Machap by-election – the real victors

Machap by-election - the real victors

(Press Conference Statement By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Melaka On 13.4.2007)

Machap Voters Are The Real Victors In Getting Tens Of Millions Of Ringgit In Development Projects And Endorsing DAP Call For Democracy By Giving DAP A Moral Victory In Reducing BN Majority By 481 Votes Despite Fighting The Entire Machinery Of The Malaysian Government

The 9,623 registered Machap voters are the real victors in yesterday’s by-election. Not only were Machap voters promised or given tens of millions of ringgit in development projects and benefits, they were also able to endorse DAP’s call for democracy by giving DAP a moral victory in reducing BN’s majority by 481 votes.

This is a substantial achievement when DAP increased our votes at the expense of BN despite the benefits to the people of:-

a) Newly paved roads all over Machap;

b) Hundreds of new street lamps;

c) A RM 1.2 million recreational area near the Durian Tunggal Dam;

d) 102 grants for housing lots for second-generation settler families at Felda Tun Ghafar Machap;

e) RM3.7 million will be allocated to Felda Machap with RM3 million for upgrading water pipes, RM600,000 for the construction of a multipurpose hall and RM100,000 to repair the mosque;

f) approved the application for 7,000 square feet of land by 50 second-generation Chinese settlers with a 99-year lease and a low premium of RM12,500;

g) approved the 20-year-long demand of Machap Baru villagers to build 80 units of low- and medium-cost houses, which will be sold at price below RM60,000 each;

h) Ministry of housing and local government’s special allocation of RM650,000 to upgrade roads and drainage system and to build a new air-conditioned hall;

i) RM 400,000 to relocate the telecomunnications tower in Machap Umboo to build a new replacement and unspecified amount to extend the land grant lease to 69 years from the present 34 years with reasonable land premiums;

j) Health ministry will spend RM160,000 to upgrade clinics in Machap; and

k) Education Ministry will give no less than RM50,000 to each of the three Chinese primary schools in the constituency.

Further BN’s tactics of fear, intimidation and vote buying were successful, especially in Tebong where BN’s votes increased to 1,037 votes from 992 votes whilst DAP remained almost unchanged at 165 votes from 162 votes in the 2004 general elections. Clearly BN’s victory is without honour as they would still have won (though perhaps not by 4,081 votes) without needing to resort to such dirty tactics.

DAP had not expected to win the Machap by-election but were hopeful of defeating BN’s goal of making DAP lose our deposit and significantly reducing BN’s majority. DAP succeeded but could not achieve the breakthrough hoped for in getting some Malay and Indian votes to scale back BN’s majority to 3,000 votes.

Nevertheless the reduction of majority is a significant achievement in that this is the first by-election since the 2004 general elections contested by BN that DAP has reduced BN’s majority. In all the previous by-elections, BN had increased both their votes and majority.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is wrong to say that the drop in majority of BN is caused by Datuk Poh Ah Tiam’s increased stature as compared to BN’s new candidate. Even though the candidate may be new but Datuk Poh did not have the entire government machinery of Malaysia helping him to campaign. In that respect the disadvantage of the new candidate factor of BN is equalized by the advantage of having the entire Malaysian government machinery.

There is no reason whatsoever for BN’s majority to drop by 481 votes when essentially BN enjoys the same advantages. The drop in majority clearly indicates that despite the focus by the entire government, the voters especially the Chinese community responded to DAP’s call for democracy, equal economic opportunity and political equality.

Despite the turnout of 74.31%, it was clear that putting polling day on a working day instead of a Sunday had affected the turnout in some areas in that those working outstation could not return to vote. This was especially evident in Machap Baru where the fourth stream had a voter turnout of only 51.4%. In that stream, despite the lower turnout DAP’s votes had increased to 113 from 96 whilst BN’s votes dropped from 368 votes to 188 votes.

In Machap Umboo, the number of votes obtained by DAP held steady at almost 40% despite the threats of withholding extension of land lease grants and shifting the telecommunications tower.

DAP thanks Machap voters who had supported DAP and our call for democracy to ensure that the government performs at all times and not only during by-elections. Good governance requires that the government listens to the people. Further good governance requires that projects that are carried out must benefit the many and not the few or that the government cannot refuse to carry out projects because there is no private benefit to BN leaders.

Clearly rural voters love democracy because they want to be “bosses”. By reducing BN’s majority and giving DAP a moral victory, Machap voters are not only endorsing DAP’s platform for democracy but also acknowledging that DAP’s participation in the by-election has benefited them to enjoy all these development projects which otherwise BN would not have given.

(Previous by-elections after 2004 general election)

BN Opp Majority(by-e) (Majority2004)

Kuala Berang 6051 3992 2059 (1695)
Pengkalan Pasir 7422 7288 139 (56) PAS won
Batu Talam 6276 419 5857 (2761)

  1. #1 by k1980 on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 6:12 pm

    It appears the only way for the rakyat to get tens of millions of ringgit in development projects and benefits is for their elected representative to kick the big bucket and go to the big happy hunting ground in the sky.

  2. #2 by HJ Angus on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 6:28 pm

    It is a form of bribery when so much development suddenly materialises just for a by-election.

    In fact Ministers are using government machinery and facilities when so many big-shots converge on a one-horse town to canvass for votes.

