The PAS Blitzkrieg
(Image courtesy of "Pade Doh" Blog)
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I am left with complete admiration as to Pakatan Rakyat’s strategy in prosecuting the Kuala Trengganu by-election.
Today’s post could serve as a tutorial 1.01 to the BN/Umno strategists.
I see a lot of similarities between PAS’ strategy and a well thought of military campaign.
If in Permatang Pauh, Pakatan’s strategy was to use overwhelming force from day 1 to the election day, akin to Operation Overlord when the allies launched the largest amphibious assault in the history of the world to “retake” France, for the KT by election, Pakatan instead borrowed a stategy straight out of the Nazi playbook - i.e Blitzkrieg.
What is Blitzkrieg
Blitzkrieg which is German for ”lightning war” is “a headline word applied retrospectively to describe a military doctrine of an all-mechanized force concentrating its attack on a small section of the enemy front then, once the latter is pierced, proceeding without regard to its flank.
The term blitzkrieg being coined by journalists during the Invasion of Poland of 1939. Panzer forces were deployed among the three German concentrations without strong emphasis on independent use, being used to create or destroy close pockets of Polish forces and seize operational-depth terrain in support of the largely un-motorized infantry which followed.
Simultaneosly, the Luftwaffe deployed the Ju 87 Junker bombers to bombard the enemy position from the rear - effectively sealing their fate and making retreat impossible. One of the most striking images of World War II was to see the Ju 87 climb to high altitude and to a 180 nose dive approach prior to releasing their bombs. The results was stunning.
This tactic was so impressive that the Germans could defeat and occupy France in less than 6 months.
Till this day, that is a remarkable feat of military superiority.
The Pakatan Rakyat war planners by choice or luck, decided to go for a lightning strike.
BN/UMNO's War Strategy
- BN opened the flank first by announcing Dato’ Wan Farid as the candidate.
- YB Khairy for his part, saw an opportunity through the wacana held in Kota Bharu to make this election about hudud.
- The Mainstream media fell in line, and even sworn anti-KJs have taken this as the key campaign issue.
- To hudud or not to hudud. The BN/UMNO campaign is very much a classic TRENCH WARFARE strategy - wear down the population with the same message over and over and over again, and this time try to pit DAP against PAS.
Previously in Permatang Pauh, they tried to pit Anwar against PAS, now it was DAP against PAS. This strategy had not changed from the strategy used in Permatang Pauh - the only difference was that instead of Sodomy it was hudud.
MCA was supposed to be the story teller that scares the Chinese with the hudud bogeyman. Thats why if you recall, MCA leaders were making so many statements about hudud. I never bothered to comment, except right now. Now back off a step - remember this is a LOCAL parliamentary election in KT.
The Chinese in KT have lived amongst Muslims for over 200 years. That MAY (a real stretch) work for a campaign in PJ, but NOT in a campaign in the heart of the East Coast. Enough for BN tactics, that will be a topic for another day.
The Pakatan Rakyat/PAS War Strategy
So BN was going to play offence, when it should be playing defence. And Pakatan saw an opportunity to profit.
- They left the Chinese base in KT unguarded. This was going to be the ’soft underbelly’. Remember the Bandar seat went for MCA, and the Chinese in the last GE was the deciding factor that secured BN’s victory for KT parlimentary seat.
- So the target was set - win the Chinese over and proceed without regard to its flank i.e. the villages.
Blitz Day 1 and 2
- On nomination day, Pakatan deployed their air force. The air force were the bloggers - RPK, Zorro, and the rest of the gang. In the bloggers front, Pakatan was unmatched.
- Once again, the BN air force i.e the Mainstream Media was like the biplanes of World War I, up against the blogger bombers.
- BN/UMNO has had ample warning that this is the 21st century, the Internet rules and nobody bothers to read the regulated,biased and ridicolously narrow narratives in the mainstream media.
- And when RPK, Zorro and the gang descended on Kg. Cina, they were readily received, because there was nothing BN/UMNO could do to counter the e-media. You can read for yourself their accounts on the bloggers bombards.
- I can’t say MCA was on the retreat, because they were never there in the first place. Prescene is not about a pondok, is where you sit with the electorate heart and mind on the issues that matter. No, they were busy trying to convince West Coast Chinese (WCC) about hudud.
- The issue was not about hudud, the issue for Kg. Cina residents was about Temporary Occupation Licenses (TOL). Oh ya, it became an issue when YAB Dato’ Seri Najib decided to block Perak SG move to grant new villagers freehold titles to replace their TOLs. Or more accurately, the Federal Government’s move to block it.
If he had waited for perhaps a couple of weeks…….jeng jeng jeng.
- Enter the Panzer tank division. Soon afterwards, the heavy artillery in the form of DAP MPs came in. YB Ronnie, YB Theresa Kok, YB Liew.
- They took over the ground, and most importantly set the stage for Abdul Wahid to make an appearance, take the plaudits, and leave with about 60% of the electorate in that constituency.
Thats the essential power of the blitz - find a soft spot, pierce it and attack the enemy unguarded.
Blitz Day 3 to Election Day
- With this base now won, PAS can move its infantry to take over the RURAL base and hammer away on its brand of religious politics.
- Soon you will see the pondoks spring up, and PAS traditional campaign slogans filling the air.