TRUST Malaysians to be able to read between the lines when it comes to politics.
The days of just listening to propaganda or swallowing hook, line and sinker from some politicians are over. A case in point is the results of a recent Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMcedel).
The survey carried out between September 26 and 28 showed that support for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Selangor has rebounded to 43% after taking a beating five months ago largely due to infighting in the opposition coalition.
Support for Barisan Nasional (BN), meanwhile, dropped by five percentage points from 25% last May, the UMcedel survey also revealed.
What can anyone learn from the survey results and the wrangling over who should be the Selangor Menteri Besar that blighted the state for the past few months?
One, that it should be a lesson to Umno and all those parties that trampled on the state constitution. It did not make them any more popular among the people, let alone those who were polled in the UMcedel survey.
The Selangor citizens were able to discern what was important and who should get their support. It is not so much a case of political personalities as much as it was about party and political philosophy.
Only 28% of the 1,165 respondents polled across Selangor were unsure about both coalitions but PR results improved over UMcedel’s survey in May this year, which saw support for the pact in the state plunge to 35% a year after keeping Selangor in the 2013 general elections.
“This shows that despite PR’s crisis, the rakyat is still with them. The voters’ response shows that they are still not confident that BN/Umno can be a better alternative, and that their anger towards BN has still not died down,” said one source from UMcedel.
But ominously for BN, its support base has not grown since the survey in May, which showed that only 20% to 25% of respondents supported the coalition.
It goes without saying that BN will have to do more to win back a state that once used to be its political fortress. What more, Selangor is the country's richest and most industrialised state.
Losing it for the third time in the next elections will be a disaster for BN but that happens to any coalition or parties that feel the people will listen to them no matter what.
The Selangor people took a chance with three parties in 2008 and after a rather sterling performance, they kept the three parties now known as PR in the 2013 elections.
And their support grows despite a change in the government helm, with Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim making way for his political foe Mohamed Azmin Ali after a fractious fight within PR.
These are lessons for those in Umno and BN. That the people know better and can decide what is best for them. Promises are good but sincerity, a capacity to listen and change is a lot better.
The fact of the matter is this - political shenanigans and gutter politics will not impress people or win support. Good hard work and service to the people will.