It appears to have dawned on those who feel entitled to govern that voters can be unforgiving of coups, betrayals, political horse-trading, office-mongering, incompetence, bullying, disappearing billions and, above all, relentless infighting whilst ordinary people suffer.
Far from being the cunning ploy anticipated, the monsoon rains have started to threaten a wash-out of the incumbent coalition government which could not even get its act together to present a united front at the election, choosing instead to fight one another in every seat.
Today’s Merdeka poll (an organisation that tends towards a conservative and cautious estimate) paints a shocking picture, particularly for the UMNO establishment (the backbone of BN) that has dominated the country for decades but is now plainly riven between its caretaker PM, its indicted President and its up-and-coming youth contender, Khairy Jamaludin. Khairy has just helpfully reminded voters that his party is very dirty and claims he will clean it up (he is accused of having his own dirty broom).
The opposition PH coalition and former elected government (till rudely ejected by a coup in 2020) is estimated to win at least 82 seats by this poll, whereas of the incumbents PN is estimated to be looking at just 43 seats and BN(UMNO) a tragic 15. What a comedown from the not too distant days of the 2/3 majority for UMNO’s warlords!
There are a further 45 seats too close to call and Sarawak’s GPS is expected to score 25.
This is a situation that is too dire even for the Plan B scenario that the scared party leaders of PN/BN are known to have been formulating over the past hours, whereby they have agreed to drop their swords on election night and become friends again to present themselves once more as the government in waiting, as opposed to a fractious bunch of self-servers who fight primarily for the best deal for themselves.
The plan, widely circulating on social media, makes good sense as a last ditch option. Leading PN/BN figures have apparently agreed in the event of a PH win to rally behind PN’s Mahiaddin, for a second time, in order to present him as a candidate for the Palace to select, for a second time, over the preferred candidate of the electorate i.e. PH’s Anwar Ibrahim.
However, if the tally is as low as predicted by the Merdeka Centre even that combination of losers together with the floosies from GPS (ever ready to support a winner) looks uncertain to manage the 112 required for a simple majority. Even if they scraped that benchmark, everyone knows the in-fighting and power struggles would start immediately, just as they have persisted for the past three years.
Even more to the point, the most vulnerable figures in this equation are the ones who fancy themselves as the Plan B leaders.
Each and every one of the PN/BN top dogs have found themselves increasingly in danger of being swept away as the cleansing rains have poured over the past two weeks of this campaign.
Hopping Azmin Ali and Zuraidah, Mahiaddin, Zahid, even Ismail himself are all looking increasingly marginal and endangered. Who would there be in this event for the re-grouped coalition of election losers to present to the palace as the credible contender to be chosen to form a government in place of Anwar?
It is becoming clearer by the hour that it is not only the now imprisoned Najib Razak who has spent far too long living in a self-deluded bubble, but all these inflated egos of competing ex-UMNO princes as well.
Reality is now coming home to bite. The shocking Merdeka poll may indeed be wrong, but it confirms what many have sensed in recent weeks – who votes for squabbling party-hoppers who cut deals with crooks? It is the Harapan rallies who have tonight drawn thousands despite the rains (see the above picture of the past hours).
Here is a tip for those who wish to see justice done. Watch for those party leaders who come out to vote particularly early in their constituencies on election morning, before heading off towards private jets on the excuse of ‘further duties’ for the day.