It has been a long time since my last post.
It’s wedding season and I returned to Kluang, Johor (not JB for those who think Johor is JB, do read this to know the difference ) twice over two weeks and I also had the opportunity to attend other weddings in KL.
The usual conversation of normal Malaysians like us in a wedding revolves not around serious stuff like gay rights, human rights or global warming (it was rainy throughout my stay there). Apart from commenting about bride, groom, their family, how we have aged as well as the ever escalating rate of wedding ang pows (or Moiyee in Tamil), we also spoke about politics.
In the Kluang weddings, there were pockets of people from Kuantan, Singapore as well as people from all parts of Johor.
Based on my conversation with them on politics, I can summarise that people have grown tired of petty politics played out by both BN and Pakatan Rakyat. While BN bashing has become a fashion, as it is here in Johor, it has certainly become increasingly boring. One thing is quite clear; people have less confidence in Pakatan Rakyat now than before.
When enquired further, it appears that people are tired of both Pakatan national leaders as well as their local representatives. They further amplified that these local leaders are those who canvassed for votes in the last elections and had since, many of their candidates have won.
The real problem on the ground appears to be the local leaders as they have appeared to have promised the sun and moon during the elections. And more glaringly, majority of the Pakatan local leaders are BN rejects and I was told, those who actually failed or sidelined by their former BN party. I was also informed that promises have remained just that, promises. This sync with incidents that we hear and read daily, promises that were never delivered across the country by Pakatan and BN.
BN has a clear advantage as there were not much expectation any way that they will deliver but for Pakatan, promises were made much expectation (especially with the usual heroic stage rhetoric with chants of ‘Makkal Sakhti’ ) , especially in the states governed by them. As in Johor, a BN stronghold, Pakatan gained several seats in the last elections and even with the few seats the state Pakatan appears to be in sleeping mode and not to mention, squabbles in the State DAP and alleged involvement of secret society.
The same sentiments were shared by others in the wedding from other states. People have started to have more confidence in the economy. Malays, I hear do not have much fear over the liberalization of several key sectors (not that they understand much in the 1st place).
In Johor, jobs are plenty, factories are near to their usual capacity and Iskandar is beginning to take shape. More importantly for the JB folks, there is an alternative route to the much dreaded Pasir Gudang highway (for those who have not used this road, I suggest you should check and firm up your brakes before even thinking of using this road).
As for temple and cow heads, I hear that there are no such issues in Johor. Even the Royalty gave the land to the new Crystal Temple in JB and aptly promoted as a tourist destination by the state government. People are equally excited and confused over the Iskandar project as it is being trumpeted frequently by the media and national leaders but there’s little to show at the moment. I was informed that there few evidences of jobs being created for the project.
As for the Indians, people I know appears to be singing a different tune now as compared to pre and post general elections when there were strong anti-BN and pro Hindraf (pro Pakatan) sentiments. People here are disgusted with Hindraf leaders and other Pakatan Indian leaders. Indians are also slowly losing their trust on Anwar. One asked me where is he?, while another asked if Anwar is planning to return to UMNO, speculation further to the alleged meeting with Najib.
People are also beginning to get tired with the antics of Indian leaders, especially when they try to defend criminals and criminal acts. A local said that the 5 Indians who were killed in a shoot out with police, deserves to die. For those who are not aware, this shoot to kill policy are often played out in many Tamil movies and known as ‘encounter’ and it is a normal happening in India where court and trials take ages to even start and police choose this alternative unofficial method to rid society of known and proven hardcore criminals.
As for support for Najib, many are cautiously optimistic that Najib will deliver, with many commenting on his fast paced, business like moves and less political rhetoric in the recent past. Despite the usual distrusts, people are impressed with his pace and measures that has been taken thus far, though many think it can be better, especially on cost of living.
In summary, though I may have only met few people in Johor and they may not represent the majority, it appears that Johoreans still trust BN though they are much more cautious than before. If Pakatan Rakyat do not put their house and people in order, it would be quite difficult to take over this BN strong hold.