Rantau was a massive victory for Pakatan Harapan

The Rembau Times also touches on the great picture debate.

PKR Candidate denied entry into the Polling Centre at Rembau to contest against the Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan.

Nomination day is now behind us and many in Pakatan Harapan were initially very critical when some of the candidates put forward was rejected by the Election Council.

Some were disappointed because it seemed to hand over an easy victory to Barisan Nasional. However, there is a saying about it is better to lose a battle than to lose a war.

In this case, on hindsight, the controversy in DUN N27 Rantau, Negeri Sembilan has paid massive dividends for Pakatan Harapan.

Ganesh, most likely an MIC Supporter openly expressing his disappointment through a viral video at the manner in which the Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan secured his victory.

This is because this controversy has yet become yet another issue which is being played to the hilt in Pakatan Harapan ceramahs throughout the country. As we had said, this issue could affect Indian support for Barisan Nasional going into the final stretch before voting day on May 09th, 2018.

As MIC President, Dato Seri Subramaniam had said earlier that the Indian support for Barisan Nasional was very strong before Parliament was dissolved.  This is most likely due to a more level playing field provided by Dato Seri Najib to the community compared to previous Prime Ministers.

However, issues like these as well as cost of living issues can affect Indian support in the final stretch. Issues like these are emotional issues and the more emotional issues are created, the worse it will be for BN. In finance terms, ‘political volatility’ is bad for BN.

Updated 10th May

Negeri Sembilan state government fell during the election. Rantau fiasco was a factor.



Another issue relates to the removal of Tun Dr Mahathir’s picture from Pakatan Harapan election posters.

EC workers removed Dr Mahathir’s picture. Credits: Malaysiakini

We saw this as yet another bonus.

The idea of removing someone’s picture is related to a form of punishment called Damnatio memoriae. This was performed in ancient Rome and involved defacing or removing pictures of people termed to be traitors, even after they had died. Stalin too inflicted this form of punishment on people he purged during his reign.

That is why we we expected this to happen:

Minister of Defense, Hishammuddin Hussein Onn regrets EC workers cutting out Dr Mahathir’s picture. He said he would have wished that the entire billboard was removed.

Once again, you have to stand back and consider the ‘optics.’ The Minister of Defense tried to distance BN from the actions of the EC workers in cutting out Dr Mahathir’s picture.

The reason is obvious – Malays will be extremely angry to see such an act on one of the nation’s most respected leaders.

The most crucial aspect is that it took one day for the Minister of Defense who is spearheading BN’s campaign in the Northern Johore to issue such a statement. Plausible explanations are that this action ‘really angered’ a key voting segment that BN is relying on to deliver the votes next Wednesday. This must have filtered through until it reached his ears, hence he issued the press statement.

The picture of a leader holds great significance, especially that of a well respected leader. PH must accord Tun Dr Mahathir with that respect so that people are not misled into thinking that PH is using Tun. In fact, Pakatan Harapan should be very careful not color out the image of Dr Mahathir because people are very sensitive with the pictures of leaders being treated in a way that is very disrespectful.

In branding, do not destroy the brand element. Either the brand element is present, or another brand element is created to replace a brand element that cannot be displayed. Dr Mahathir’s picture is a massive brand element – like the Apple logo is to Apple Corporation.

The picture on a poster is a key issue – PH needs to be very smart and creative about it. Either the silhouette is completely black or the entire frame is cut out. It needs to be done with some skill.

But do not, colour it over and put a question mark. That is a strict no,no.


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  1. Rembau Times,

    so in light of the “Rantau” incident what is the status of @P131-Rembau? This is after all the “Rembau Times”. Is there a possibility of a shock [well subjective depending on ones perspective] result for the incubent? why is the incubent so defensive? Shouldn’t the incubent of rembau be at the forefront… leading the charge @ national level?

    in PRU-12 the total voter was 63K, turnout 49k and won by 6K
    in PRU-13 total voter was 80k, turnout 69k and won by 20k
    WoW!! this is in context where popular votes was lost for the 1st time and also the fact that @P131 experienced a “kesedaran” moment whereby a huge spike of new voter came into town [17K – how many percentage point is that, haha]

    Now to put in perspective, for PRU-14 the total voter is at 88K an increase of approx 10K [we have to take into account that people will die and in likely hood this mean saluran 1 which is by default either BN or GS die hard supporter]

    Finally, the Nik Omar factor… for Tuanguru Hadi to issue a public and open letter implies things are not adding up for GS – they are competing more seats than Umno,.. who would ever thought of that [only problem is did anyone thought of anything over there?