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Monday, 9 February 2009

The Looming Political Storms

Al Fatihah. I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Allahyarham Roslan Shaharum- the MP for Bukit Gantang in Perak. Even though I do not know him, grief over the loss of a loved one transcends political leanings. The family's sorrow is universally shared. Indeed, our political divides are rendered irrelevant before the court of the Almighty. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat Nya keatas roh Allayarham dan menempatkan nya di kalangan mereka yang soleh. Amin.

His passing comes at a very crucial time. It is nothing short of divine intervention. Now the Perak government under Zambri Abdul Kader has the chance to vindicate the support given him. It will also be a chance for the people in the parliamentary seat of Bukit Gantang to re affirm their support for the party of their choice. It will be even more beguiling anticipating the outcome of the votes from the area of one of the renegade ADUNs. It lies within the parliamentary constituency of Bukit Gantang. If his area is lost to the PR, then it will be clear the people reject him. He was there on account of being a PR candidate.

If, by the decision of HRH the Sultan of Perak, the people of Perak felt robbed and deprived of their inherent right, now is the time to make amends. The verdict by the rakyat will extinguish forever, doubts as to the decision taken by HRH the Sultan of Perak. If BN wins, it vindicates that decision. If BN loses, HRH the Sultan faces the reality of knowing his decision was flawed.

In truth, The BN government cannot actually claim to have majority seats. The only forum that can validate such a claim is the Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak. The ADUNs can reveal whom they have confidence in. What it has now, is a majority accredited by HRH the Sultan of Perak. The Sultan was reported to assemble all the 28 BN ADUNS and the 3 renegades from PR and inquired where their loyalties are. Having satisfied himself as to their political affiliations, HRH Sultan of Perak, determined that BN has the majority. In other words, BN's claim of a majority support rests crucially on HRH Sultan of Perak's attestation. It is not unlike an attestation by a notary public.

Even the show of support in the Dewan will never be sufficient to settle the issue once and for all. Unless either party gets a decisive majority, there will always be lingering doubts as to where individual loyalties lie. In order for the BN to legitimatise the claim of a majority, it is incumbent upon it to go to the hustings and let the people decide.

Party hopping or switching of allegiances are not uncommon in history. Throughout the history of politics, politicians switched loyalties and allegiances in order to further their interests or advance their causes. That would lend credence to the axiom, politicians have no permanent loyalties but permanent interests. Winston Churchill for instance was known to cross the floor in the house of commons several times- I think he has been a member of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal parties at various phases of his political life.

Party hopping becomes a legal and moral issue when it involves financial considerations. In the case of the 3 renegade ADUNs and the back and forth Bota man, they could not erase allegations of being paid to carry out their betrayals. Essentially that's what they are- acts of betrayals. They betray the trust of their party, their colleagues and the trust of the rakyat who voted them according to their party affiliations. It doesn't need any stretch of the imagination, to know that they will lose had they stood as independents.

It is the wider implications of accepting party defections as a means to secure political power that are disturbing. The single act of Dato Najib endorsing and engineering the defections has opened the floodgates for similar acts in future. What Dato Najib has done where Anwar Ibrahim has only postured, is to eliminate whatever moral restraints and censure on such acts. Having purged all moral scruples from such acts, the commissioning of such acts in future are never opened to appeals to morality. What Najib has done, is to separate the moral elements from such acts and turned them into just an act with a business as usual property. No one can make judgemental verdicts on such acts in future. They will have to hold their peace forever. Now that the moral element of an act is removed, any one with the resources can carry out similar actions without moral culpability.

That would probably be the next step Anwar Ibrahim takes. Anwar Ibrahim is now a wounded tiger. He will marshal all resources he has available to carry out the same deeds as Dato Najib. Then, no amount of moralising and pontificating can censure what has become just a commoditised action. In the meantime, Dato Najib is riding a tiger which he fears to dismount from.

23 comments:

Anonymous,  9 February 2009 at 21:39  

This is nothing. A bigger pix looming, bro.

Chairman

Two Sides,  9 February 2009 at 23:39  

Thanks bro. I'm happy to find balanced, well thought and informed views on blogs like yours and Ktemoc.