    How do we prove that to the useless EC?
    Just compare the daily schedules of the ministers before the by-elections was called and see it was suddenly changed to allow them to go there on official business.

    It is good practice for the Opposition to learn more in the process and pointless to call those Machap voters stupid. In the GE the government will not be able to do so much manipulating of the common folks.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 6:36 pm

    I don’t believe in cursing but I do believe in hoping…..So it is my hope that more BN MPs and ADUNs will take turns to die so that ordinary Malaysians will finally get what should rightly belong to them.

    It is now proven that BN ONLY deliver on their promises when they are pushed into a corner and only when the entire nation is focused on a state seat or parliamentrary by-election.

    Again I don’t believe God would answer such silly prayers…but when simple folks like me have lost all hope, we pray and ask God for silly things too. So, even if it is silly and really stupid, I will still ask God to allow each BN MP and ADUN to take turns to die so that this nation can finally prosper….strange way for the people and nation to achieve world greatness but IT IS THE ONLY WAY LEFT IN BOLEHLAND.

  4. #4 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 6:40 pm

    If this ever comes true, please don’t blame me. It only means THERE IS A GOD…and HE also answers simple prayers, even if it is stupid to expect such answers.

  5. #5 by undergrad2 on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 6:50 pm

    I see commitments being made by BN to the residents of Machap i.e. allocations of funds for various public projects meant to benefit the residents of Machap etc. Others are still in the forms of electoral promises. Allocations still have to be made. When allocations are made from the state budget, it is still not over. Will there ever be a drawdown of funds earmarked for various projects?

    Whichever party wins, it is always the welfare of the residents of Machap that is in the balance.

    Now that elections are over the residents are left with promises made in the heat of the elections. As both parties rid this rural constituency of all the ugliness which they have left in their trail, and contestants and supporters from both parties leave never to be seen again until the next election, one is left to wonder if the real winner is the Machap residents.

    One is left to wonder if in the rush for votes, the fragile racial unity has not been trampled upon, sacrificed in some way, yet once again. One is left to wonder if the ordinary folks of Machap are better left to continue with their lives without the corruption that a flawed political process brings.

    One is left to wonder if the ruling national coalition could rightly claim victory – and the Opposition could rightly concede to an electoral loss in this little known village and community now famously referred to as Machap.

    Was what happened here are a reflection of things to come?

  6. #6 by smeagroo on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 7:03 pm

    Without DAP there wont be progress in Machap. Yes, they shld be thankful for AP has kept BN on thier toes and hopefully now they will honor and fulfill those pledges made faster than the speed of lightning. Whatever took years to decide hv been done in less than 2 weeks. Who says they are lazy?

    Machap, do enjoy your ammenities while u can and hopefully you were gvn some good quality products and not fall apart after 2 years. We nvr know, if a rm200mil complex can just develop problems suddenly, there is no telling what will happen to ur small budget thingy. We shall see how long those tarred roads will last you and how long will it take for them to come by the next round to fix it.

    Looking at the list of goodies splashed out, if you dont call that bribery what do u call it? Maybe we should start writing down a list of things we would like to have before the next GE comes around. We might as well “plunder” back what the govt took from us after all these years. IT MIGHT WORK!

  7. #7 by bbtan on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 7:38 pm

    Endangered Hornbill – I fully support your comment at 6:36 pm.
    Undergrad2 – The fragile racial unity has not been trampled upon during the campaign. Didn’t you notice Krismudin and KJ are pally with the MCA youths?

  8. #8 by Sinatra_Z on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 8:04 pm

    Machap Voters Are The Real Victors In Getting Tens Of Millions Of Ringgit In Development Projects And Endorsing DAP Call For Democracy By Giving DAP A Moral Victory In Reducing BN Majority By 481 Votes Despite Fighting The Entire Machinery Of The Malaysian Government.

    With all do respect Mr Lim only a loser would make that kind of a statement. When you go to an election your main target is to win and analyze why did you lose. Even if one were to lost, let it be a very good fight, garnering an extra 481 votes extra is not a great success or any sort of achievement that one can be proud of.

    One of the main factor why it’s tough to beat MCA in Machap and other places is because they have UMNO. MCA can count on this party to get them the Malay support while DAP has no one in this matter. Perhaps that DAP needs some changing if it wants to be what it claims to be. Though DAP claims to be a Malaysian party the reality is the public sees it as a Chinese party, just like MCA. No matter what you may come up with an excuse on how it is not, perception is everything in politics and right now the perception is yes DAP is a chinese part and not a Malaysian party.

    This is what DAP needs to change in my point of view if it were to become more stronger. If DAP ever wants to rule this nation or become a very strong opposition (I personally think that PAS has a bigger and better machinery) they need to start to work in getting support from the largest group of Malaysians. The main reason why BN keeps winning in elections again and again is because like it or not, BN is by far the only coalition that has the representatives from all the different ethnic group, perhaps the opposition need to stop giving excuses and start thinking of this very serious issue.

    You need to find someone who can approach the Malays, like it or not if DAP wants to be more than just what it is today.

    I think it’s about time we have some commenter who can speak on a different perspective. I know many of the readers here would agree on me in this issue and would like to use your normal phantom vote, BN play dirty issue and etc.. Though it may be an issue (which is debatable) a realist would surely realize that this is indeed a very serious factor (the malay support).

