Malaysia comprises of 13 states and 3 federal territories but only 4 states have chief ministers.

Elections to 3 state assemblies in Penang, Malacca and Sabah will be turned into a sort of referendum on the performance of the chief ministers. Whereas Sarawak had its state assembly elections in 2011, meaning Taib Mahmud would still be around past GE13 despite Premier Najib Tun Razak having told the people of Sarawak that he would ensureTaib steps down after the 2011 state election. Taib is unlikely to retire anytime soon as his Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) won all the 35 seats it contested in 2011. Besides, Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats and Taib controls at least 25 of them.

In all these states, the incumbent chief ministers are very popular and, as a result, the election campaigns will be strongly focused on their performance. As a result, national leaders of both the Barisan National and the Pakatan Rakyat have begun to realize that they actually have little role to play in these elections. Penang’s one-term chief minister Lim Guan Eng​, Sabah’s two-termed chief minister Musa Aman and Sarawak’s four-termed chief minister Taib Mahmud alongside relatively the low-profile three-termed chief minister of Malacca Mohd ​Ali Rustam, respectively, have all acquired a larger-than-life image in their states, making it difficult for opposition parties to easily dislodge them.

This has then given respective ruling parties in all these states an incumbency advantage. Whether all these chief ministers will succeed in their re-election bid will depend on whether they can overcome issues at the constituency level, especially in terms of candidates who don’t have strong track records. But it is increasingly clear to me that the chief ministers have put their parties in a strong position.

Many Malaysian voters have begun choosing governments not on the basis of party ideology and long-prevailing preferences but on specific party leaders. This trend has become more obvious with an increasing number of young people emerging as a major voting bloc. That’s because, in general, party loyalty and party identification among the youth is weaker compared with older Malaysian voters. Perhaps the youth have realized that it is better to focus on leaders rather than parties as there are good and bad leaders in all parties.

People are craving for leaders who are honest, easily accessible and have a strong, pro-rural and pro-people orientation. Incumbent chief ministers of the latest poll-bound states don’t necessarily have all these qualities. Yet, overall, they have performed remarkably well on these attributes; this is what makes it difficult for their challengers. I am not suggesting that these leaders could win without the backing and cadre of their parties. But they have added an extra element of strength and give an edge to their parties. Elections in Malaysia are increasingly focused on a specific leader is clear from recent electoral victories of Taib Mahmud in Sarawak, contributed hugely to his party’s victory.

In the case of Malacca, Mohd Ali Rustam, was barred from contesting in the UMNO elections, the UMNO Disclipinary Board found Mohd Ali guilty of violating party ethics for indulging in money politics and hence was prohibited from contesting the post of UMNO deputy president. But he still remains as the Malacca Chief Minister. In the past, it was only national leaders such as Dr Mahathir​ and Anwar Ibrahim​, and some regional icons such as Musa Aman, Pairin Kitingan and Taib Mahmud​, who had the magnetism to win on their sheer personal strength. Today, a number of chief ministers, such as Musa Aman and Lim Guan Eng, in these poll-bound states, have acquired this larger-than-party persona.

What is interesting is that all these chief ministers have emerged mainly due to their pro-development agenda. Most of them have implemented welfare-oriented and populist programmes to woo the electorate. Financial assistance schemes targeting the poor as well as rapid strides in basic infrastructure such as roads and bridges especially in Sabah have all been priorities for the respective chief ministers. These smart chief ministers have found a way of potentially overcoming the dreaded anti-incumbency factor so prevalent in Malaysian elections.

What this suggests is that parties ought to announce leaders in every state, especially those in the opposition, and let these leaders build up a profile. UMNO is benefiting in Sabah due to the image of Musa Aman as an urbane, decent and efficient chief minister. The recent visit to Sabah by Wu Bangguo, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and even the visit by Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife Cathrine, all confirms that Musa has done a fantastic job in Sabah. Its a fact Sabah is the most successful state in Malaysia in attracting private investments. For the first quarter of 2012, Sabah under Musa Aman managed to attract private investments in the amount of RM10 billion, way ahead of other states. Among the reasons is having a stable, business friendly and a prudent government besides the environment in Sabah is well protected because of Sabah’s stringent forestry laws and strong conservation programme. Yet, the party’s’ dogged refusal to announce its chief ministerial candidates in other states, even where popular leaders are available and willing, is going against the voters’ tendency to choose leaders over parties.

