Kuala Lumpur, Feb 28 -- The Malaysian Insider has been told that BN chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been getting daily briefings on ceramahs, the frequency of house-to-house visits, the visibility of posters and banners, sabotage attempts by disgruntled politicians who did not make the candidates’ list.
What is clear to him and other BN leaders is that the Opposition has stolen a march on the ruling coalition since nomination day on Saturday.
The countryside is a riot of flags belonging to Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) and Parti Keadilan Nasional while any visitor to Malaysia could be forgiven for thinking that urban centres are owned by the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
The underdogs appear to be ahead in the ceramah stakes with veterans like DAP’s Lim Kit Siang burning the ground with three speaking engagements a night.
In contrast, some BN candidates have yet to deliver one public address to their constituents.
Feedback obtained by BN headquarters suggests that a combination of complacency, infighting and the lack of meaningful funds reaching the ground have been behind the lackluster performance of the BN machinery.
Interestingly enough, while the BN candidates in Chinese and Indian heavy constituencies are working overtime to blunt the impact of the simmering anger by these two communities toward BN, in Malay-majority areas, where the vote for status quo is more certain, there is less anxiety.
This has translated to an almost cavalier approach to campaigning, with reports of operation rooms working at a pedestrian’s pace.
To wake them out of their stupor, Abdullah will be burning the rubber with visits to the North and East Coast.