A THANK YOU NOTE from Rafizi Ramli to the big INVOKE family
Dear friends It has been exactly one week since the historic win in GE14.
I took this long to write because understandably there were urgent matters to attend to in the immediate aftermath.
Now that the dust is slowly settling down, I can turn to say thank you to all the volunteers and Malaysians who had participated, contributed, followed and encouraged the growth of INVOKE Malaysia to become the largest election volunteer organisation of its kind in South East Asia.
On 9th of May 2017, INVOKE has 40,949 volunteers all over the country. Out of these, 25,915 volunteers came forward to offer themselves as polling and counting agents (PACAs) all over the country. While our record only tracked the 5,844 PACAs who submitted their particulars through our online system, we believe many others actually went directly to candidates and served as PACAs.
Looking back, INVOKE spent more than a year to train thousands of PACAs all over the country to mitigate the fear of electoral fraud that could have prevented many Malaysians from turning up to vote.
As of last week, INVOKE volunteers clocked 25,612 manhours of campaigning since we first tracked the manhours (in March 2017). The breakdown of the key campaigning manhours: 7,861 manhours of PACA training; 7,689 manhours of phone-bank (calling identified fence-sitters to persuade them to vote PH) and 4,856 manhours of canvassing door-to-door for support.
Since November 2016, the Malaysian public had contributed RM10.2 million to INVOKE. The majority of this was through the crowdfunding (RM7.3 million), but we also sold RM1.9 million’s worth of tickets to our fundraising events and RM1.0 million’s worth of merchandise (mostly t-shirts and books). Including a total of RM1 million that I put into INVOKE from my own pocket over a period of 2 years, INVOKE spent RM11.2 million on building the capability and financing the campaigns of 44 parliamentary candidates and 60 DUN candidates for the last 2 years.
Pakatan Harapan won 42 out of the 44 parliamentary seats that received assistance from INVOKE (either at the parliamentary level or at least one DUN seat in the parliamentary seat). It is a stunning 95% success rate. The only 2 parliamentary seats assisted by INVOKE that were not won by Pakatan Harapan were Padang Rengas (won by Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz) and Sembrong (won by Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin Hussein).
The breakdown of seats: PKR – 32 seats (Kangar, Alor Setar, Kuala Kedah, Merbok, Padang Serai, Kulim Bandar Baru, Sungai Petani, Permatang Pauh, Bayan Baru, Balik Pulau, Nibong Tebal, Sungai Siput, Gopeng, Tanjung Malim, Hulu Selangor, Selayang, Pandan, Kapar, Kuala Langat, Lembah Pantai, Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Port Dickson, Tangga Batu, Segamat, Sekijang, Ledang, Batu Pahat, Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru, Kuantan and Indera Mahkota). AMANAH – 7 seats (Pokok Sena, Parit Buntar, Lumut, Kuala Selangor, Shah Alam, Hulu Langat, Temerloh) PPBM – 3 seats (Tambun, Muar, Simpang Renggam)
INVOKE’s polling prediction that PH would win Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor state governments were correct, as well as the prediction of a simple majority of circa 120 seats (including Warisan’s seats). On record, INVOKE was the only pollster that consistently predicted a PH win from January 2017 onwards.
The credit for the whole success of INVOKE goes to the Malaysian public who gave my team the trust we needed. Amidst heavy scepticism, we had to convince Malaysians from early January 2017 onwards that a PH win was possible despite the nationwide three corner fights.
It took almost a year before we reached the critical number of volunteers on the ground who believed in our campaign methodologies (calling fence-sitters and canvassing door-to-door). Malaysians are not accustomed to direct persuasion; they are not even accustomed to discussing politics with strangers. But many thousands of volunteers had braved this cultural block to persuade thousands of identified fence-sitters around the country to vote PH, over the course of the last two years.
I was asked why I persisted when most did not believe what we were doing.
My answer is simple: I have trust in the empirical evidence produced by way of big data analytics and support model that we have developed; and I have trust in the wisdom of the Malaysian voters.
Both did not disappoint us.
The mathematical modelling that predicted the voting inclination of voters had correctly predicted most of the results.
Even in the case of Kelantan and Terengganu, it was obvious that fence-sitters resorted to tactical voting in the last week of campaigning; throwing their support for PAS (instead of PH) because realistically speaking only PAS was strong enough (as the second party in Kelantan and Terengganu) to defeat BN in those states.
Likewise, the voters knew enough which party was the strongest to defeat BN in a 3-corner fight elsewhere, that there was a widespread tactical voting (especially among the Malays) throughout the country.
When my analytics team comes back from a one-week holiday this Thursday, we will go through the results to provide a more insightful understanding of how and why the voters voted the way they did.
It is therefore only proper that I thank everyone who had contributed immensely to this historic success.
I hope many Malaysians out there pray for the safety and prosperity of the 100+ young Malaysians (mostly within the 23 to 27 years age range); who took the bold steps of quitting their jobs to join me at INVOKE since August 2016 to complete this mission.
My final responsibility is to oversee a smooth transition for these young Malaysians to (either) go back to the industry (where they come from); or to remain at INVOKE to preserve the knowledge and capability we had developed here.
INVOKE will move on to focus on other missions that are in line with what we set out to do: to promote and harness grassroots volunteerism for social, economic and political empowerment.