To lord over, or to love and liberate?

Posted on November 5, 2010


“The writing is on the wall. BN will win the next GE. It’s now a matter of whether it will be a landslide. At the very least, BN should win back its two-thirds majority” – my friend, Kee Thuan Chye, sharing his thoughts on the implications of the Galas and Batu Sapi by-election results, as reported in Malaysiakini.

In less than a month, Linda Tsen went from being an obscure part-time music teacher and wife, to that of a widow and then a Member of Parliament.

In that process, she scalped two men who fancied themselves as political big-wigs.

By a majority larger than that garnered by her late husband in 2008.

Sympathy votes?

Sure, but not all 6,000.

Money politics and election goodies?

With BN in the contention, this goes without saying.

Would these, alone, account for Linda’s stellar performance, given that at the outset of campaigning immediately after nomination day, reports from the ground suggested that she was trailing and that SAPP’s Yong was in with a shot at causing an upset?

And, yet, Yong finally ended up polling the least number of votes?

If there was any truth in those  initial reports, what happened between then and polling day?

On 21st October, after negotiations between PKR and SAPP to try and get one to withdraw from the contest to facilitate a straight BN / PKR or SAPP contest, broke down, at a press conference at which William Leong for PKR and Yaong for SAPP were in attendance, assurances were given that their respective candidates would not attack each other during the campaign period. Malaysiakini has the report HERE.

However, two days into the 8-day campaign period and this pact was in tatters.

According to Malaysiakini, Yong drew first blood, alluding to the infighting that the PKR party elections has thrown up, and equating a vote for Pakatan as a vote for BN, both being semenanjung ‘sombong’ parties.

That same Malaysiakini report narrates PKR’s Ansari countering that between SAPP and PKR Sabah, the former had lost 4 elected reps or senior leaders through crossovers since the 2008 elections,whilst the latter had not suffered such a calamity.

Ansari seems to have forgotten that the majority of defecting reps that brought down the Pakatan government in Perak were from PKR.

However, if Ansari’s retort seemed mindless, Chua Jui Meng’s won hands down for sheer stupidity.

Chua, Malaysiakini reports, questioned Yong’s track record in politics, and the latter’s having stuck with BN for 16 years.

“I ask Yong to look at his own record when he was chief minister. During his term, did he implement the reform he talks about, especially the autonomy of Sabah? I never heard of him talking about autonomy when he was chief minister”, Chua is reported to have said.

To the thinking voter in Batu Sapi, these idiotic swipes only served to spotlight the can of worms that PKR is increasingly showing itself to be, and raised questions in the minds of these voters, the answers to which are self-evident to anyone who has kept reasonably abreast of the development of politics in the country.

Yong’s 16 years in BN?

Yong’s achievements as chief minister?

How long was Chua in BN?

What did he achieve as Health Minister when he held that portfolio?

Worse, how long was Anwar in UMNO and BN?

What did Anwar do for the nation, as Deputy Prime Minister, that PKR can brag of now?

Obviously no-one told Chua that as you judge, so shall you be judged.

DAP, too, got in on the action.

Their Kota Kinabalu MP and DAP Sabah chief, Hiew King Cheu, launched a whisper campaign to the effect that Yong would lead SAPP back into the BN fold if he won this by-election.

Yong, so the whisper campaign went, would betray the voters yet again, as he did in the past.

Unwittingly, or otherwise, Hiew had reminded the voters of Batu Sapi that some 16 years ago, the Ketua Umum of PKR, then Dr M’s right-hand man, had instigated and induced the very betrayal that Hiew now spoke of.

Was DAP obliquely spotlighting the fish rotting from the head in PKR?

If so, to what end?

It must be asked whether DAP was in Batu Sapi to aid Ansari, or its own agenda?

Again, many a thinking voter in Batu Sapi must have been bewildered that the ‘opposition’ parties were at each others throats, displaying each others sordid past and belittling each others promises, whilst Linda waltzed through past the finishing line.

Faced with this, who would you have voted for?

As I read the results of the Batu Sapi by-election coming through last night, my thoughts went back to the PKR-SAPP negotiations of 21st October.

As each side endeavoured to persuade the other to make way for their candidate, I wondered what was uppermost in their minds?

To liberate the people of Batu Sapi from a long-time oppressor, even if it meant giving way to the other, or to stand their ground, the focus on calculated political mileage to be gained in contesting, and little else?

I could not help but compare the situation at that PKR-SAPP negotiation with the biblical account of the  disputation between two prostitutes over an infant that the good King Solomon was called upon to adjudicate over.

Both claimed to be the biological mother of the child, and sought Solomon’s order of custody.

1 Kings 3 : 16-3 : 28 of the Holy Bible narrates what then happened :

“Then the king said, ‘Bring me a sword’. So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: ‘Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other’.

The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, ‘Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!’.

But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

Then the king gave his ruling: ‘Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother’.”

It seems to me that at that negotiation on 21st October, and on the days that followed, none of the political whores in both PKR and SAPP cared for the oppressed in Batu Sapi enough to say to the other, “Go on, set the people of Batu Sapi free”.

Like the heartless harlot before Solomon, if one wasn’t going to get the seat, then neither was the other.

Thuan Chye is right.

The writing is on the wall.

Posted in: Batu Sapi