    In my personal view I believe DAP is not what it says it wants to be, because the only Party that I see now that fits the criteria of that is Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

    No Offense Mr Lim, I respect you as a senior politician, senator and the opposition leader who helps in practicing democracy in Malaysia. But I just felt that I need to say something on this matter. Just my humble 2 cents from a young nobody who will vote first time in the next general election.

  9. #9 by Libra2 on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 8:12 pm

    It’s not a stupid prayer. If thousand benefit by one man’s death, then it’s a good prayer since once death brings about what is righfully due to the rakyat.
    Lets see: 3 reps dies and it is fairly distributed . Batu Talam UMNO, Machap MCA and Ijok MIC. Equal.
    God does not believe in the NEP quotas.

  10. #10 by accountability on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 8:18 pm

    good analysis Libra2 !!

  11. #11 by shortie kiasu on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 8:44 pm

    Macap was once a DAP seat and lost it to MCA years ago, that is politics, voters’ mood swing according to the situation. DAP should look at why the voters dump the candidates form the party. May be it is gaining some ground albeit very insignificant. It is never easy to fight the incumbent’s massive machinery which is at their disposal.

    [Correction – Machap was never a DAP seat. – Kit]

  12. #12 by grumpy on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 9:17 pm

    Let’s check back with Machap in 1 year’s time and see whether they really get the land titles and homes, etc. If I understand Malaysia correctly, I won’t be surprised if these commitments are just talk but nothing yet on paper. I bet there would be some disenchanted folks there next year. I wonder what they would be promised in the election next year.

  13. #13 by undergrad2 on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 9:21 pm

    “With all do respect Mr Lim only a loser would make that kind of a statement. ” Sinatra

    Some call it snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Others call it by its plain name – ‘strategy’ or ‘strategeri’ as President Bush calls it.

  14. #14 by grumpy on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 9:32 pm

    I hate to sound elitist but I think DAP should put forward credible candidates with tertiary education who can be articulate in parliament and state assemblies. I seriously don’t think you can serve the people well nowadays without some respect from the people on the background of the candidates. Many MCA people can barely read English or Bahasa, or even use the computer; and DAP should be better than that. The problem I can see is that some of these educated people can also ‘cabut’ to the other side once elected. DAP should also start working the ground early instead of suddenly appearing only when there is an election. Just my two-cents.

  15. #15 by smeagroo on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 9:43 pm

    What’s the use of fielding a credible candidate when the folks like those in Machap are so ulu? To them progress is having water and electricity and a simple phone line.

  16. #16 by undergrad2 on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 10:10 pm

    Sinatra says: “You need to find someone who can approach the Malays, like it or not if DAP wants to be more than just what it is today.”

    “In my personal view I believe DAP is not what it says it wants to be..” Sinatra

    “Though DAP claims to be a Malaysian party the reality is the public sees it as a Chinese party, just like MCA. No matter what you may come up with an excuse on how it is not, perception is everything in politics…”

    These comments by the poster, I believe, accurately reflect the kind of thinking the young Malay voters voting for the first time has to struggle with. It expresses their hopes and their fears – their hopes for a truly Malaysian party as an alternative to UMNO, leaders of which party are fast losing their legitimacy to rule due to their divisive style, lack of accountability and corrupt ways among others. It also reflects their fear that with DAP/PKR running the government, they would lose the security blanket that policies like the NEP, racist and unfair they may be, offers.

    The current DAP leadership has no choice, if it wants to win votes and elections rather than the minds and hearts of its conservative supporters, but to offer an alternative to the NEP – rather than do away with it completely and suddenly. For as long as it fails to recognize or has no answer to the emotional appeal of such a policy to the Malays, it can only hope to remain an Opposition political party in a country ruled by a coalition of parties not too dissimilar to it in terms of ideology and political aspirations.

    It has to balance the demands of meritocracy with race-based affirmative action policies. The threat is of course, in taking two steps forward and one step back, the bottom may drop out of the Party’s conservative base. The dilemma is how do you do that without seeming to be hypocritical or worse – being seen as ready to compromise ideals it has fought throughout its history.

    It has to go down to the grassroots to explain why some similar race-based policies like the NEP needs to be perpetuated so as not to be a direct threat to its Malay supporters. To the Malay electorate, DAP will have to assure it that a vote for the DAP/PKR does not mean a loss of security afforded by policies like the NEP. DAP has to understand the emotional appeal of a policy like the NEP to the Malays which they have been accustomed to for the last forty years – the kind of emotional appeal reflected in statements like “The NEP may benefit some unintended beneficiaries but for the most part it benefits us. Without such policies, we will be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the other races” and “The government today may not be functioning as well as it should be, and the bloated civil service is riddled with corruption but at least it is a Malay government”.

    We are here knee deep in the politics of race and pragmatism. It is like walking on quick sand. The faster you move away from it, the more likely you will not go under.

    The DAP has no choice but to walk on quick sand.

  17. #17 by Joshua on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 10:23 pm

    Most of those promises would be the issues at the next GE.

    so work on them now as these promises would not be fulfilled so soon.

  18. #18 by seaturtle on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 10:28 pm

    I was there to support DAP on 11th and really sad to know DAP only gained 481 extra votes.. Democracy failed to start from Machap and i am very worry about this coming GE base on ytd result.. how long we need to wait for all the rakyat to awake??? Why old people dare not to vote for a change???

