Ten things to learn from GE14 Nomination Day

All eyes on the PM candidate from Pakatan, and ex PM Mahathir Mohamad as he exits the nomination centre at the Langkawi Land and District Office, midday.

1.Old ways return

Nomination Day returns to days of old, when significant advantages are won by the ruling coalition, when non-BN candidates are rejected or disqualified.

2. Pakatan calons slip

Regardless of silly candidate nomination rules, candidates have all the information necessary to ensure they meet them and therefore have to be diligent, because it’s the rules for now.

3.EC shows agenda

The Election Commission (EC) fails to fulfil its role of facilitating the democratic rights of the people in that they have the right to decide on the value of the candidates on parade. There are strict conditions which the EC can enforce, like state assembly candidates must possess an address in the very state (There you go, Bukit Melawati), and also bankrupts. But things like did not bring the authorisation cards from the EC and interpretation of Tian Chua’s sentence and fine over the actual verdict statement, are evidence of mala fide in the EC ranks.

4.Sprightly Mahathir storms Langkawi

Mahathir Mohamad looked healthy enough for the Langkawi parliamentary race. He walked over to his supporters and soaked in the adoration from end to end. But health alone will not decide his fate, as the three way fight is set to inflict some damage on his vote count as he vies against the Umno incumbent, and PAS candidate — the ex to his present coalition, Pakatan Harapan.

5.Tian Chua out

It’s been a bad week for Tian Chua. A week of turmoil for the ex-lawmaker, beginning with the hint of the PRK vice president leaving the party over being sidelined as a candidate; before party reverses decision and offers him their letter of support to be the third time candidate in Batu; and today to be disqualified by the EC over his previous conviction’s fine. The brickbats are already flying, but it would be a mix of  condemning the EC overruling the explicit ruling of the court and Pakatan fans asking why no backup candidate since the incumbent has had a chequered past.

6.Made for DAP seats

BN parties have given up on partisan shaped Chinese-seats. The gerrymandering has two components to it, one enlarging the total voters for some seats so that they can lose them but end up winning up to three seats elsewhere; and within that same strain of thought packing up those giant seats with large Chinese electorates, which now become sure wins for DAP. Adding to the traditional seats of Bukit Bintang, Kepong, Seputeh and Cheras, are now Damansara, Iskandar Puteri, Ipoh Timor and Kota Melaka for instance. The BN component party ethnic Chinese candidates are there for show only. It can be said that DAP starts with more certain seats than ever, but also the dawning reality of being demographied out of half of Malaysia.

Sometimes, food beats politics, as a supporters sheds his placard to have a meal after nominations are complete in Kuah, Langkawi.

7. KL might be BN blue at the end

The city is a major indicator, if things are not smooth there for Pakatan, of how hellish it will be in the national count. Already BN are on course to win Batu without Tian Chua on the ballot. They have confidence in Titiwangsa and Setiawangsa. As mentioned earlier, Bukit Bintang, Cheras, Seputeh, Segambut and Kepong are DAP guaranteed seats. All eyes will be on Wangsa Maju (a shaky Tan Yee Kew candidate for PKR — the ex MCA lady who slipped in Tanjung Malim in 2013), Lembah Pantai (PKR’s coms chief but first time candidate against Raja Nongchik who has camped in the PPR flats for years) and Bandar Tun Razak (PKR pitting former Kelantan legislator and PAS man Kamaruddin Jaafar in the mixed seat where piety is a contest between him and the PAS candidate, but they may not be the choice candidate for the more relaxed end of the seat). If BN, pull off Wangsa Maju, Lembah Pantai and Bandar Tun Razak, they may edge Pakatan 6-5 in the capital. Watch out for updates.

8. Nomination Day has to change

There is no need to have a nerve-wrecking one hour with police thrown in. It is a documentation process and can be concluded over a period after nominations are open. Mistakes can be recitified and they should be rectified. Candidates are not supposed to be chosen on their abilities to fill form. They are supposed to be on their appeal to the voters. This is why there is no educational requirements for candidates, but only a nationality requirement.

Imagine the scorching sun, as media, fans and observers wait it out for hours. (Kuah, Langkawi)

9.Inefficient noise

A show of force on Nomination Day does not affect dramatically vote count. The hundreds gathered could have done more for their cause by phoning relatives, friends or even meeting them for coffee to win their votes, rather than mill about outside a government building for four hours in order to appease party leaders. If anything it reminds us that political parties like to treat their members like sheep rather than valuable assets.

10.The killing heat

Someone will die one of these days. The oppressive heat is not a joke. Placing people, young and old out there under the sun for hours will kill someone eventually. That will be for the EC to bear. It is cruel and unnecessary, and it is caused by the insistence for an obsolete tradition with no democratic purpose.

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