Heck, throw in the whole lot.
Perak, Penang and Kedah, too.
Who won, and how?
We know UMNO/BN did not.
They weren’t even a formal election pact then.
In January, 2009, I was in Kuala Terengganu for the bye-election.
BN had won the seat in the 12th GE.
As the group of bloggers and activists went on our ‘VOTE OUT BN’ walkabouts, especially in the Chinese areas, we heard the same thing again and again : if the people of Terengganu had known of the tsunami that was going to hit Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah in the 12th GE, they would have joined the tidal wave and denied BN Terengganu.
There you have it.
It was the huge number of voters in those 4 states who voted for change that won.
Sure, by default, DAP, PKR and PAS formed the government in those states.
Not because we loved the opposition or had full faith in them, but because the “Anything But BN” mood was so strong that we were determined to vote in anybody in their place.
I voted in PJ Selatan. Even as I asked “Who’s Hee?”, I voted for Hee Loy Sian.
Loh Gwo Burne was an eleventh hour Keadilan candidate for Kelana Jaya. The man behind the VK Lingam “Korek Korek Korek” video camera. He won? Why?
The overwhelming “Anything But BN” tsunami that swept through Kelana Jaya and every other seat, state and federal, in the 4 states won the day.
See it this way.
On polling day, 2 groups of voters vie for the spoils.
Those for change, and those who wish to maintain the status quo.
Those who want a new government, and those who want to retain BN.
In those 4 states, those who wanted to see change were victorious.
First, understand this.
Cheating by UMNO/BN at the GE and state elections is nothing new. It has been going on for a long time.
In 1990, I was part of a team of lawyers who volunteered to patrol the polling stations in Kota Baru and report back on any cheating we saw. And boy, did we see a lot. By the way, notwithstanding the wholesale cheating, my late sis-in-law, Ilani Isahak, standing on a Semangat 46 ticket, trounced Tengku Ahmad Rithauddin in Kota Baru.
A tsunami of voters who opted for change, so huge, that it was able to offset the cheating.
That was also what happened in Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah in 2008.
In all 4 states, the tidal wave for change was so huge, it was able to neutralise the cheating.
What of the other states?
Remember the feedback we got in Kuala Terengganu in January, 2009.
Information that had so angered voters in the 4 states enough to make them resolve to get rid of UMNO/BN had not reached the other states.
The fact of the tsunami reaching unstoppable proportions had not reached the other states.
In short, the media war to rid ourselves of UMNO/BN had been effective in those 4 states but had failed in the others.
In Selangor, Perak, Penang and Kedah, the good people had risen and were heard.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, before we look ahead to removing UMNO/BN.
Yes, I remain hopeful that we can still ABU this nation.