However you look at it, the post-March 8 momentum hasn't slowed down. The writing is on the wall for BN, and PAS's win in KT is a thrilling vote for change.
This dislike, or some would put it as hatred, has not diminished since March 08. If anything, it has even grown more intense, no thanks to the Ahmad Ismail incident, the abuse of the ISA in the arrest of a journalist for her own “protection”, rising crime rate, the disappearance of a private investigator under suspicious circumstances, the aborted EuroCopter purchase, the aborted sale of IJN (aborted only after public objections), rampant corruption… all added to make this feeling more and more intense.
Hsu Dar Ren
[T]his election shows that the sirens of calls for reform have fallen on deaf ears. Umno leaders appear only to be interested in themselves and their own fortunes, rather than repairing the serious flaws in governance and credibility.
Not only do Umno leaders appear deaf to calls for change, they appear blind to the evaporation of its political base.
This was more than a referendum on the leadership. It was a test of the relevance of Umno in its present form. If Umno is no longer relevant to the Malays, the BN formula is dead. The Chinese will have no reason to support MCA and so on. The power-sharing consensual bargain on which our political system has been based since Independence is broken.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
The results showed that Chinese Malaysian voters favoured the BN. No matter how hard Pakatan Rakyat leaders of Chinese descent tried to woo these voters, they still voted for the BN. The Chinese in Kuala Terengganu want a secular state. They still cannot accept hudud. It is difficult for PAS to gain the trust and support of Chinese voters if the party is unable to change in this respect.
Sin Chew editorial
The humiliation suffered by UMNO in the January 17, 2009 by-election in Kuala Trengganu, a seat previously held by one of its Deputy Ministers, is further proof that the party’s thumping in the March 2008 General Elections was the beginning of the end. Getting rid of its leader Abdullah Badawi will not alter UMNO’s fate; a future with Najib Razak will be no solution either.The party is no longer salvageable; UMNO is now beyond redemption.
M. Bakri Musa
Umno is too immersed in its own culture of patronage and has failed to realise that it cannot treat voters the same way it does party members. An independent poll on Kuala Terengganu voters found that more Malay Malaysians felt that their political power was at risk from "corrupt and self-serving leaders" than those who felt that non-Malay communities were a threat.
The state of flux points to many Malaysians having woken up to the fact. They want change in the most fundamental of ways: independence from a mindset that has left them colonized by an elite for its own benefit.
They are not fastidious as to who it is that becomes the Prime Minister of this country or who it is that forms the government. All they want is a government made up of men and women who believe in the ideals that the founders of this nation thought were a solid basis for a glorious future for all Malaysians. They want those men and women to believe in these ideals enough to get on with what needs to be done as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. They want the respect that each and every one of them is entitled to as a citizen.
BN is on the back foot now not because it's divided but eroded. Its lesser components, such as Gerakan and SAPP, have fallen away or grown moribund. Of its three principal parties, the MIC has circled its wagons against an electorate that rejected it in March 2008. The MCA, on its part, continues to serve its own survival well enough, and in so doing was rewarded by the Chinese voters of KT largely abiding by it and BN last Saturday. But they were not enough to stanch the haemorrhage of faith in Umno, as Malay voters swung away from BN to deliver victory by a quadrupled majority to Pas.
I found that for the salurans where the average age of the voters was below 35, the level of BN support decreased by 4.4%. For the salurans where the average voter age was from 35 to 55, the decrease in BN support was 1.5%, and for salurans with voters above 55, the decrease in the level of BN support was 0.8%. This is unmistakable evidence of a trend towards voting for the opposition among younger voters regardless of race.
Ong Kian Ming
UMNO - Come down from the high chairs. Stop from being treated like Kings, Lords and Masters. Sit on the plastic chairs with the rakyat and the voters. You are Wakil Rakyat. You are elected by them. You are not their Lords and Masters. They are, in fact, your Masters; and
They elected you. They never elected your spouses, your children, your sons- and daughters-in-law, your kins and clansmen.
A Kadir Jasin