What Factors Led To A BN Victory In Ijok?
That may well be true to a certain extent. Prime Ministers have that intangible advantage when even their mere presence adds immense clout to any side on an issue or dispute they choose to support. More so during elections and that too a PM who is generally considered 'a nice guy'. I can believe that when the simple people of Ijok saw Pak Lah's patrician features and deportment, they would have naturally been very impressed and his soft-spoken exhortations to "vote Barisan" would have been respectfully abided by many. Pak Lah has the added advantage in that his appeal cuts across racial, religious and ideological lines, a gift which neither his deputy nor other senior leaders possess.
But I doubt that this was the clinching factor in the by-election win. There were so many other reasons, some primary and others contributory. Khir Toyo's now notorious RM 36 million bounty tops the list. News of Toyo's great zeal for unbounded munificence reverberated throughout the nation and abroad. He was seen as an unabashed purveyor of bribes, ready to buy out voters in any given area lock, stock and barrel if need be. With that much of taxpayer moolah at his disposal he apparently did a masterly job of 'campaigning' and 'garnering' votes for his side, earning in the process the reputation of being a crackerjack of artful persuasion and graft.
The right earnest manner in which the visual and print media went to town with detailed stories about government projects "of, by and for the rakyat" must have resonated well with the average Ijok inhabitant, while at the same time headline news of rowdyism by opposition supporters must have also had some impact.
There were of course many insinuations regarding 'phantom voters' and bus loads of them being ferried to polling booths, but I have absolutely no way to confirm the veracity of these claims. Over the next few days I'm sure more such irregularities will find their way, if not into the national press at least the internet news portals. In the meanwhile Pak Lah will be delighted at this emphatic victory while Najib should be relieved at the respite from further explanations on the close encounters of the Mongolian kind. Samy Vellu should be ecstatic about being still rated as the undisputed number one Indian thug in the country while Khir Toyo will be ever thankful for the semuanya ok ending that resulted in him saving his job which he probably thought was lost forever a couple of days ago. All in all not a bad outing for BN. Hidup Barisan!
Read the Bernama report mentioned earlier HERE.