BN lost Bukit Gantang. After all the efforts that also saw Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took part in the campaignings, nothing could stop the Opposition from retaining the seat.
I was there with Rockybru, Outsyed the Box, A Voice and Husin Lempoyang. For a week, what we observed was the understrength BN mercenaries. Umno did their job well but there was almost no support from BN components MCA and Gerakan.
Although the votes from the Malay voters improved, the Chinese, in whom we hoped to swing around their support from Pakatan Rakyat, proved that the deciding factor in Bukit Gantang was theirs.
Nope! We should not blame them. Since MCA and Gerakan presence was not felt during the campaigning period (apart from initiatives led by a few Chinese associations), Nizar Jamaludin deserved the victory over Ismail Saffian of BN.
So pathetic it was. The Chinese were not supporting PAS but they voted for DAP, whose state government was routed by BN in an 'ungentleman' takeover recently. Our observation was that, the Chinese (irrespective of their party or ideology) opted for Nizar as a protest to the tug-of-war between Nizar and the new Mentri Besar, Datuk Dr Zambry Kadir.
What about the Malays? Was this another punishment for Umno, similar to what they did in March 8, 2008 general elections? Maybe...
Umno is still very much divided. Even after the March 24-28 general assembly, dissension and infightings within party factions still went uncontrolled. Pemuda Umno, notably, still found it difficult to accept the result that saw Khairy Jamaludin being elected its chief. And so were the groups who opposed Hisham, Muhyiddin and some who made it to the Supreme Council.
Backbitting rages on. The Malays bad inveterate found no cure. Rather than closing ranks to invigorate the party, the upshots were devastating.
(Also read Outsyed the Box, Rocky and A Voice)
After Kuala Terengganu which also saw Umno lost to Pas on January 17, no lesson was learnt, it seemed. Umno members were still in vertigo and failed to admit that their vivid for certain leaders was affecting the party.
Datuk Seri Najib must get rid of such scabs in the party and do some cleanings if he wants to put the house in order. Otherwise, Umno will get stagnate. Shoo away the party bigots before we can talk about other by-elections or the next general elections.
(Gampang in Indonesian dialect means 'easy' or 'senang'. I used it only to spike at BN, maybe they took Bkt Gantang so lightly... no offense)