    I felt shameful to BN when i saw them paving the road at 7pm on 11th (polling day was on 12th), giving out free meal and reading all those nonsense banners… Their tactics are indeed a low class tactic but yet people are enticed by them… sad, sad, sad..

    Mr.Lim, i know it is quite impossible to sue them for breaking the 1954 election law even though you guys have made police report as they use one hand to cover up the whole sky but is that possible for DAP to take all the law breaking pictures and video clips and launch a report to any international justice body?? At least we can show it to the world and let the whole world condemn this useless BN.

    Finally i hope DAP will help PKR in this coming Ijok by-election and you know Mr.Lim i was so happy to see DAP and PKR standing at the same stand in Machap to fight for a true democracy..

    Mr.Lim, that night before ending the campaign, you said: “…support and encouragement from Rakyat all this while has been an inspiration for you to keep moving forward….” and i would like to take this opportunity to tell you that DAP and LKS will always have my support..

    Although DAP lost the election but at least we don’t loss our Dignity.

  19. #19 by Not spoon fed on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 10:36 pm

    It could mean forever opposition parties could never win in many seats because BN has money to spend (develop).

    Although those money promised and spent by BN were small, majority of people do not prefer to vote DAP. Majority of Machap people prefer development (money).

    This is not a good sign for DAP. It also could mean majority of people wanted development although development means spending money (leading to side effect like corruption, pollution, flood, etc.).

    In fact, those “development” things listed above are very basic and these basic things have attracted people of Machap. The previous state assemblyman should have secured those “development” when he was still alive. This means he was incapable to get those things thru when he was still around!

    In conclusion, people of Machap are not mature enough and not smart enough to know what was happening.

  20. #20 by Not spoon fed on Friday, 13 April 2007 - 10:50 pm

    Those development listed above are very basic.

    It means the previous state assembly man could not secure the above basic development. This means he had no power as well as incapable.

    The majority of Machap people are not matured enough as well as not smart enough to know that these are very basic things the previous representative should have done long ago!

    It also could mean BN could always spend money to get majority votes. So, it could mean opposition parties could never deny 2 third of BN majaority.

    You could expect BN would win more than 2 third in coming general election because majority of people wanted “development”.

    Development means spending money and projects/contracts would go to bumi contractors.

    Development means flood, pollution, corruption, etc. because of poor quality of contractors.

  21. #21 by Wang on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 12:33 am

    I wonder whether DAP would do better in areas where medium income is relatively higher. These voters may be less likely to be “bought” by BN through financial promises. Poor and uneducated electorates are too easily fooled by short-term gain.

  22. #22 by toyolbuster on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 12:37 am

    Kit, maybe for the next round, try pitting a female candidate for Machap. Due respect to Liou Chen Kuang, you may not want him to be trice beaten. In politics, appearance is also a plus factor. Grooming consultant strongly recommended. What I saw in Machap was that DAP used Liou as a “sacrificial lamb” for whatever reasons only known to DAP. If DAP is sincere, then it should go all out against all odds. But the matured and very wise voters of Machap did not feel any sincerity from the DAP camp and therefore left with no choice. Better to stick with the known devil than an unknown angel.

  23. #23 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 1:44 am

    Bottom line : BN won. Opposition Lost. Whatever the reasons or excuses, it is still a loss for the Opposition. Just no headway.

    With so much campaining and effort, the opposition can only make a small dent. Despite so many Opposition big guns raising so many issues, the rural folks were just unmoved. Their minds were all made up. And with so many such rural constituencies, the odds favour the BN.

    Thats why in the next general elections, BN will continue to get another landslide victory, less than 92%, but still a landslide. And we will get more of the same.

    Hundreds if not thousands were there supporting the Opposition candidate on nomination day. But where were the votes?

    Anwar attracted big crowds, but where were the votes? Big turnouts at the ceramahs. But where were the votes?

    Lets face it. The people just dont favour the “opposition” generally as they are seen in bad light and with suspicion rightfully or wrongfully. We are just not receptive or have experience with an alternative government. We are never ready.

    And even if the Opposition wins substantial popular votes, the BN will still win a big chunk of the seats. The opposition won substantial popular votes in 2004, the BN still got 92 % of the seats. The odds favour the BN. Thats our election system.

    Anwar is a spent force. He’s just a novelty now, a circus act. People just turn up out of curiosity to watch the show but heck they wont vote for him. So don’t expect PKR to have any impact at all. Ijok will confirm this.

    As for PAS, they are fast losing steam and support. What they stand for besides their Islamic platform, no one knows. Non muslims will not vote for them and will favour the BN generally.

    There is just no widespread support for the Opposition. PAS, Keadilan and DAP all have just pockets of support which means very little. They are all very fragmented and can’t work together.

    So the next GE will see more of the same. The goon team will win again.

  24. #24 by smeagroo on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 2:18 am

    Since BN who won the 2004 failed to live up to its promises or rather dont want to, why not PKR,PAS and DAP join forces and sahe hands and gv EMPTY PROMISES to the rakyat and fool them and when the votes are secured each turn their own way? If BN can do it, I dont see why not the rest cant? 2 or more can play at this game!