Given the voter fixation with state issues and chief ministers, national issues have become rather irrelevant in these elections. Altantuya, Scorpene submarines, Sharizat’s 250million “Lembu” episode and price rise on food items, which the Pakatan hoped to raise in these elections in a big way, appear to have failed to take off as these elections have become virtual referenda on the performance of the chief ministers. If the UMNO/Barisan National fares poorly in Penang in this coming GE13, it will be mainly due to its inability to challenge the DAP’s popular chief minister Lim Guan Eng and not necessarily to the Barisan National government’s failures in managing the economy or maintaining internal security. So, even if it fails to win in the Pakatan-ruled states, this is a message that may bring solace to the Barisan National leadership and hopes in national elections to the Parliament that are due in March/April 2013.

Comments
  1. bei soo lang says:

    To : All Sabahans
    From :Bei Soo Lang, Software Expert.KK Tel : 088268189
    Agenda: Come to my office to witness all the evidences.

    Like

  2. bei soo lang says:

    I think most of you already saw this list. A list stating 70 reasons of why we should say NO to UMNO-BN in the next GE. Let’s examine this list closely ya.

    1. PKFZ RM12 billion
    2. Submarine Commission RM500 million
    3. Sime Darby RM964 million
    4. Paya Indah Westland RM88 million
    5. Pos Malaysia (Transmile) RM230 million lost
    6. Eurocopter deal RM1 billion wasted?
    7. Terengganu Stadium collapse RM292 million
    8. MRR2 repair cost RM70 million
    9. Maybank overpaid BII RM4 billion
    10. Tourism – NYY kickback RM10 million

    11. 3 paintings bought by MAS RM1.5 million
    12. Overpayment by Sport Ministry RM8.4 million
    13. London’s white elephant sports complex RM70 million
    14. MATRADE repairs RM120 million
    15. Cost of new plane used by PM RM200 million
    16. InventQ irrecoverable debt RM228 million
    17. Compensation for killing crooked bridge RM257 million
    18. Loss in selling Augusta RM 510 million
    19. Worth of APs given out in a year RM1.8 billion
    20. Submarines (future Muzium Negara artifacts) RM4.1 billion

    21. PSC Naval dockyard RM6.75 billion
    22. The Bank Bumiputra twin scandals in the early 1980s saw US$1billion losses (RM3.2 billion in 2008)
    23. The Maminco attempt to corner the World Tin Market in the1980s is believed to have cost some US$500 million (RM1.6billion)
    24. Betting in foreign exchange futures cost Bank Negara MalaysiaRM30 billion in the 1990s
    25. Perwaja Steel’s US$800 million (RM2.56 billion) losses
    26. Use of RM10 billion public funds in the Valuecap Sdn Bhd operation to shore up the stock market
    27. Banking scandal of RM700 million losses in Bank Islam
    28. The sale of M.V. Agusta by Proton for one Euro making a loss of €75.99 million (RM348 million) Same as No.20?
    29. Wang Ehsan from oil royalty on Terengganu RM7.4 billion from 2004 – 2007
    30. For the past 10 years since Philharmonic Orchestra was established, this orchestra has swallowed a total of RM500 million. Hiring a Kwai-Lo CEO with a salary of more than RM1 million per annum!

    31. In Advisors Fees, Mahathir was paid RM180,000, Shahrizat Abdul RM404,726 and Abdul Hamid Othman (religious) RM549,675 per annum
    32. The government has spent a total of RM3.2 billion in teaching Maths and Science in English over the past five years. Of the amount, the government paid a whopping RM2.21 billion for the purchase of information and computer technology (ICT) equipment which it is unable to give a breakdown. Government paid more than RM6,000 per notebook vs per market price of less than RM3,000 through some new consortiums that was setup just to transact the notebook deal. There was no Maths & Science Content for the teachers and the notebooks are all with the teachers’ children now.
    33. The commission paid for purchase of jets and submarines to two private companies – Perimeker Sdn Bhd and IMT Defence Sdn Bhd amounted to RM910 million. Expanding on No. 2?
    37. RM300 million to compensate Gerbang Perdana for the RM1.1 billion “Crooked Scenic Half-Bridge”
    38. RM1.3 billion has been wasted building the white elephant Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities on cancellation of the Malaysia-Singapore Scenic Bridge
    39. RM100 million on renovation of Parliament building which leaks
    40. National Astronaut (actually tourist) Programme – RM40 million

