What happened to BN is something that is bound to happened under the circumstances. In fact, they could very well have lost the government. Almost everyone who is in touch with the grassroots could see this except, I am afraid those within the BN and especially those who are entrusted to "strategise" for BN were unable to fathom the ground swell of "anti-BN" sentiments caused by various factors.
While I acknowledge that there was a cry for change and it appears unstoppable to BN advisers, I believe that BN could actually have done better IF it had chanced to so some of the things that it was advised to do and it did not do many of the things that it did. Unfortunately, penetrating the "fortress of BN walls" to the Ears that matter is a tough uphill task for those with decency and pride.
Even 3 years before several advices were given to those who were supposedly entrusted to advise the Ears that matter. The advise that there need to be changes in THEIR own mindset BEFORE they can hope to assist BN to retain or improve its strength fell on completely deaf ears. I do not know to this day if the advice ever went to the Ears that matter to this day. I have never been one of those born to wait and ambush the "King or Lord" to kiss his hand and then give him my advice.
Being a Muslim, I find it extremely tough to kneel and bow to another fellow human being, especially one whom I am trying to assist. I would be insulted even more if he thinks his presence alone is a major blessing in my life. But many in UMNO are indebted in this way to the point of selling their souls! Anyway I have digressed.
The think tanks I have been invited to (which I could not repeat my attendance more than once) was to me an immediate failure - it was largely made up of people with like-minded. one track mind founded on past strategies - race, reward, fear, etc. They still do not understand the ground sentiments and ground perceptions. It was very tiring.
They missed a big opportunity and I am prepared to be chastised here for exposing it. They missed the big opportunity to meet up with the key civil society personalities and groups that had been skilfully and secretly arranged for them. They also missed the opportunities to embrace the wave of change but instead treated it as a threat. The advisers to the Ears that matter fatally underestimated the tenacity, sincerity and passion of these groups and individuals. Instead, they would rather be happily seen with the "NGOs" which are actually them in different clothes - a further insult to the Rakyat's mind.
Pakatan on the other hand readily embraced civil society. Many of the ideas that were given to BN advisers were dismissed as too "youthful" and replaced with very superficially "cool" measures and transparent feudal strategies - " Peasants, here are some silver coins! Kneel and be grateful". This does not work any more. People do not care on which throne you sit any more. They just do not wish to keep sitting on the toilet bowl as it stinks!
I think BN, to date has not changed in its political outlook - it is being sordidly comfortable with its rural base which it does not realise is eroding. Once again please do not dispute me with the JASA, SB and other data - go on the ground yourself. You have been proven wrong twice already - 2008 and now, 2013.
The problem is that BN has become so straight jacketed and not so cool and this makes new ideas very difficult to be articulated to them.
Without saying much in public, I'll say this - if BN continues to think in the way it has been thinking (and it will if it keeps using the same advisers or advisers from the same school of thought), it will definitely be the opposition in parliament in 2018.
BN, you should just learn to be cool - and learn to listen. To be able to listen emphatically, you must get off your high horse.