    After seeing how BN works and how little progress we have made, I dont mind giving 5 years to the ooposition to fool us.

  25. #25 by chisinau on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 2:26 am

    Machaplites have only the DAP to thanks for all the extravaganza thrown by those bigwigs of BN. No goodies if DAP were not in the by-election. Just have to pray that these are no empty promises. All the problems solved after the demise of Datuk Poh, just what a slap in the face of the deceased.

  26. #26 by zack on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 7:27 am

    k1980 argued …..
    ” ….It appears the only way for the rakyat to get tens of millions of ringgit in development projects and benefits is for their elected representative to kick the big bucket and go to the big happy hunting ground in the sky……:

    Really bad taste ….

    however I’m from Ipoh … i too hope to experience a by-election !!!

  27. #27 by Libra2 on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 8:02 am

    There is alot Peninsular Chinese can learn for their countrymen in Sarawak. By and large Melaka Chinese are pathetic. How then would you explain when DAP leaders like Kit and Kerk could lose in the state and parliamentary seats respectively in the past.
    I reckon, they will only wake up and stand up for truth, freedom, justice, good governance, meritocracy, etc when the economy take a dive and their personal fortunes are affected.
    As long as their stomach is full, there is no way they will desert the BN, no matter how rotten the government is. They will dine with the DEVIL as long as their prosperity is assured.

  28. #28 by ah lau on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 8:27 am

    My village foiks love development too.

  29. #29 by ah lau on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 8:29 am

    What a difference with treated water supply, electricity comes to your dark home by a simple switch, the Klinik Desa that would give a few tablets when the villagers are 6 ! …………..

  30. #30 by RealWorld on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 8:34 am

    To say that the people of Machap are the real winners for getting all the goodies is like one trying to make a dignified exit after getting soundly thrashed.

    What is throwing a couple of millions here and there when at stake is a few billions and the nation’s wealth?

  31. #31 by zack on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 9:07 am

    Libra2 says ….

    “There is alot Peninsular Chinese can learn for their countrymen in Sarawak. By and large Melaka Chinese are pathetic. How then would you explain when DAP leaders like Kit and Kerk could lose in the state and parliamentary seats respectively in the past.”

    Mmmmmnnn …… because the DAP is nothing but a racial party. All Chinese knew this all along ….. good AS the opposition and will never ever able to govern!

  32. #32 by Jefus on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 9:36 am

    I think the voters derserve who they vote for. Whether we like it or not, or we think the wrong party or individual got elected, doesn’t count. The majority speaks.

    I remember many times promises made before election never saw the light of day once the vote has been delivered. Dont tell me all is forgiven the next five years, rather Malaysians are such a forgiving lot.

    In Malaysia’s picture, unfortunately, the rural vote rules the land, and UNMO knows this. That’s why the urbanite educated voter aware that he has been taken for a wild ride in to taken seriously. The king makers are in the kampongs.

    But if the voters choose this road what can we say?

  33. #33 by lakshy on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 9:39 am

    Ijok can be different. The campaign should be a vote for DAP is a vote against Semi Value! I think many despise the man. So it may be possible to use this to beat the BN candidate in Ijok since he will be from MIC.

    Many issues such as the highway agreements, the toll increases, the billion dollar consultant fees for patchwork repairs to the new highways/roads, Maika, Telecoms shares issue, prototype power plant purchase from Korea, etc etc etc. Many many misdeeds, and promised answers never delivered.

    Just get a booklet out listing all these unresolved issues of MIC chairman alone, leaving out the rest of the BN.

    And to answer Sheriff Singh, yes I would vote for PAS candidate if he stood in my constituency. At this time, anything to reduce the BN majority. I would like to see us developing an alternative government that is credible, and can rule the country in replacement of BN. If we dont vote them in and give them the opportunity, we will always be left barking at the mansion.

    Anwar is not a spent force. I am sure if he stands for election in a BN stronghold, he may be able to beat many “BN strongmen”.

  34. #34 by Jefus on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 9:41 am

    opps typos,

    ‘ or rather, Malaysians are such a forgiving lot.’


    ‘ taken for a wild ride is not taken seriously.’


  35. #35 by grace on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 9:46 am

    I am ashame of Machap’s voters. Why did you pawn your pride for a paltry sum of money in the form of new roads, street lamps and so on.

    You all forgot that we the rakyat loose millions to those corrupted Ministers and officials. Then what about the Chinese schools which is a scarce commodity nowadays.

    I am very sore that DAP did not win!!!

    Shame to you folks in Machap! To those who voted for DAP, you really are gentleman with honor and pride!!!

  36. #36 by Not spoon fed on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 10:36 am

    Yes, shame to those Machap people see those basic things are big things.

    In fact, the previous assemblyman was INCAPABLE and had no power to get those basic developments in his hand.

    Road, clinic, street light, $50k for each school, etc. are very basic things.

    They fail to see those bias, problems and policies in New Economic Policy, local council, education, public services, corruption, etc.

  37. #37 by FRANK on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 10:39 am

    Guan Eng, WHAT NONSENSE ? Machap voters won.

    They lost. They mortgage their principles for shortterm gains. In Malaysia, and for the malaysian chinese, it is issues about the future of the chinese community, their rights as citizens, their chidlren and the children’s children rights as citizens… all those pavement roads, street lamps… they are govt responsibility and it has come to Machap one way or the other.

