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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rubbishing BN’s blast theory

By Ali Kadir | TMI

Barisan Nasional (BN) would like Malaysians to believe that Pakatan Rakyat (PR), or at least supporters of the Opposition, are behind the explosion in Nibong Tebal, a fire bombing of a BN office in Sekinchan and other random acts of violence.

But I find a few compelling reasons to rubbish this BN theory. Allow me to share them.

What is the motive?

What would PR have to gain by setting off an incendiary device? Very little if any. Anyone following the ceramah circuit in Penang knows that BN rallies are sparsely attended and hardly a threat to the Opposition.

What would setting off a device achieve? Nothing much except allow BN to go on the sympathy drive and blame PR for it.

Is setting off a device likely to deter BN from campaigning? Unlikely.

So there is no motive for the Opposition to disrupt its own momentum during the campaign period.

Who has a track record of violence?

The run-up to the elections has been filled with acts of violence and gangsterism by Umno and Perkasa goons. PR rallies have been broken up and their politicians threatened.

But the Opposition have not retaliated for a couple of reasons, mainly the fact that the Opposition knows that the authorities are looking for any excuse to tar them and lock up their leaders.

So Opposition politicians have not embarked on a tit-for-tat adventure despite being under severe provocation?

Why should they do so now when Putrajaya is within their reach. Also, they don’t have a goon squad like Perkasa or Pekida.

Does a feeling of fear around election time benefit PR?

The Opposition needs a strong voter turnout to defeat phantom voters and a suspect increase of voters in some states. Creating fear and discouraging Malaysians from coming out to vote does not help the Opposition.

On the other hand, a low voter turnout is exactly what BN wants.

So let me ask Malaysians this question: why would PR want to be involved in any acts of violence in the run up to polling day?

Ali Kadir reads The Malaysian Insider.

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