    41. National Service Training Programme – yearly an estimate of RM 500 million ( MOST National Service Camp LAND OWNERS are tied to Najib or old ‘friends’ of Najib )
    42. Eye of Malaysia – RM30 million and another RM5.7 million of free tickets
    43. RM2.4 million on indelible ink
    44. Samy Vellu announced in September 2006 that the government paid compensation amounting to RM38.5 billion to 20 highway companies. RM380 million windfalls for 9 toll concessionaires earned solely from the toll hike in 2008 alone
    45. RM32 million timber export kickbacks involving companies connected to Sarawak Chief Minister and his family.
    46. Two bailouts of Malaysia Airline System RM7.9 billion. At a time when MAS is incurring losses every year, RM1.55 million used to buy three paintings to decorate its Chairman’s (Munir) office. Expanding on No.11
    47. Putra transport system bailout which cost RM4.486 billion.
    48. STAR-LRT bailout costing RM3.256 billion.
    49. National Sewerage System bailout costing RM192.54 million.
    50. Seremban-Port Dickson Highway bailout costing RM142 million

    51. Kuching Prison bailout costing RM135 million
    52. Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam bailout costing RM8.3 million
    53. Le Tour de Langkawi bailout costing RM3.5 Million
    54. Wholesale distribution of tens of millions of shares in Bursa Malaysia under the guise of NEP to cronies, children and relatives of BN leaders and ministers worth billions of ringgit.
    55. Alienation of tens of thousands of hectares of commercial lands and forestry concessions to children and relatives of BN leaders and Ministers worth tens of billions of ringgits.
    56. Since 1997, Petronas has handed out a staggering RM30 billion in natural gas subsidies to IPPs who were reaping huge profits. In addition, there were much wastages and forward trading of Petronas oil in the 1990s based on the low price of oil then. Since the accounts of Petronas are for the eyes of the Prime Minister only, we have absolutely no idea of the amount.
    57. RM5,700 for a car jack worth only RM50
    58. Government-owned vehicle consumed a tank of petrol worth RM113 within a few minutes
    59. A pole platform that cost RM990 was bought for RM30,000
    60. A thumb drive that cost RM90 was bought for RM480

    61. A cabinet that cost RM1,500 was bought for RM13,50062. A flashlight that cost RM35 was bought for RM143
    63. Expenses for 1Malaysia campaign paid to APCO?
    64. RM17 billion subsidy to IPP
    65. US$24 million Diamond Ring for Ro$mah – Cancellation of Order – how much compensation?
    66. CowGate … RM250 million
    67. Monsoon Cup . . . RM800 million per year
    68. Illicit Fund Transfers out of Malaysia (2000 – 2009) : RM 1,077,000,000,000!
    69. Tajudin-Danaharta settlement to cover up for Dr M and Daim
    70. Billions of ringgit toll concessions that disadvantage the government and taxpayers
    71. MUSA-AMAN’s Timber-Concessions kick-backs worth $90Million US Dollars into his personal account causing thousands of acres of precious Rainforest in Sabah ( homes of endangered wild life such as Orangutans, Borneo Pygmy-Elephants & the Sumatran Rhino ) to be cut-down….