    For them to succumb to bribery only confirms the malaysian chinese, especially the chinese speaking, are short term opportunists. They bribe others and they succumb to bribes, and this UMNO knows too well… and for MCA, being a spokesmann for UMNO delivered this. After all MCA is a self serving political party.

    For DAP to come out and justify the win by MCA is an absolute disgrace. I have said that DAP does not know where it wants to go, it does not have the heart to win elections and the heart to win govt. Other parties would review this loss and aim to correct their political strategies. NO, DAP gloats the win by MCA and say the Machaps won… garbage talk.

    The kelantan malays have a saying when UMNO did the same thing with promises of developmentand throwing money in the last few elections to win the state govt. It didn’t work for the last 15 years.

    PAS basically told the voters: Development money are taxpayers money, it is rakyat’s money, it does not belong to UMNO or Govt. Govt, whoever wins, have to allocate development projects. YOu can accept all the promises and take all the money UMNO give, it is your money as taxpayers, and you don’t have to vote for UMNO or BN. The Kelantan malays did that because they were fedup with BN and UMNO when they allowed BN to rule kelantan for 10 years earlier when Dato Asri brought PAS into the BN.

    In fact , in the election after 1990, Kelantan malays and chinese threw all UMNO out in the state assembly and only let Tengku Razaleigh win the federal seat.

    This is the striking difference between malaysian chinese, who succumb to political bribery and the simple Malay kampung folks in Kelantan.

    It is a real disappointment that DAP leadership could come out with this silly statement that Machap people won. Disgraceful loser.

    No wonder, many enlightened educated chinese have slowly come to view that DAP is becoming more irrelevant to malaysian politics, as Gerakan is now.

    Sad !


  38. #38 by FRANK on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 10:43 am

    Shame on Machap voters. They have proven to be a classic representative of the malaysian chinese in the country… suckers for politics of fear and being easily succumb to bribery and not only good at bribing others.

    For DAP leadership to gloat over MCA win is disgraceful. It goes to show DAP has lost its navigation with its Rocket. The direction of DAP’s rocket should be facing downwards.

  39. #39 by Godfather on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 10:53 am

    The fact of the matter is that the DAP lost, and the BN won. This is going to be the continuing saga of Malaysian politics – parties like the DAP and PAS rely on their narrow and chauvinistic positions for a particular race and have their small group of supporters who would give each party 5 – 10 seats at each election.

    Can DAP and PAS move to the mainstream ? Nah, not with the current leaderships of both parties. Both parties are not willing to sacrifice their narrow positions for a middle-of-the-road strategy. Both parties are inward-looking and seem to be happy with their 5 – 10 seats at each election so that they can continue to make noises while the thieves keep plundering the country. Both parties seem content to piss into the wind while the thieves laugh and rejoice.

  40. #40 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 10:55 am


    Learn to be graceful in defeat.

  41. #41 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 11:06 am

    “Both parties are not willing to sacrifice their narrow positions for a middle-of-the-road strategy.” Godfather

    And what strategy might that be?

    I think your analysis of the problems facing parties like the DAP and PAS is not inaccurate.

  42. #42 by Godfather on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 11:17 am

    There has to be a strategy that moves away from the narrow, chauvinistic views of the far right or the far left. If PAS is unwilling to compromise on its position of making Malaysia an Islamic state, then it will never be acceptable to the non-Muslims. If DAP continues to champion causes likes Chinese schools, unconditional removal of the NEP, etc, then it becomes unacceptable to the Malays.

  43. #43 by grace on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 11:29 am

    I can accept defeat gracefully, but not in this particular election.
    Look at the amount of fund being poured to the the constituency!
    Don’t you think it was really an unfair fight?
    The sorest point here is that those voters really sold out their right for some small rewards which are given only in a by election. All these years why were they not given?

    My conclusion is that those simple folks were being hoodwinked into selling their votes for a small gain.

    They were exploited and blinded to more serious issues like corruption, abuse of power or building more Chinese Schools !

  44. #44 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 11:34 am

    This is not peculiar only to a third world country like Malaysia.

    Vote buying, corrupt practices, and election offenses are common in countries claiming to follow a democratic electoral process.

  45. #45 by MALAYSIANbukanMALAYSIAN on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 11:41 am

    Dear Lim & Lim

    BN machinery is too strong on a one-to-one basis. MCA has put in a lot of efforts there during Dato Poh’s time.

    DAP has much more to do if you want to win this seat. Lets face it, MCA won because they were able to swing the votes at the right time. There is lack of concerted efforts in Machap when it matters most. Learn from this mistake and fight again another day!

    Machap or Ijok, it’s time for DAP to re-strategize.

  46. #46 by taikohtai on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 12:26 pm

    How do you describe a typical Malaysian voter?
    One word: Naive or Kiasu
    Two words: Short Sighted
    Three words: What rainy days?
    Four words: Penny wise, Pound foolish

    Hence BN won, and I keep my dollar.

  47. #47 by greenacre on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 1:02 pm

    This means one and only one thing. Our Election Commission is equivalent to a coffee shop that literally announces nomination and election and counting and nothing more.
    The rest of the job is taken over by the ruling party. What we need is a commission that is as good as India’s.

