If Anwar can make a comeback, so can Najib

    (Updated )

    LETTER | My prediction on BN'S win in the recent Semenyih by-election came true. Am I sad about the outcome? To be honest it is not about who won or lost that bothers me but the behaviour of voters in responding to the campaigns by both parties that led to the outcome.

    In GE14, the voter turnout was 87.9 percent from a total of 53,527. A total of 67.71 percent being Malays and the non-Malays represented by 32.2 percent of the electorate. We can see that voter turnout was lower because many didn't really care about the by-election and nearly 6,000 votes swung from Pakatan Harapan to the BN-PAS alliance.

    What concerns me was the fact that the BN-PAS alliance won 59 percent of the Malay Muslim votes while PKR votes came from 41 percent of the Malays and the rest from the non-Malays. It is quite clear that the voters of Semenyih were divided by race and religion and the absence of outstation voters (mainly non-Malays) also had an impact on the outcome.

    What made some Malays to change their alliance to the Umno-PAS tie-up despite Najib Abdul Razak's legal issues. He appears to be a hit wherever he goes. Is it a case that most Malays believe that Najib is not guilty and is being framed?

    What's the probability that the mental mindset of the Malays is not being driven by issues but rather by emotions? I believe BN knows this and for this reason, their campaign focussed on the issue of race and religion and how the religion and the sultans will be affected by a non-Muslim attorney-general and that the government is purportedly controlled by the DAP.

    BN over the years has planted enough negative images of the DAP. Many forgot that in the early days of independence the minister of finance and the AG were not Malays and yet they were acceptable.

    Harapan failed to understand this and failed to show that they are responsible to protect the interests of the Malays and Islam. They did not demonstrate the ability to protect Islam and Malay interests but focussed on Najib.

    During the election, BN purposely planted issues about government leadership to supposedly demonstrate that the current leadership did not protect race and religion. Harapan was caught flat-footed.

    While we hope to see that this country will move away from race and religion-based politics, clearly this cannot be done now as our society has been brainwashed. The only way is to ban any political party that is based on religion and ethnicity.

    It is sad to see how our community is being divided like this. We should live as one but having seen how the ethnic divisions in this country have been widening from the 60s till today, I often wonder whether there is any hope for the future generations of this country.

    Make no mistake - Umno is not down and certainly not out and Najib will return. After all, if Anwar Ibrahim can make a successful comeback, Najib's return is a possibility. It will happen. The question is when.

    The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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