to roam in the wilderness, come the 13th GE, BN rats will scuttle to hide in their holes.
The best part of this whole episode is that BN still lost despite all these brilliant manoeuvrings. Chinese people say luck is not on BN’s side. The British may call it lady luck chooses an opposing side. But Muslims say that it is an intervention from above, divine and oft-punishing.
BN simply cannot afford to continue this method in a general election or even a state election. Perak will prove to be a situation best kept as it is. By not seeking a fresh mandate BN can sit pretty at least for a little while until the 13th general election. It will bring little harm but it will not remove the bigger problem of impending defeat. A defeat it will be, albeit a delayed one.
BN desperately needs a reversal of fortunes. It is, however, proven to be very elusive. When BN refuses to accept that their way is the wrong way, their struggle is not a genuine struggle, and that the people can no longer be hoodwinked, what choice do they have but to go back to the old drawing board. Again they have to lay another plan. They plan and Allah also plans; and He is the Best of Planner!