    Roughly the above list is pretty the ‘standard’ one. There are several versions on the net, some with up to 100 reasons, but generally all are more or less similar. From this list, we can actually group the ‘reasons’ into several category. Some cases can be added into more than one category. Below is an example on how I categorized them:

    Scandals:

    1. PKFZ RM12 billion.
    2. Submarine Commission RM500 million.
    6. Eurocopter deal RM1 billion wasted.
    10. Tourism – NYY kickback RM10 million.
    11. 3 paintings bought by MAS RM1.5 million.
    15. Cost of new plane used by PM RM200 million.
    20. Submarines (future Muzium Negara artifacts) RM4.1 billion.
    21. PSC Naval dockyard RM6.75 billion.
    22. The Bank Bumiputra twin scandals in the early 1980s saw US$1 billion losses (RM3.2 billion in 2008).
    25. Perwaja Steel’s US$800 million (RM2.56 billion) losses.
    27. Banking scandal of RM700 million losses in Bank Islam.
    31. In Advisors Fees, Mahathir was paid RM180,000, Shahrizat Abdul RM404,726 and Abdul Hamid Othman (religious) RM549,675 per annum.
    33. The commission paid for purchase of jets and submarines to two private companies – Perimeker Sdn Bhd and IMT Defence Sdn Bhd amounted to RM910 million. Expanding on No. 2?
    45. RM32 million timber export kickbacks involving companies connected to Sarawak Chief Minister and his family.
    54. Wholesale distribution of tens of millions of shares in Bursa Malaysia under the guise of NEP to cronies, children and relatives of BN leaders and ministers worth billions of ringgit.
    55. Alienation of tens of thousands of hectares of commercial lands and forestry concessions to children and relatives of BN leaders and Ministers worth tens of billions of ringgits.
    56. Since 1997, Petronas has handed out a staggering RM30 billion in natural gas subsidies to IPPs who were reaping huge profits. In addition, there were much wastages and forward trading of Petronas oil in the 1990s based on the low price of oil then. Since the accounts of Petronas are for the eyes of the Prime Minister only, we have absolutely no idea of the amount.
    65. US$24 million Diamond Ring for Ro$mah – Cancellation of Order – how much compensation?
    66. CowGate . . . RM250 Million
    68. Illicit Fund Transfers out of Malaysia ( 2000 – 2009)- RM 1,077,000,000,000!
    69. Tajudin-Danaharta settlement to cover up for Dr M and Daim.
    71. MUSA-AMAN’s Timber-Concessions kick-backs worth $90Million US Dollars into his personal account causing thousands of acres of precious Rainforest in Sabah ( homes of endangered wild life such as Orangutans, Borneo Pygmy-Elephants & the Sumatran Rhino ) to be cut-down….

    Bailout:

    3. Sime Darby RM964 million.
    4. Paya Indah Westland RM88 million.
    5. Pos Malaysia (Transmile) RM230 million lost.
    46. Two bailouts of Malaysia Airline System RM7.9 billion. At a time when MAS is incurring losses every year, RM1.55 million used to buy three paintings to decorate its Chairman’s (Munir) office. Expanding on No.11
    47. Putra transport system bailout which cost RM4.486 billion.
    48. STAR-LRT bailout costing RM3.256 billion.
    49. National Sewerage System bailout costing RM192.54 million.
    50. Seremban-Port Dickson Highway bailout costing RM142 million.
    51. Kuching Prison bailout costing RM135 million.
    52. Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam bailout costing RM8.3 million.
    53. Le Tour de Langkawi bailout costing RM3.5 Million.

    Damages and Repairs:

    7. Terengganu Stadium collapse RM292 million.
    8. MRR2 repair cost RM70 million.
    14. MATRADE repairs RM120 million.
    17. Compensation for killing crooked bridge RM257 million.
    37. RM300 million to compensate Gerbang Perdana for the RM1.1 billion “Crooked Scenic Half-Bridge”.
    38. RM1.3 billion has been wasted building the white elephant Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities on cancellation of the Malaysia-Singapore Scenic Bridge.
    39. RM100 million on renovation of Parliament building which leaks.

