Sunday, November 21, 2010

BN's Direct Membership Ploy

Effective yesterday, Barisan Nasional (BN) can accept new members directly into its fold and the ruling BN is showing it can accommodate divergent political views, a move that pundits say will likely raise public support in its favor in the coming general election.

Merdeka Center’s Ibrahim Suffian said BN’s move to take in members directly instead of through its component parties points to a more focused and driven BN under the Najb administration.

“The upcoming elections will be a key test whether the BN can maintain its long-term hold on federal power,” the local research house director told The Malaysian Insider.

“The BN is looking more and more serious in moving to consolidate its base of support,” he added, noting the reason for the move was clearly to strengthen its overall support and overcome the weaknesses of the component parties.

Dr Faisal Hazis from Universiti Sarawak said BN’s direct membership was both cosmetic – in the sense it plays on the 1Malaysia slogan to make the BN look more united – and a “smart way to strategize for the coming elections”.

And what do I think? It’s a smart political initiative but it is still a gimmick. More importantly, PKR has to put their own house in order and quickly. Already internal political upheavals have wreaked mayhem within PKR, if we believe the mainstream press. And Keadilan members are supposedly abandoning the party almost daily! Still, politics are always illusory. It does everyone good to remember Lim Kit Siang’s caution to both his political partners and foes yesterday against overconfidence in thinking the results of the next general elections have been mapped out in their respective favor.

In the SPL game between Celtic and Dundee United, Gary Hooper gave the former a 23rd-minute lead after good work by Shaun Maloney. In fact, United seldom threatened but Celtic were made to pay for their profligacy when Sean Dillon snatched a point for United in the dying seconds (90+4, to be exact)!

South of the border, Liverpool’s first-half barrage snuffed out West Ham to give the former a convincing 3-0 win. It was former Hammer Glen Johnson who cracked a low shot past Hammer goalie Robert Green to give the Reds an 18th-minute lead. Dirk Kuyt then coolly slotted home a penalty (27) after lively Fernando Torres had caused Danny Gabbidon to handle. And the third goal came when former Hammer Paul Konchesky steered a cross straight back into the box – after Torres again forced a smart save from the feet of Green – and Maxi angled a simple header across the visiting goalkeeper. The second-half was inconsequential for both teams but what is really important is that the Reds had won.

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