#GE13: Should We Kill The Fence Sitters???

Yes, the question is intended as I was told by some, during war, the non-decided ones should be killed first before the enemy. This kind of dialogue was put forth in hoping I would state my support to party A or party B.

As most every Malaysians has been informed, yes, Malaysian Parliament has been dissolved, as announced by PM, DS Najib.

By now, I believe the campaign for GE13 already hiking up, though in my observation, campaigning has been done ever since GE12 ended.

My current interest is more towards on the fence sitters, and how proBN and proPR see this group is. As the Star reports:

PETALING JAYA: The thrust of campaigning for the imminent general election has shifted towards winning over the fence-sitters, especially urbanites below the age of 40.

Political parties are actively wooing this undecided group believed to make up a large slice of the newly registered 3.75 million voters.

Although the determining factors for the fence-sitters remain anyone’s guess, campaigners are working hard to make their side look and feel better than the other.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the party had identified more fence-sitters in the urban and suburban constituencies.

“There could be up to 40% of voters who have yet to make up their minds over who to vote for and the figure could go higher for younger voters, maybe even 50%.

“I think they are still holding back their votes while waiting for the candidates list to be announced. They might also want to compare the manifestos of both sides, campaign themes and ads, and general mood closer to the polling day based on peer interaction on the media or social media,” he said.

Khairy said that with such a large number of undecided voters this time around, the selection of candidates would be crucial.

“In the urban areas, we must pick candidates who can win over the independents over those who can only galvanise the party base,” he said.

MCA Young Professionals Bureau head Datuk Chua Tee Yong said parties could no longer take the fence-sitters for granted.

Admitting that Barisan Nasional campaigners overlooked the voter sentiment and the shift in the ground in the 2008 general election, he said: “At that time, we didn’t feel the vibes, we weren’t sensitive enough and didn’t feel the shift in the ground.”

Chua said fence-sitters usually looked out for candidates who appeared approachable, could articulate issues well, and even whether they could converse in local dialects.

“They may also be swayed by emotive issues that can crop up during the last leg of campaigning and this can make or break the candidate’s chances,” he said.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said that although it was not common for voters in rural areas to be fence-sitters, some were known to reserve their judgment until the last moment.

“Even party workers who transport voters from houses to the voting centres can help sway votes.

“But I think by this time, many would have already made up their minds,” he said.

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said fence-sitters were the deciding voters in most elections.

“They want to see whose message they can identify with, the overall mood during the campaigning period and then side with the team that looks to be winning,” he said.

However, Loke said his estimated number of fence-sitters was only between 15% and 20% only, much lower than Barisan’s projection.

“I think most voters have made up their minds. Both sides have their hardcore fans and their base support, but they need to woo the fence-sitters to win,” he said.

Based on the reports, BN’s search saying 40% of voters are fence sitters, while PR says only up to 20%. PR’s indication that fence sitters is lower than BN’s prediction. Interesting…

With each side views differs on how many fence sitters are but still deemed as important to WIN, I believe the tactics and strategy lined up from each side will be different. Perhaps, at certain areas or places, if their study found out fence sitters numbers is not significant, they might dish them out and use available resources for a better use. Perhaps, maybe… I don’t know…

Looking at how things have been developing, and me, being part of those fence sitters, I would say that it is not easy to please fence sitters, especially those who are idealist, realist and gen Ys. As what some of business world faces, these groups are not the type that can be easily wooed. You may promise or give this and that, but if your sincerity is not felt and not being clear, they will shy away.

The worst I could imagine is (considering that some of the campaigners and cybertroopers are not really fond of bringing him/herself lower just to get the votes and also those not able to discuss/campaigning things sensibly) the fence sitters will not go out to vote!!!

Yes, I know that for muslims, we have heard why we should vote and it is a sin not to vote. For this, I am in agreement that the 40% or that 20% not going out voting is not true IF – all of them are muslims and obliging the need to vote.

However, I don’t think the fence sitters are ALL muslims.

Further to add, some of the concern from this group is, they don’t want to vote because of how certain BN or PR react. There are type of people who ASSUMED when won, he/she got the full support because of his/her and the party’s ability, not realising that the vote is given because some felt “I have to vote!”. Worse, these kind of people who thinks he/she won because of reason stated earlier, become cocky and arrogant, claiming he/she got the support from the rakyat.

If one could recall, there were not many turn outs in GE12 back in 2008. The Star reported:

More than eight million Malaysians voted in the 2008 general election, and the registered voter turnout was about 76%. Although this number seems high, it is a little misleading because there are about 15 million Malaysians who are of voting age. So, the actual turnout of all Malaysians eligible to vote was only about 53%.

So, almost half of the eligible voters DID NOT turn up!!! Were there muslims? Yes, I think so. Were they not aware the sin of not voting? I think some do. But WHY???

Have ever both sides (BN and PR) find out WHY many voters DID NOT turn up? Do both have come up with ample study to correct the wrongs?

Being active in social media, the one OBVIOUS thing that I could notice is – campaigners and cybertroopers seems more interested to go for a “kill”, not going for a vote. Many thinks by “silencing” arguments, they have won and they also won the argument.. when the actual fact, people SHY AWAY and could no longer be bothered.

Yes, I can understand some of the strategy employed when dealing with issues. Some of the strategies are meant for war that requires killing the opponent.. literally killing, ending life of a person.

However, the adaptation for “election” war differs. You need to win the vote. “Killing” argument but shying away people will not give you the vote. It will either give your opponent a free vote of both not able to get any.

Remember- one life, one vote. Winning argument does not mean you win his or her vote!

AND please remember, not all encountering you are opponent from the other side. ASSUMING one, will make u an ASS for your side. And for this part, I experience it myself. Any question that I gave to understand things better, some of the time deemed as I am from the other side. I would be treated like an enemy, and would be swarmed by cybertroopers ridiculing me, accusing for what I am not.

If you apply such, I am sure, you will only get his/her vote IF the other side done worse than you. The worst – not turning up to vote.

Last but not least… I think some of the readers might agree on this- some may not turn up because our politics has gone from bad to worse. Both sides are doing such campaigns with negativity.

As I mentioned before, some of these voters are idealist and realist..and many are from gen Ys. What some of them wants is – “Why should I vote you based on what others can not do or what others are bad at?”. What they want is “What you can do for me?” NOT “Why you can promise me?”.

Considering that both sides have govern either nation or states, there are some people who make comparisons of what has been said and being achieved.

Therefore, I think promise alone won’t work this time around.

That is why, when any of both sides came up with plan, budget or agenda, they will receive all sorts of questions, scrutinizing the presentation of idea made.

So, in the next few days onwards, until the polling day, please treat your potential voters as friends.. not enemies. Please do campaign of what you can do for us, the rakyat, NOT on what the other side cannot do. We want deliverable, not empty promises.

So.. with potential of 20-40% fence sitters, should we kill them all?

Question on the street: On what basis will you vote?

You are part of people on the street. My opinion might not as good as yours. Come, please share your thoughts with us!!!

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