    Bad Investments/Decisions:

    13. London’s white elephant sports complex RM70 million.
    16. InventQ irrecoverable debt RM228 million.
    18. Loss in selling Augusta RM 510 million.
    28. The sale of M.V. Agusta by Proton for one Euro making a loss of €75.99 million (RM348 million)
    23. The Maminco attempt to corner the World Tin Market in the 1980s is believed to have cost some US$500 million (RM1.6 billion).
    24. Betting in foreign exchange futures cost Bank Negara Malaysia RM30 billion in the 1990s.
    30. For the past 10 years since Philharmonic Orchestra.was established, this orchestra has swallowed a total of RM500 million. Hiring a Kwai-Lo CEO with a salary of more than RM1 million per annum!
    40. National Astronaut (actually tourist) Programme – RM40 million.
    41. National Service Training Programme – yearly an estimate of RM 500 million.
    42. Eye of Malaysia – RM30 million and another RM5.7 million of free tickets.
    67. Monsoon Cup RM800 million per year.
    26. Use of RM10 billion public funds in the Valuecap Sdn Bhd operation to shore up the stock market.

    Supplier, PO system and Claims:

    12. Overpayment by Sport Ministry RM8.4 million.
    32. The government has spent a total of RM3.2 billion in teaching Maths and Science in English over the past five years. Of the amount, the government paid a whopping RM2.21 billion for the purchase of information and computer technology (ICT) equipment which it is unable to give a breakdown. Government paid more than RM6,000 per notebook vs per market price of less than RM3,000 through some new consortiums that was setup just to transact the notebook deal. There was no Maths & Science Content for the teachers and the notebooks are all with the teachers’ children now.
    43. RM2.4 million on indelible ink.
    57. RM5,700 for a car jack worth only RM50.
    58. Government-owned vehicle consumed a tank of petrol worth RM113 within a few minutes.
    59 A pole platform that cost RM990 was bought for RM30,000.
    60. A thumb drive that cost RM90 was bought for RM480.
    61. A cabinet that cost RM1,500 was bought for RM13,500.
    62. A flashlight that cost RM35 was bought for RM143.

    Payments:

    44. Samy Vellu announced in September 2006 that the government paid compensation amounting to RM38.5 billion to 20 highway companies. RM380 million windfalls for 9 toll concessionaires earned solely from the toll hike in 2008 alone.
    63. Expenses for 1Malaysia campaign paid to APCO?
    64. RM17 billion subsidy to IPP.
    70. Billions of ringgit toll concessions that disadvantage the government and taxpayers”.

    Others:

    9. Maybank overpaid BII RM4 billion.
    19. Worth of APs given out in a year RM1.8 billion.
    29. Wang Ehsan from oil royalty on Terengganu RM7.4 billion from 2004 – 2007..

    Like

  3. Thanks for dropping by Datuk, You are right Datuk. According to my contacts, ICAC Hong Kong has written last month a letter to Lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes dropping all investigation on the laundering case involving Micheal Chia’s Sing17 million. It seems the money has also been returned to the owner, how much I don’t know Datuk. My contacts also told me Najib might give a statement on this matter soon.

    Like

  4. karim says:

    Betul kah selva, they say Musa Aman now escape from the “hong kong 17m” story? It seems Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency the Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong) ICAC has returned the Sing$17 million to Micheal Chai and have dropped all investigations in this laundering case. Betul kah ini cerita? Can You confirm this?

    Like

  5. jfernandez14@yahoo.co.uk says:

    Better to go back to the state constitution in deciding on the Chief Minister.

    Ideally, the state assemblymen should collectively advise the Governor who can be considered as commanding the confidence of the majority of the state assembly.

    Sent by DiGi from my BlackBerry® Smartphone

    Like

  6. James says:

    Musa Aman is overrated. Shafie Apdal would be a disaster for Sabah. Hajiji is too soft. Masidi is ok but does not have much support. In this situation, Musa although overrated still better than all the other UMNO clowns added together.

    Like

  7. Joe Fernandez says:

    The choice is between BN and PR. In Sabah and Sarawak, there are local parties in the fray as well.

    Racism — feeling of superiority or inferiority — doesn’t figure in this General Election.

    What figures is BN’s 55 years in power. No party should be in power for more than two or three terms at a stretch.

    In 2007, the people did not vote for PR. They voted against BN.

    This time, PR is asking the people to vote for it. This is a strategic mistake. People will then start comparing PR and BN. But it’s a good move on the part of PR to make promises which BN will be forced to “make good” before the GE. Jadi, lembu punya susu, sapi akan dapat nama.

    The focus of the GE should be BN staying in power 55 years, not on BN’s 55 years in power. There’s a difference between these two positions.

    Like

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