Saturday, September 20, 2008


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at on September 20, 2008 11:48 AM


1. I was reading the comments on my blog on 'Mengingati Pejuang-Pejuang', when I came across a comment which respectfully disagreed with me that the defeat of BN in the General Election was not due to support for the opposition but disaffection with BN.

2. He said if that was the case they could have voted for the third candidate who actually lost his deposit.

3. I had lost in the Election of 1969 in a constituency with 35,000 voters of whom 30,000 were Malays. I had won in this constituency in 1964 with more than 4,000 votes majority. I figured that in 1969 that even if the non-Malay voters did not vote for me I would still win because support for me amongst the Malays had increased by almost 3,000.

4. But what happened shocked me because Chinese voters not only refused to vote for me, which meant a loss of 3,000 votes but they voted for PAS. I needed 6,000 more votes to replace 3,000 voters who did not vote for me and another 3,000 because they voted for PAS.

5. I lost by 900 votes. If the voters who were dissatisfied with UMNO and BN voted for a third party or refuse to vote, the BN would lose these votes but may still win if the margin previously was big and the opposition did not get additional votes. But when votes were taken away from BN there would be a decrease in BN votes. Then when the votes are given to the opposition there would be an increase in votes for the opposition and so the gap is widened and the opposition would win.

6. Experience has shown that independent third parties hardly ever win. Supporting them would reduce BN votes but that would not be enough to ensure the opposition wins.

7. The rakyat are right in being fed-up with corruption by UMNO "plutocrats". But that had not always been so. It is the corrupt practises of UMNO leaders of today, especially the topmost leader, which has caused deep anger against the party.

8. Actually the present leader's involvement with graft, his support for his son's business, the power he gives to his son-in-law, his well-known sleeping habits, indecision, lack of ability to handle problems, sudden withdrawal of oil subsidy, cancellation of the bridge to Singapore, wasting money on the unused RM800 million (Johor Baru) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine building, cancellation of the railway double tracking and electrification project, the monsoon cup and lots more are what turned the voters against BN.

9. The kampung folks and the ordinary Chinese by and large are not too concerned about human rights or more liberal Government. Even the ISA did not bother them as shown by their strong backing for the Government party, before.

10. The talks in the kampungs and the ordinary Chinese and Indians were about the increase in cost of living, few business opportunities and of course the behaviour of the PM's family.

11. In 2004 they gave wholehearted support for the BN so that the party won 90% of the seats in parliament and recaptured Terengganu. Could it be possible that the voters who were so greatly enchanted with the BN in 2004 but in a space of just four years have changed their collective minds so radically?

12. As for rejection of race based politics, why did the voters vote for PAS, a 100 percent Malay party and DAP, a predominantly Chinese party.

13. I know many who admire the West tend to support their values. They would like to interpret the disastrous performance of the BN based on Western thinking. But we are Asians and in Malaysia our basic racial differences are extreme. All we can do to avoid confrontation between the races is to allow them to form race based parties and to have them cooperate with each other. This was the BN policy and practise. And it worked for almost half a century.

14. We cannot fault the BN concept and governance. We have to look elsewhere for the loss of confidence in the party.