It's funny to see such one sided romanticism and blind biasness, even ignorance festering away on blogs like Malaysia Today and even sometimes on MagickRiver. You can find some one sided crap here:
http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17854/84/

Clearly this people are not in touch with what is going on among the neutral middle, and even have evil and manipulative intentions - to create blindness and loss of clarity.

Liars! all of them. You think they really care about the people, good governance, democracy, change and the poor? They must have a lot to gain and win personally.

I have my own evidence, that clearly shows that Raja Petra is also a biased Anwar and PKR symphatiser.

wahi 9 February 2009 at 23:40  

Here's what I am thinking, after blog hopping the subject.

The remaining PR Perak ADUNs should stay their ground and not defect. That's because if the court decides that MB Nizar is the legit MB, it wouldn't mean anything if he didn't have the numbers anymore. Already we are hearing Zambry and others 'inviting' crossovers. They know the importance of the numbers too well!!

PR should make it clear to their ADUNs of this importance or else anything the judge says will be purely academic.

Johari,  9 February 2009 at 23:52  

Dato, why do I found your post somehow subdued unlike the past few days? Or you feel the heavenly hand has intervened? Remember, no one but Umno's Treasurer was the one who was beatenb by PAS. In the 3 ADUN seats, two was won by PKR. One Malay and one Chinese. Of importance is the the malay one who later ditched PKR to become independent. Is God sending a message? Is He forcing something? EC? The Sultan? Who? The 3rd Adun was won by Umno but with only 916 votes down from more than 3,ooo voters in 2004. If PAS could win the seat purely on majority Malay vote in a seat with a decent 37% non-Malay voters, then Umno has no chance at all. Add this to the fact that the non-Malays were scared by PAS before 2008 and Perak is not KT where few Chinese live but a state where the Malays vs the non make almost 50% each with the Malays having the upper hand. Thefore, the non-Malay voters are restrained by no understanding of any locality/sensitivity or otherwise unlike the orphans in KT. Umno can't at anytime claim to have more Malay support than PAS (for now). My prediction: PAS to win the seat with over 5,000 majority up from 1,566 votes. Note: Both in P.Pauh and KT, PKR and PAS have increased their victory margings by few thousands yet didn't have the "advantages" of Perak's anger and the sort. Note: The constituency is in between two opposition held parliamentary seats. One is Bagan Serai where the Malay PKR candidate Mohsin Fadzli Haji Samsuri has ousted Umno's reigning Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin with 3,413, yet Zainal of Umno won the seat with close to 6,000 in 2004. The other neighbouring Parliamentary seat was lost by PPP (BN) to DAP with over 11,000 voters.

For Bukit Selambau seat in Kedah, the Parliamentary seat was snatched from Umno. PKR's PKR Datuk Rashid Din won the seat yet Umno's majority was over 15,000 votes in 2004. It has two DUNs and both were won by PKR and PAS respectively ousting Umno and MIC in that order. The 6 Parliamentary seats that surround Merbok are held by PKR and PAS, all Malay MPs. Where got the chance? Miracle from where? Wow factor? On the basis of what? If I was an Umno leader, I would bycott the by-elections since I'm sure that Umno and MIC will lose badly.

Harussani,  9 February 2009 at 23:55  

Two Sides,

You accuse others of being biased and then you have the temerity to vomit on the pple's shoes and show your sooty heart. You must be a moribund character and what's this joke that Malaysia-Today readers don't know the "reality". Did you mean fantasy or what? Certified buffoon!

Two Sides,  10 February 2009 at 00:10  

There are a lot of valid points in what I said earlier Harussani, it's sad that you will not be able to see it, due to your own limitations, emotions, loyalties and shooting from the hip.

I'm not going to waste my time with you. I've said everything I needed to say already.

Anonymous,  10 February 2009 at 00:21  

AK47,

do you know how potent is the drink?

never mind. We are from different divide.

But I respect you, for what you said.

Its God's divine call. Loser goes? Najib and Anwar, are you two prepared?

If you stand in the constituency of Titiwangsa, I will vote for you as long as you continue your consistent stand, AK47. No two ways about it.

Bakar Arang SP,  10 February 2009 at 00:33  

Malaysian politics is getting more interesting. It is no longer a one sided game. All *praise* should go to TDM for making this happen.

