The war of nerves to shape voters’ perceptions in the run-up to the 13th General Elections has entered into its final lap, with Parliament expected to be dissolved in the next two to three weeks.
The latest script of the UMNO/Barisan Nasional spin-doctors and mind-benders is three-pronged:
• to concoct false and baseless reports and allegations to defame DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders especially through faceless, nameless and soulless sites on the social media and the UMNO/BN mainstream media;
• to foment distrust and suspicion intra-party in DAP, PKR and PAS and to provoke animosity and tension inter-party in Pakatan Rakyat, with the ultimate aim to cause the break-up and disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat especially the co-operation between DAP and PAS to save UMNO/BN from their “life or death” challenge in the 13GE; and
• to create the perception that UMNO/BN under the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has finally succeeded in turning the tide of popular support in favour of UMNO/BN, whether among the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban voters.
This is the rationale for the highlight of Najib’s Chinese New Year Open House in Penang on February 11 – the multi-million ringgit performance of the South Korean superstar and his global hit Gangnam Style.
But will the sensational appearance of Psy and Gangnam Style in Penang be a “wish come true” for Najib as far as turning the tide of popular support among the Chinese voters for UMNO/BN in the 13GE?
Here it is useful and interesting to note the opinion poll conducted by pollster Merdeka Centre at the end of last year (15th – 28th December 2012) that found that only six per cent of the Chinese voters polled were “happy” with the Barisan Nasional Government while 65 per cent were “dissatisfied” or “angry” with the BN Government.
In six polls conducted last year, Chinese voters “happy” with the Barisan Nasional Government had fluctuated from 17% in Feb to 19% in April, 18% in May, 13% in June, 19% in October plunging to 6% in December.
Can the appearance of Psy and Gangnam Style in the Prime Minister’s Chinese New Year Open House in Penang salvage BN Government’s popularity among the Chinese voters, which plunged from 17% to 6% in ten months from February to December last year?
It is noteworthy that overall, only 45 per cent of voters from all racial groups polled in December were “happy” in their perception of the Barisan Nasional government, as compared to a high of 48% in February and 51% in April.
Asked about their perception towards Barisan Nasional as a coalition as distinct from Barisan Nasional government, 16% of the Chinese voters polled were “happy” as compared to 57% who were “dissatisfied” or “angry”. There was hardly any movement in the percentage of the Chinese voters “happy” with the Barisan Nasional coalition in the 10 months polled last year, viz. 16% in February, 17% in April, 17% in October and 16% in December.
The same poll showed that although Najib’s popularity rating is higher than UMNO/BN, it has overall fallen six per cent from 69% in February to 63% in December, while the drop is a chunky 22% in ten months among the Chinese voters, i.e. from 56% in February to 34% in December 2012.
Will Psy and Gangman Style perform the miracle for Najib and UMNO/BN in raising his and UMNO/BN popularity ratings, or has this issue never entered the minds of the UMNO/BN spin-doctors and mind-benders, as they seem to claim?
Be that as it may, let the premier appearance of Psy and Gangman Style be a joyful memorable occasion for all Penangites and Malaysians to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Snake.
This is why on Monday I asked why only aim at drawing 60,000 people to Psy’s Gangman Style performance when the occasion justifies a more ambitious target of 100,000 people or even 250,000 people from Penang, all over Malaysia and the neighbouring countries!
I welcome reports that Najib’s CNY Open House featuring Psy and Gangnam Style at Han Chiang College is open to all with no restriction on anyone.
This is as it should be. We are all Malaysians first and last, and on national festive occasions like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Vesak Day or Christmas, let us exude goodwill, peace, harmony and solidarity where we can fraternize freely without thought of political differences.
However, to make it more meaningful and worthwhile, while Malaysians enjoy the show and fun with Psy and Gangnam Style, let us not miss the occasion for a nation-wide soul-searching why South Korea is so far ahead of Malaysia in all fields of human endeavor when half-a-century ago, Malaysia was twice as rich as the “Gangnam Style” nation!
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