Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Jews are coming!

When claims were made that the Bersih organisers were financed by foreign Christians and after the police claimed that Bersih supporters were trying to revive Communism, I was actually wondering why the authorities had not blamed the Jews.

It had to come - yesterday, Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia wrote in its editorial that the Bersih rally could lead to Jews and Israel infiltrating Malaysia to topple the government.

According to The Malaysian Insider, the Malay newspaper made the claim in reference to former IGP Tan Sri Rahim Noor's assertion that there were parties who wanted any country that was against Jews and Israel to be toppled.

So now the authorities have blamed almost all the usual suspects - Christians, Communists, Jews and Israel - for somehow or other being linked to the Bersih rally and trying to topple the government. The only 'rogue' that has not been blamed yet is Singapore.

All this is nothing new - and that is the crux of the problem.

The list of rogues is nothing new - it is so old-fashioned, so archaic, so unbelievable. Communists making a comeback? Come on, surely the authorities can do better than that?

In this age of FaceBook, Twitter and new media, such archaic accusations can be perceived as comical.

One may argue that these accusations are aimed at an older, more conservative and rural Malay/Iban/Kadazan audience (and voters) and the urban Twitterers are not the target 'market'.

If that is the case, then the Barisan Government is not touching base with the youths - the college kids, the twenty-somethings, the new gen of voters.

These FaceBookers are impressionable and at the moment they have a bad impression of the Barisan-led Government.

Barisan is taking a huge risk if its leaders think they can depend on the rural, conservative Malay/Iban/Kadazan masses to get them past the post first because the urban and young Malay/Iban/Kadazan voters will try their best to influence their parents back in their kampungs, hometowns and longhouses.

Barisan Nasional needs desperately to connect with the young, urban FB/Twitter generation of voters because they represent the new voice which will get increasingly louder as Malaysia becomes more urbanised.

Barisan may still win the next general election by banking on the rural, conservative (and ageing) voters, but what about the general election after that?

Management gurus will tell you that the rural, conservative (and ageing) community is a 'dying market' or 'shrinking market or 'sunset market' whilst the young, urban FB/Twitter kids represent the 'market with enormous potential' or 'growth market'.

From the management guru's perspective, unless Barisan Nasional explores the 'Blue Ocean' it will probably sail into the sunset as its 'shrinking market' gets smaller and smaller.

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