On Saturday morning I typed a post with the title "Will DAP win Penang?". I left in on my blog for a few hours but after reading that the DAP can only able to win 10 seats (out of 40) in the worst case scenario in the Newpaper, I decided to remove my posting as I thought it would be too far fetched and my instincts were wrong and chances were just too slim. ...it is like Worker's Party winning in Bedok....oh that would have been a disaster. I woke up this morning and found out they actually won. Here's why I thought the DAP had a good chance of winning - my post on Saturday morning:
A few months ago I went to Penang for a holiday. I was there 12 years before that trip and what struck me as the taxi took me from the airport to my hotel the airport to my hotel along Ferringhi Beach was the place hasn't changed in 12 years. The moment I entered the cab at the airport the driver complained that they wanted to move the airport to Butterworth and he was unhappy that the govt wasn't doing enough for the state. I thought the guy was just a disgruntled taxi driver like those we have in have in Singapore ....the ones driving taxis that are not blue in color. However, one of the nights, I went to eat at an Italian Restaurant. Business wasn't very good and the owner came over to my table and chatted with me. He told me that he felt that Penang is going downhill because most of the young unable to find good employment there have been leaving for Kuala Lumpur. I could sense there is some unhappiness and it has been festering for quite some time.
Since the last elections, resentment has been building up and there is a real possibility it will fall in the hands of the opposition DAP. The Penang Govt must have thought its was doing a good job and became complacent. It was clear there was a loss of support only when large crowds turned out for the DAP rallies during the elections. Now it too late for them to do anything, the people are demanding change and they are willing to vote for change.
Badawi's position as PM is now weakened. They expected to win Penang easily but you cannot expect the people you neglected to support you by just coming around during the elections. They might have support you over the years but at some point when the frustration level rises to a point where election promises are seen as empty. Over time people will realise your actions do not match your words and their interests is not a priority with the govt. Frustration eventually turns to courage to go for a change - to take a risk or live through another 5 years of waiting for change that never comes. The people of Penang took a long time to realise that their voices will not be heard as long as they are too afraid to vote for someone else. The lesson for the Malaysian govt is this - you may think that you can treat the people the same way and they will keep voting the same way because the media supports you and convinces the people that you are the best and the only viable choice. ...it takes some time but people will realise the island of Penang will not sink because they voted for someone else.