By Hafidz Baharom
There have been so many parables over Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional that I have pretty much lost track of which one actually tells the tale properly.
Initially, it was a mere story of Pepsi versus Coke, and both of hem might trigger diabetes and make you lose your leg. And from there it has moved on to fruits A versus B, Bakery A versus Bakery B and even McDonald’s versus Ramli burger selling stalls and food trucks.
To myself personally, I’d rather look at it now and see Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional more akin to Samsung and Apple – and I’m sure tech enthusiasts might see this and experience a lightbulb effect.
The parable is simple, Apple runs on Samsung chips. And both models using the same batch of chips burst into flames due to a defect. Both have sued each other for copyright infringement, both openly mock each other in ads, and both evolve over time.
Except as the parable states, we are experiencing both BN and Pakatan blowing up in our faces, and both having the same faulty chips. While PPBM has come out and said their not disaffected Umno voters like Semangat 46, let’s face it – they are exactly disaffected Umno voters like Semangat 46.
And Pakatan decided to give them the most seats and the prime minister post, just like putting a faulty Samsung CPU into an Apple phone.
Thus, the #UndiRosak movement are the consumers skipping this year’s offer of models, to wait for one that actually won’t blow up in our faces – particularly because this one doesn’t have a refund or recall policy.
So is spoiling our vote irrational and emotional as some analysts point out? No. It’s most rational choice there is when both models blow up in your face. You wait for the next one which fixes the problem.
And in the case of general elections, the next model will take 5 more years to build up.
And so, out of desperation for keeping their market share, Pakatan decides there is a need to somehow keep selling their product pretty much using any tactic necessary from derision, mockery – even having a Parti Amanah Negara Vice President go out and ask the police and the Election Commission to investigate those wanting to spoil their votes.
Some go so far as to accuse that the spoiled vote movements is caused by BN , yet another Amanah ranking fellow and many Pakatan supporters. In fact, analysts and activists aplenty trying to say that not voting will benefit BN.
Well, here’s a newsflash – they don’t care. They’ve seen beyond propaganda of fear being marketed by Pakatan.
Sound bytes like “this is our last chance” raises the question why is this the last chance? Is Pakatan going to die before the later general election?
Or “this is the last chance to save the country” raises the same questions. Save the country from what? Is there a nuclear missile somewhere targeting us, just waiting if Pakatan loses?
Or sarcastically, how exactly is introducing EPL on RTM even related to saving the nation?
Like I said, they’re beyond the propaganda of fear which just triggers more questions that even Pakatan supporters cannot answer honestly or truthfully, resorting to name calling.
Subsequently, the continuing highlight of this issue of spoiled voters who don’t like what either side is marketing is being so forcible it borders irrationality.
It’s like McDonald’s and Ramly Burger trying to force vegans and vegetarians to shove beef burgers down their throats. It’s like forcing the diabetic to continue drinking Coke and Pepsi even If they want plain water.
Last parable – it’s like asking a guy who doesn’t smoke to light up a Marlboro or a Dunhill even if they don’t want to.
So why is Pakatan worried?
Well first, because this current group wanting to spoil their votes are mostly those who were pro-Pakatan volunteers in their campaigns since 2008. And second, they spoiled vote movement is really, really loud about pointing it out on social media, which is Pakatan’s main propaganda playground.
And because social media is now getting more and more expensive to sponsor to reach the masses and is permeated with select pockets of people spoiling their votes who are experts at social media marketing, it becomes a credible threat.
This has led Pakatan to the need to play defence on the online front, while trying to organise enough groundswell for their their campaigns into the rural Malay heartland and also praying that the spoiled voting population are just the loud ones and not the silent voters waiting for the general election.
Do spoiled votes ruin elections? Yes, they do. It happened in Ketereh and Kuala Selangor.
Does it teach parties to change?
Depends. If they don’t change, they can wait another election to see if it changes. If not, then obviously something has to, even if it means realising the need for a more credible opposition party beyond the Pakatan coalition.