Lim Kit Siang made his speech at Bukit Bendera yesterday, saying that UMNO/BN is like sinking Titanic and that 1MDB scandal will be the major cause to sweep them.
"Unlike the 13GE, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal will be the lead “scandal” in the 14GE although desperate attempts are being made to defuse it, including an elaborate script of “The Empire Strikes Back” based on the notion that the allegations of the 1MDB scandals were all based on the “tampered” emails (not only unsubstantiated to date but clearly impossible) including the last desperate option of a winding-up and asset-stripping of 1MDB.”
I’m not sure about this rational. From my understanding, M’sian politics is now in the middle of confrontation. And there are dynamics on both UMNO/BN camp and PR camp.
PR is “paralyzed”, and near-dead. Although, DAP has announced the death of PR, but PKR and PAS seem not to switch off the ventilator. On PKR wishes to maintain its leadership image over PR despite without Anwar and less MPs’ seat compared to DAP, while PAS playing a free riding to increase their negotiation power before making any movement after the next election. Therefore, DAP needs to develop proactive movement to create the new coalition by supporting G18 to forming new Islamic party and to reorganize the opposition to regain momentum in the next election, which we need to observe this more in the near future.
While in UMNO, Najib and Dr M seem not to halt the internal civil war over 1MDB scandal.
But how is the perceiving of public opinion over 1MDB?
This is the picture showing poll from Merdeka center, and the picture explains it all. 1MDB doesn’t affect public opinion at all, only 29% are aware of it.
Actually, earlier Merdeka poll on January said that economic condition (inflation, GST, living cost, among of these) are the major concern among M’sian public opinion, not 1MDB. This recent poll (it had been conducted on March), confirms this trend.
But we need not to rush to conclude that 1MDB is not a big deal. Poll and election is like a calibration to public opinion for every politicians. Ignoring it is disaster, yet blind believing in it is fool.
Before the coup last year, there was a Thai poll saying that major Thai public opinion do not support the coup. The coup had been staged anyway. There was another poll conducting after the coup, and saying that major public opinion has supported the junta. It doesn’t mean that the poll was wrong.
So, the poll, or any statistical instrument is just a sort of rear-view mirror information. And public opinion manipulation is possible within different mechanisms from "political technique", i.e. information censorship, propaganda, psychological warfare, organizing the mass movement, and so on. But the decisive factor is the “political event” that will transform the political landscape. And political event is possible only by the switching side of the political elites in the corridor of power.
1MDB may not be a major concern among the citizens, but it is well aware among political elites. Once the scandal happened, nobody knows what will affect to the status of the leader. Many people will keep quiet, which is actually a “hedging strategy,” no matter which side win, they will win either by switching the side. While some people, will take the risk by choosing side, which will get higher compensation than the quiet one when they win, although higher damage either when they lost. If there is political elites to switch side much enough, there will be a shift of momentum and might lead to the oust of the PM. This is the basic engineering of the coup. (In country like Thailand this will trigger the coup to topple the former government. 1MDB scandal is equal to rice pledging scheme in Thailand, but the decisive event is across the board amnesty bill. In Malaysia, there is no coup, so this depends on the opinion of political elites in the corridor of power.)
Only people with better information and neat strategy on hand will decide the future political landscape. This kind of people won’t believe in poll, but they will trust their own instinct to prepare political maneuver to get rid off their rival.
Such “political maneuver” must be comprised of the real essence too, not only the bluff. 1MDB has started with leaked documents at Sarawak Report (SR), and then being amplified among the opposition politicians, and then Dr M and his network for months.
There is an arrest of Xavier Justo in Thailand to break the 1MDB momentum. Dr M and the opposition have realized this shifting of the momentum at the moment. But they pursue different strategy, while the opposition will dig other scandal like MARA, Dr M will reemphasize on 1MDB. (This also reflects different objective, for the opposition to topple UMNO/BN, but for Dr M to topple Najib and maintaining UMNO/BN at the helm of the power.)
The first task to making counter propaganda is to eliminate the “tampering with” discourse, before laying another coming political techniques. Like today article on Chedet.cc, which Malaysiakini has captured the beautiful headline again, “Dr M: ‘Tampered’ 1MDB info claim a ruse”:
"Even if Justo tampered with the e-mail, it does not alter the fact that 1MDB forked out US1.9 billion to the JV with Petro Saudi, which within 6 months was so worthless that the JV was aborted. And after that the investment and the loan of US700 million was converted to a loan to a partner you no longer believe could deliver through the JV. You had some direct control over a JV, but not over the borrower.”
So this is just the intermission of the whole movie. The second half may be much more exciting.