It has been 4 ½ days since the Prime Minister announced the dissolution of Parliament but the Barisan Nasional campaign engine seems to be having a tough time to get started.
This is in spite of BN getting almost every piece of good news it had wanted to communicate out over the weekend.
- Big flag waving rally – check.
- “Putrajaya mesti dipertahankan speech” – check.
- RM 2,000 BRIM – check.
- Kerabat DiRaja publicly attacking the Opposition – check.
- Polling on midweek day – check.
All check – everything seems to be ready for takeoff.
But hold on, is it me or does the BN plane seem to be stuck on the tarmac.
Sometimes it even feels that it is going backwards.
Is it waiting for a clear runway? There is nobody else.
Come on, the opposition plane led by the ‘only leader in the world who raised 3 billionaires’ has taken off and is doing somersaults. It has travelled North, South, East and West, and successfully made numerous landings and takeoffs.
Then why does it seem that the BN machinery is struggling to even get off the runway.
The Rembau Times perception is that the entire BN campaign seems to have been stunned into a state of fear and panic.
Maybe the following events are actually related :-
1. In the North we hear of people throwing rotten eggs onto the BN stage.
2. In the Klang Valley, we saw a person angrily tearing down BN posters.
3. In the south, we saw over 30,000 Facebook comments ‘ dissenting’ with the Crown Prince’s “sincere advice from the heart” that his subjects should not vote the only man in the world who managed to raise 3 billionaires.
4. The Chief of the Army also made a very surprising comment in which he publicly backed down from his previous statement that the members of the Armed Forces should be loyal to the Prime Minister but instead said that they should instead be loyal to King and Country.
Of all these events, I think item (3) is the one that shocked the BN leadership the most.
This is because “prima facie”, a public declaration of support by the most influential Royal household in the country, who rules in the Bluest of Blue state, should have been considered as ‘game, set, match and Championship’ as far as the elections are concerned. Johor is a must win state for Pakatan to win Putrajaya, and was the focus of much of their campaign efforts.
And this too from a Royal House that at times has been willing to make known certain strong opinions to the Prime Minister. In fact, Rembau Times cannot find any large poster of the Prime Minister, or the Captain, in the vicinity of Johor Bahru. To get this level of endorsement must have been extremely difficult and no doubt would have been impossible to imagine a couple of months back.
If the powerful House of Johor publicly supports the current ship and captain, what other endorsement does ‘the ship’ require in order to sail past these stormy waters?
Initially, many pro BN commentators bloggers were jumping up and down as they saw this as the clincher. The Crown Prince of Johor’s statement to stick with the ‘BN ship’ was used by TV3, some ‘Naina’ level politicians and the pro UMNO bloggersphere as political ammunition to prematurely declare victory.
But something very strange happened afterwards.
Today, nobody wants to even mention this statement anymore.
The Pakatan Harapan ship has happily shrugged it off and steamed along their way to drum up support in the heart of Najibland. The BN ship is eerily quiet, like a ghost ship.
Why – This strange set of events is because of what I call ‘the croc in the billabong test’, or as the Malays would say, ‘air yang tenang jangan disangka tiada Buaya’ test. The test is quite simple and of great practical value in places like the Northern Territories, Australia.
Just throw a rock into a billabong and see what happens.
If nothing happens, then there may not be any crocodile in the water. It may be safe to swim, and politicians can make political capital spinning any silly lie they want to.
If however you see this happen :-
Then you are sure there is a crocodile in the water and BN politicians should best be very very wary when making statements. And that goes for all politicians, regardless of their respective ‘Naina’ level. Through more than 30,000 comments, the rakyat made clear the follwing message– “Tuanku, this ship tak boleh pakai lagi”.
Note: Simply put, a billabong is like a pond , whichy can dry out if there is a prolonged dry season.