Saturday, November 19, 2005

Planning, strategising in Pangkor

Besides having a break with my wife in Pangkor, two of us also used the more relaxed and isolated environment to clear our minds and focus them on the very technical aspects of the nomination process like ensuring all legally required papers were filled up properly, enough cash was carried along as deposit and the security of the candidate, proposers and seconders. We listed out all worse-case scenerios (one needs a very realistic view aboout how crooked some human beings of all races could become when tempted by money or offers of rewards to work these WCS out) and ways and means to prevent them from happening or to reduce damages to a minimum should one or more such scenarios occur.

These are no mere theories or general principles but also very case-specific knowledge. We have to know the area and people well enough to work all these out. With due respect to highly educated professionals, including lawyers, I must say that these things are easier said than done because as Karl von Clausewitz said about war, everything seems to be so easy (to understand) but it is all so difficult (to be carried out).

In my own case in 1990, all these things were carried out by local party workers who may not be highly educated formally but are experienced enough in dealing with electoral matters, police and local governmental affairs, like my good Indian sifu in Kampar, Ramachandran who knows all categories of papers and forms - and how to fill them up properly. When my wife worked as my campaign and constituency assistant, she had learnt a lot from Ramachandran.