The outcome of the by-election was almost predictable because of the blemish on the BN candidate's name. While PAS's candidate also suffered an attack, it came much later as if to counter the allegation already made on the former. Why BN or UMNO couln't come with a clean and more innocent looking candidate, only God knows. Certainly BN/UMNO must change its campaign strategy. Stop harping on what it has done in the last 52 years for there were as many things not done or even undone. Also stop announcing a long list of what it'll immediately do if victorious, like promising the bridge in Permatang Pauh or giving more funds for development. The rakyat knows what had been slated for them as a responsibility of the government and not as a bonus or a favour like offering a piece of candy to a kid.
Even the tactic of buying votes would not work now since voters can accept the money and yet vote the way they want. Who can do anything to them, even if found out? The rakyat needs new faces, clean and innocent of what BN has been doing all these years, professionals who are even critical of the party's past attitude and proclivities, to the point of disagreeing with some high-powered but anachronistics leaders. Only through a show of honest self-criticism, determination to 'kick-out' the 'fat' and 'dirty' old boys and start a new tradition of efficiency and service-to- the-needy, not to friends and bottom-fanners ( tukang kipas), can a new confidence be installed.
As even the young boys and girls now say, the dirty names and faces must go. Especially those who have already made their fortunes through the party and the office(s) they have held for years.
A very sickening phenomenon is when a once powerful figure who had lost the confidence of the people continues to hold several important posts in the party, as if there's no one else who can do the work. Or when a big-wig who had been found guilty of money politics or misdemeanor by the party disciplinary board continues to wield considerable power as if the offence is only a temporary blackhead on the face. What's the difference between offering money for support or for services. Isn't it the same as promoting corruption or prostitution? Punishing the takers of the money would not stop the malaise.
There certainly will be more by-elections before the GE. BN/UMNO must by now know what the people want to see and hear before offering their votes. When you have to vote between a
shrewd 'devil' and a weaker but more trustworthy candidate, don't be surprised if people go for the latter. I'd even trust a poorer candidate than a richer one. In the worst scenario the former will only want to overcome his poverty. The latter will want to be richer than everyone else without regard to how it can be done, even by putting his people and country to ransom.