  48. #48 by dawsheng on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 1:40 pm

    It is highly commendable that DAP is willing to contest the Machap seat despite knowing the fact that it is a MCA stronghold, the folks in Machap deserves a choice, and this time the chose MCA. I will not disagree with DAP’s moral victory of 481 votes, this is a significant number for a small by-election and what I think in the coming GE, more votes will go to the opposition parties, this is a good sign. If not for DAP, the BN govt won’t be given Machap folks so much benefits overnight, so DAP has won her battle, getting the best for the Machap people. I salute you.

  49. #49 by RealWorld on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 3:17 pm


    Do not insult the people of Machap. They have decided and you should learn to accept and respect their decisions. We are in a democracy, and the people have voted.

  50. #50 by sean on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 4:17 pm

    I think alot of tax payers cum citizens especially in Peninsular are just too dumb or ignorance.They keep talking about development in $$ pouring in for example tar roads , street lamps,community hall,upgrading of schools etc etc………! Don’t all tax paying citizens in every districts deserve basic development regardless of whether there is any election or not.They or rather the govt should be providing all these necessity right from the start as simple as that. I guess these folks especially those that lives in new villages don’t really know about their rights as a citizens at all and BN(especially MCA IN Machap) took advantage of all these and to “promise the sun and the moon” which is rigthfully belongs to tax paying citizens irregardless of which district or city you are in.

  51. #51 by lakshy on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 4:28 pm

    What Lim Guan Eng said is partly correct. Machap voters are the real winners, for getting the tens of millions of ringgit worth of development.

    Along teh way, mnoney wioll be siphoned out to certain parties, projects will be given to certain cronies who will do a slipshod job and then remedial work will cost even more for which funds wont be readily available.

    So the party that really benefits from all of these “development projects” will be the “contractors”. Happy fishing, and my wishes to Machap voters is, welcome to the club.

    Hopefully your eyes will open in time for the coming GE.

    I hope Ijok is not a repeat of the above!

  52. #52 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 8:38 pm

    “This means one and only one thing. Our Election Commission is equivalent to a coffee shop that literally announces nomination and election and counting and nothing more.” greenacre

    Oh no! More than the EC has been made a tool of UMNO – just like the Information Ministry.

    Malaysia has made and continues to make a mockery of the concept of neutrality of its civil service.

    The EC has been made use of by UMNO to re-draw the boundaries of constituencies as demographics change. You see the boundaries, for example, of an an increasingly Chinese populated area being divided into two in effect reducing the Chinese majority of that constituency. Through this process of delineation a Chinese dominated area could then be turned into a Malay dominated simply by the act of re-drawing the boundaries of the constituencies.

    What do you call this if not a conspiracy. The EC is supposed to be independent.

  53. #53 by tokmoh on Saturday, 14 April 2007 - 11:14 pm

    sheriff singh Says:
    April 14th, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Bottom line : BN won. Opposition Lost. Whatever the reasons or excuses, it is still a loss for the Opposition. Just no headway.

    Aiya, dun be so mean….YB Lim tryin to cheer up everyone here. Do you tell an athlete who got 2nd that he’s a loser? Of course u want to cheer him up since he’s disappointed that he lost to someone else, so the same thing wit this post. Let’s all nt be too sad that DAP lost Machap, n now we shud be all charged up to continue our struggle in this poor land.

  54. #54 by Michael Sun on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 12:04 am

    In very cold language, “A miss is as good as a mile”

    However, it is clear that Machap voters are more concerned about the RM200 pocket money and KFC rather than the abstract concepts of democracy, corporate governance, equality and freedom of religion.

    DAP has problems attracting Malay members simply becos Malays cannot get any benefit from DAP. UMNO leaders can get contracts, taxi licences and handouts. Though Lim Sr and Jr have been unfairly painted as a dynasty, Malaysians should support them becos which dynasty prefers to be in Kamunting.

    The bottom line is that DAP has lost a battle. But it is the WAR ie the General Election we should win. PKR can have 2 coalitions – one with DAP and the other with PAS. The PKR/PAS coalition will concentrate only in Kelantan, Pahang, Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis. All the rest should be the PKR/DAP. Malay majority goes to PKR and DAP all the Chinese majority. Mixed seats should go to best candidate from DAP/PKR whether they are Chinese, Indian, Malay, Kadazan or Dayak.

    Election slogan – 50 Cukup-Lah.
    Election strategies:
    1) Give Sabah/Sarawak – higher percentage of oil royalty like Aceh
    2) New Economic Agenda of affirmative action based on needs rather than race to replace NEP
    3) Everyone born after Merdeka of Malaysian parents will be given equal rights and privileges creating a new class of Merdekaputras.
    4) Introduce English/Malay medium schools to increase global competiveness.
    5) Uphold the original Merdeka Social Contract
    6) Introduce the 3rd Vote of local council elections.

  55. #55 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 7:26 am

    “Malay majority goes to PKR and DAP all the Chinese majority. ”

    I have a problem. I don’t think PKR can garner the support of the Malay electorate in the constituencies with Malay majorities because there is a problem with the credibility of their present leaders.

  56. #56 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 7:32 am

    “It is a real disappointment that DAP leadership could come out with this silly statement that Machap people won. Disgraceful loser.”