What Najib did in Perak is a big blunder. His foresight is blur. From now on, he need to check his blind side more often. :)

Talking about Bukit Gantang - BN will have an uphill battle. Public perception is not on their side. They barely win the fed in 2008. This time it is even worse. The Indian and Chinese would surely go for PR while the malay would be mixed. If BN could reduce the majority below 5000, it is already a BIG achievement. However, I wish Najib a very very good luck.

For Bukit Selambau ??. It is a gone case. After Kugan case, the maority Indian there would surely vote anybody from PR. Let PR win uncontested in Bukit Selambau and save the money for Bukit Gantang. Maruah Najib is in Bukit Gantang.

Sans 10 February 2009 at 00:34  

Dato', I don't think this election will count for much.

(Rest in Peace, YB Roslan Shaharum)

It is an expectations battle and the expectation is that PAS will win. PR will spin and say it is a great victory but if everyone expects a victory, then it is not. UMNO will play to win and (possibility) lose.

More interesting is the suggestions of a few people for BN to declare a walkover (which was also a suggestion for Permatang Pauh). That would take the wind out of PR sails, but I argued that it is not in UMNO's DNA to do that.

My personal opinion is that for BN to reform, they must give some power away (i.e. IPMPC and all the other reforms) but they just can't do that. They have always operated will all the levers under their control. Not sure whether they can function otherwise. BN still has the brains, but not utilising it. Politicking is taking over governing. Maybe after the UMNO Assembly in March things in BN will stabilise.

I have written about the Perak situation here (my much missed home state)

http://thedesirefornothing.blogspot.com/2009/02/perak-coup-by-royal-assent.html

2 + 2,  10 February 2009 at 00:42  

Two sides, I think everyone knows Malaysia Today is Pro-PR.

No need for you to tell us that but the article you highlighted is not a good example

So what is this neutral middle and what is the opinion of this neutral middle that I think (?) you think you represent?

Also can you elaborate on your statements below please. It is a strong accusation to make.

Clearly this people are not in touch with what is going on among the neutral middle, and even have evil and manipulative intentions - to create blindness and loss of clarity.

Liars! all of them. You think they really care about the people, good governance, democracy, change and the poor? They must have a lot to gain and win personally

Sir Tong Kol,  10 February 2009 at 00:59  

Here's an antidote to our electoral fatigue - Bkt Gantang candidates should appear in at least one debate before the national audience.

Our democracy is thriving. Too vigorous in fact, so we could do with more substance, repartee, meritocracy, commitment to details, and quantities of common sense, objectivity.

On the campaign trail, they are going to be top guys, personable, claim to know Panglima Bukit Gantang, shall survive with two hours' sleep, answer every single SMS. They should effortlessly equalise each other on the likeability-scale.

Crowds will cheer Anwar's bellicosity, most certainly. Zambry Abdul Kadir is a smashing chap, clear-thinking, great speaker. The applause, the exchange, the accusations shall be defeaning. Too predictable, and tiresome, don't you think?

So, go on and put the candidates on television. Anwar is already in Parliament. Nik Aziz is MB for 19 years now. We know he is brilliant. Anwar or Hadi do not need to impress crowds with their polish, guile. The peruntukan pembangunan will not work. Lopsided television coverage will most certainly return to haunt the BN. We are properly acquainted with the policy of BN and the thoughts of Pakatan - the nation has suffered under BN.

We need to know the candidates not the spin.

Should husting become overly fractious, they should be recalled for a Second Debate to answer for the "crime" of their campaigners.

So, Sdra Anwar and YAB, YAB sekalian, please nominate effective speakers as your respective candidate. That's what we expect of our Parliamentarians - individuals who are devoted to policy-activism, and to quality debate.

Anonymous,  10 February 2009 at 01:09  

Sigh. This nation will never get back to work. Busy politicking.
I'm Bored

Two Sides,  10 February 2009 at 01:11  

2+2, more details here:

http://magickriver.blogspot.com/2009/02/open-letter-to-karpal-singh.html

Karpal is right. We need a new PR Leader.

Dhahran Sea,  10 February 2009 at 02:22  

Salam Tok Sak,
Scary indeed! My reading is that Najib "jumped the gun" by his political hijacking of the 4 katak in Perak! IF the by election went against Najib/BN, then Najib's head will roll (and Pak Lah or his SIL will have a reason to continue to selamatkan Malaysia) & the Sultan's (and son's) reputation as "legal McGyver" will be badly tarnished! The price is extremely high indeed! It'd be interesting to see the sort of "resources" that would be "invested" by both parties to "buy over" the votes... meanwhile, our economy will keep sliding away, and it seems nobody bothers anymore... semua syok berpolitiking!! Apa di kenang?

