Take this article from a prominent politician's site, for example:
Barisan Nasional diramal tumbang di Sarawak dengan hanya memenangi 21 daripada 71 kerusi yang dipertandingkan pada pilihan raya negeri itu, 16 April ini.
Malah, Ketua Menteri, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud juga diramalkan kalah di kerusi yang dipertahankannya di DUN Balingian.
For those unfamiliar with the Malay language, the gist of it is that the Opposition (namely PKR/Keadilan) were expecting the ruling coalition, BN, to win only 21 of the 71 seats, and predicting that the Chief Minister would lose his seat.
It didn't happen. BN won 55 of the 71 seats and the Chief Minister retained his seat.
A lot of people are angry with the Sarawakians. Judging by the level of contempt on Facebook and around the blogs, it is not a good time to be Sarawakian right now.
"You deserve exactly what you get!" has become the common refrain.
But let's look deeper at the situation. PKR were expecting to win far more seats than they actually did. But they only clinched 3!! It makes you wonder - why did that happen?
I think one answer comes from the leadership style and common practice in selecting candidates.
PKR’s stars like Baru Bian in Ba'kelalan and Nicholas Bawin in Batang Ai are strong leaders in their own right. They are credible Dayak leaders from earlier parties like SNAP and PBDS.
PKR only gave them the platform to contest after SNAP and PBDS were “deregistered” by the BN-controlled Registrar of Societies.
When it comes to Sarawak (or East Malaysia for that matter), who would know the people, issues and political climate better than the East Malaysians themselves?
But these credible East Malaysian leaders are being sidelined by shoddy West Malaysian candidates, and PKR expects the voters to accept them with open arms just because they are the Opposition!
Have they gone down to ground level (and I'm talking about long before the state elections) to gauge what the real issues of the voters are? Do they understand the mind of the East Malaysian?
The question is: DO THEY GENUINELY CARE?
Of course, I concede that a lot of rural East Malaysians are also simple-minded (read: stupid). All that is necessary is a few ringgit, a bicycle, some rice - and the vote belongs to the giver of those gifts.
Maybe the Bible is right after all: "It is more blessed to give than to receive. [Acts 20:35]"
OK, I will stop being sarcastic. I'm fairly certain BN did not give those gifts without expecting something in return.
DAP on the other hand, contested 15 seats in mostly urban areas and managed to win 12 of them. I thought they performed well, but a reader said, "I don't think so, chinese win in chinese majority area.This party needs to work harder to become a true multiracial party. To me, dap will always be a sinocentric party."
Yes, those seats that DAP won in the urban areas were highly Chinese-dominated constituencies. So DAP will also have to work not just on their image, but on the issues they take up - being sincere and genuine to all races, for the well-being, not to gain votes.
I do make an exception for Alice Lau of DAP though. She worked the ground long before the elections and it was a great disappointment to be defeated by postal votes and money politics in Bawang Assan.
It's not too late. We will still have the next General Elections, and this may be even more exciting than the last one.
Pakatan Rakyat are aware that they are not merely up against BN. They are also up against Maybank, Utusan Melayu, New Straits Times, The Star, Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Election Commission, Pos Malaysia, AirAsia, the Immigration department etc.
BN would be severely delusional to think that this win is a reflection of their popularity in Sarawak.
I wonder if beyond all that trash-talking about how well-liked they are, they know what people really think of them.
Especially the Chief Minister, aptly named Raja Berooke (beruk means ape) by some quarters. His simple-mindedness could confound even the primates in the jungles of Sarawak.
Word is, he has promptly appointed himself back on the throne, to the dismay of the PM, Najib Razak.
Now, that is a special level of delusion.