    I beg to differ. The real winners are the residents of Machap rather than BN because they got what they wanted even though their real loyalty is not with BN.

    The DAP could claim victory in an important sense i.e. with their work they were able to make BN promise to deliver what the residents of Machap all along had wanted to hear.

  57. #57 by art-upon-mu on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 7:06 pm

    Is this all Lim Guan Eng can say? It’s the spirit of Ah Q! Sad lah.
    Every voter knows that BN will do anything, ethical or unethical, to get votes, whether during a by-election or the GE. So, what do DAP and all other opposition parties have to prevent BN from monopolising votes from voters? As they are, they separately help BN to get votes from different ethnic groups. Another 50 years of BN rule!

  58. #58 by orchidlah on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 8:52 pm

    Whether it is in Machap or in Selangor or wherever it is, at the moment people want development. This is because we are heading towards 2020. If we want to make the Vision a success, we need the development right now. But Barisan Nasional cannot last forever. 50 years have gone. Now the people are more educated. They are more knowledgeable. They have the access to news in just one second. May be they will let Barisan Nasional linger for a while. But not forever. There is a season for everything. The next season whenever that might be, may see Malaysians desiring for a quality type of government. We may never know. Sometimes we have to watch the world’s events too. So let us be hopeful. Let us sow the seeds of the future Malaysia.

  59. #59 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 9:29 pm

    But where would the residents of Machap be today without an opposition to BN? That too has to be considered.

    As to whether this could be translated to a DAP victory is controversial. But it sure is an Opposition victory.

  60. #60 by DarkHorse on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 9:43 pm

    “But Barisan Nasional cannot last forever. 50 years have gone. Now the people are more educated. They are more knowledgeable. ”

    “IT IS ALL ABOUT IMPLOSION AND TIMING” for change to occur.

    Only an implosion from within can make things change. We see that happening today in the BN run government – a civil service riddled by massive corruption, leaders who are unresponsive to public demands and who make a mockery of accountability, a Parliament fast spiraling into an out of control circus dominated by clowns, politicians whose appetite for sex and scandals knows no bounds, in-fighting among them, the corruption of the country’s judiciary, a police leadership whose loyalty to the ruling government is suspect with the passing of each day etc

    All we need to do is to expose these so-called “elected representatives of the people” their misdeeds and their greed. Soon there will be a massive implosion from within which then gives way to change.

  61. #61 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 15 April 2007 - 11:21 pm

    Yes. ‘Implosion’ rather than ‘explosion’ will facilitate ‘change.

    I do not think, post-Machap, the DAP/PKR electoral alliance will win votes enough to determine who has the right to run the next government.

  62. #62 by hang tuah on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 5:52 pm

    the gov should not fullfill any of the promises if they have brains. they should drag all the promises to the coming ge so that the machap folks will vote them again and again.

    from the above article it pointed out that machap folks used dap to pressure the gov to spill some fortune on the neglected land. the gov should understand as long as all the promisses is not fullfilled those folks will vote them back.

    anyway the gov will still carry on with all the promisses because someone who is going to implement the promises will make some money out from the deal.

    machap folks are still the loser for paying something which should not cost hat much in real life. what gone through the ruling will be mark up 10 times to cover so called admistrative cost. the true winner is the elected.

    happy new life for the elected.

    shake head………

  63. #63 by Godfather on Monday, 16 April 2007 - 6:56 pm

    The entire country would have to be brought to its knees first before any radical change can take place. The catalyst would probably be something financial – like the 1998 crisis but 100 times bigger – and occurring at a time when our oil reserves have just run out. Lastly, and not necessarily the least important, the country’s resources would have been sucked dry by BN (mainly UMNO) cronies.

  64. #64 by alanyeap on Tuesday, 17 April 2007 - 1:01 am

    DAP doesn’t have good agend to attract the people of machap. I already wrote the comment in the machap blog. People in Rural area wants to have Economic developement. Has DAP change the strategy? No, DAP are so self-Centered that only cares on their own agenda which HAS NOTHING to do with the majority of Machap people.

    There is NO TOLL in Machap. So, toll increase or unfair conssesion, it doesn’t impact the people of machap.

    the billion dollar consultant fees for patchwork repairs to the new highways/roads. There is no such highway that needs repair in Machap.

    Telecoms shares issue, Not many people in Machap knows how to play share.

    Petroleum increase. The area is so small that it’s hardly extra ringgit come out of their pocket. Mostly are motorbike user. Cars user, one day also travel less than 10KM within the town…. not much impact.

    The extention of the land from 66 to 99, how many ppl affected? Too few….. (BN can easily change the law which they had done it easily).

    DAP. I am very disappointed that you have become NATO by urself. Yes. U do exposed many bad things and organize rally successfully. But you fail to reach out for the people’s heart.


    Malaysia today blog says ur trying to mimic PAP of Singapore. Too bad it’s turning bad.

    Singapore PAP speaks the people’s wish and mind. Every economical aspect design will have people benefit in their mind all across the rich, poor, different races.

    I don’t see such thing in the machap by election nor in your DAP website.

    How can we, as a chinese be possible to fully support DAP unless those issue does affect our life. Ur issues only impact the people in the City but not in the rural.

    You need to win all people’s heart. Not just chinese and india. Seek to understand the people of malaysia wants and give to us.

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