Anonymous,  10 February 2009 at 08:07  

We are so lucky to have loads of political distractions.Of course Al-Fatihah for the late YB in Perak..
At least we are not caught up with the country's economic problems.
Now I know why we're so insulated from the global reccession.
Good way of distracting and entertaining the rakyat's worry.
Politics politics politics.Everyday!!

Anonymous,  10 February 2009 at 10:37  

Two Sides claimed to be two side.
but he just copy and paste the same comment in quite a number of forums under different identity.

Zawi 10 February 2009 at 10:37  

Dato' Sak,
Indeed it is Divine intervention. The result will have a very big impact on BN's credibility and Najib's future as PM. Above all the image of the Sultan and his son will be tarnished in the eyes of the Rakyat even though he did the right thing given the circumstances. I believe he would have done the same if the situation was in the reverse (let say if it was a BN controlled sate with the frogs jumping over to PR).

Anonymous,  10 February 2009 at 11:34  

RPK: Anwar, Kit Siang and Hadi should quit
Tue, Feb 10, 2009
The Star/ Asia News Network

PORT KLANG, MALAYSIA: Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has called for the resignations of three senior Opposition leaders for the loss of the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government to Barisan Nasional.

Pakatan de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang should resign and accept collective responsibility for the loss, he said at a Chap Goh Mei celebration at the Kuan Soon temple grounds in Pandamaran here.

When asked whether it was a leadership crisis, he said it was just bad leadership, with bad decisions and the three senior politicians were out of touch with the people on the ground.

'It is time for them to stop the blame game. Move aside and give the position to the younger generation that are more able.'

sepadu,  10 February 2009 at 11:56  

Dato,

Contrary to what Johari said above, I found your writings increasingly better.

Re Winston Churchill, I agree that changing party on grounds of principle and unresolvable political disagreements is acceptable but not on monetary or corrupt considerations. I was shocked to read that alleged party hopping inducements went as high as RM50 million. Crazy.

Endorsing and engineering defections certainly does not help one's image, bringing oneself down to the level of those who started it. One survey says Najib's acceptance rating is only 41%, even less than that of his current boss.

Perhaps the coming Bukit Gantang by-election will not be a good test of voters preferences, unless as you said, it produces a significant win for either side.

Many experienced politicians, including Dr Mahathir, say that in PRU 12, KT and the previous by-election, BN's dismal performance was due to the traditional BN voters' protest. To get a significant win at Bukit Gantang, BN needs time or work exceedingly hard.

To echo our friend Mat Cendana, it's time to work.

I must be off.

Best wishes.

sepadu,  10 February 2009 at 12:06  

Dato,

I had meant to have the words "not subdued" before the words "increasingly better"
in the 1st para.

Best wishes.

Anonymous,  12 February 2009 at 00:42  

thats the same mes that I conveyed to my friend, a strong supporter of UMNO.

What if Anwar really has the numbers? What would be UMNO's reaction now that you all have justified the frogging way to gain power. Najib may gain a state and lose the nation.

His answer "Throw morality aside. In politics, we play to win and win at all cost"

I asked what about the future of all our august institutions? Throw them to the wind if need be?

Answer "Yes".

I rest my case and we continue our coffee talk on other matters.

Anonymous,  12 February 2009 at 15:13  

As my Geography teacher said when frustrated with our performance, "Like this, I'd rather go to Timbuktu and teach" - Timbuktu was a hardly accessible and a God forsaken place then.

The Dark Knight,  14 February 2009 at 04:53  

RPK has posted a Malay Mail article on his Corridors of Power. In that article, there is clear mention of 'RPK's support of Perak’s Sultan Azlan Shah'.

http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/18084/84/

I do not think RPK would have put that up on MT, if he did not agree with it himself.

So:

1) The Sultan really is innocent and did not accept bribes and was "not" forced into the decision?

2) A decision he made with the best interest of the people of Perak in mind?

Will RPK answer the 2 questions above specifically in time or avoid it forever? If he does not know, why post that article on MT?

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