Last Friday I attended the launch of 'Semangat Ijok' or the Ijok Spirit campaign by the losing party, PKR. The launch was held at the PAS headquarters at Gombak.
Among those who spoke at the launch were PKR Vice President Azmin Ali, Treasurer and Ijok candidate Khalid Ibrahim, PAS Deputy President Nazaruddin and the main guest PKR advisor Anwar Ibrahim.
Azmin who spoke before the rest took the 2000 audience in the hall through the facts and figures on Ijok. Some 3000 more PAS and PKR supporters were camped outside the hall to listen to the speech via loud speaker and life feed to a big screen.
Azmin mocked and criticised the BN for buying their way into the election. He alleged that more than RM100 million was spent on Ijok. Following similar trend, BN might have to spend RM57 billion to wrest all state seats in the country.
As Azmin spoke, many jaws dropped when they were told of the extent of money politics involved.
Both Anwar and Nazaruddin hailed Khalid as the legitimate YB of Ijok. Sounds good but PKR would still have to accept the reality that they have lost the by-election.
Nonetheless, the spirit of Ijok continues to haunt both PKR and BN. PKR has to face a stark reality that they have lost marginally their Malay support base to BN.
BN, especially the non-UMNO parties, will have to take stock that they have lost the support of the urban support base. Almost 12% more voters voted for the opposition in urban areas of Ijok. A large portion of them are Chinese voters.
If Ijok is seen as a precursor to the next GE, both BN and the opposition will have a lot of work cut out for them.
Both parties have claimed moral victory in Ijok. The verdict is still out there.