Wednesday, January 29, 2014

'EXCITING BY-ELECTION BECKONS: There’s More To Kajang Than SATAY', Malaysian Chronicle, 29 January 2014

Wednesday, 29 January 2014            


WHO is not familiar with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim? He is still the Opposition leader who is a force to be reckon with. Proficient, intelligent and an essential figure in the Malaysian political scene despite having decades of controversy and challenges in realising his political ambitions.
Recently, Anwar sparked yet another bold move when he announced to contest the DUN Kajang seat just two days after the former Kajang State Assembly member Lee Chin Cheh unexpected resignation.
In this first month of 2014, Anwar’s candidacy is seen as a surprise. It is as if he is looking for a stepping stone to achieve 'something' that is far greater than a de-facto leader.
A Consolation Prize?
Former New Straits Times Press’ group editor-in-chief, Datuk A. Kadir Jasin wrote in his blog recently about his views on Anwar's move to contest in Kajang. He saw it as an acknowledgment of defeat by Anwar who fails to become the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
..Over the years, most Malaysians are fully aware of Anwar’s aspirations to grasp the power as the cabinet’s most senior position in his hand. This ambition of Anwar was incepted even in the earlier days of Anwar's involvement in the Malaysian political arena, in the 1980’s.
To Kadir, the announcement of him running in the Kajang soon-to-be-held by-election is somewhat an unspoken 'compensation' prize due to his failure to be Prime Minister. If he succeeds, Anwar is likely to take over Selangor Mentri Besar’s position fromTan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
In a packed press conference held yesterday, both Anwar and Khalid denied this possibility to ever materialized.
Through his blog, Kadir felt that Anwar’s 'enemy' might think Anwar’s latest rendezvous is an act to compensate his need to be the prime minister which has yet to be fulfilled.
The implication of Anwar’s move might be of something interesting for Malaysians to witness. Kadir also explained that if Anwar did win the Kajang by-election, he will be a better outfit than Khalid to run Selangor given his years of experience.
"This is a ​​great sacrifice for Anwar because all these years, all he wanted in politics was to become a Prime Minister,” Kadir wrote on his blog.
The Wicked Mastermind
Prof Madya Dr Ismail SualmanProf Madya Dr Ismail SualmanPolitical analyst Dr. Ismail Sualman believed that Anwar’s nomination yesterday is the first step towards being the Selangor Mentri Besar.
He said the nomination was not a coincidence but it was carefully planned by Anwar.
"Anwar’s plan to regain his lost power began when he was appointed as the Selangor government economic planning in 2008 for a fee of only RM1 per month," said Ismail.
The conflict between PKR’s deputy president Azmin Ali and Khalid are also just a ‘distraction’
"The struggle in his party is all planned, as well as the dismissal of Azmin is just to make way for Anwar to lead Selangor,” he said.
Ismail added that Azmin and Khalid dispute was presented only through on the media but he reckoned the truth is the two are not hateful to each other as reported.
Exploiting Democracy
Ismail also said Anwar's move to contest in Kajang by removing Lee showcases him as someone who had tarnished the very value of democracy.
"He traded the trust and mandate given by the people for PKR’s own benefit," he said.
What’s more, Lee’s resignation was a total surprise and Lee’s ambiguous reasons for doing so had raised thousands of questions.
BN Must Now Prepare
Ismail urged BN to keep their eyes open and to think out-of-the-box. They have to start playing the ‘game’ smartly. He thinks it is not smart for BN to take the matters lightly and the ruling party must stop ridiculing PKR’s conflict while ignoring their own.
As a proactive measure, BN should start thinking of candidates suited to ‘fight’ Anwar in Kajang. The most important aspect to consider is; how can they woo the people of Kajang and ways to fish for their votes.
"I hope the people of Kajang will choose wisely," Ismail said.
Is Anwar Fit To Be A Menteri Besar?
Profesor Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian. Pic: TMIProfesor Madya Dr Sivamurugan Pandian. Pic: TMIWith many speculations going around predicting Anwar to be Selangor Menteri Besar if he were to win Kajang by-election, some wonder, is he eligible to be the head of Selangor’s office?
Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst, Dr. Sivamurugan Pandian was unsure of Anwar’s eligibility to be Selangor Menteri Besar. He said one of the main criteria to hold the position is; the candidates must be a resident of the state. Anwar was born in Penang and his current residence is in Kuala Lumpur.
“If he wins and wants to be a Mentri Besar, he first need to ask for the consent of Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah,” said Sivamurugan.
According to him, Anwar’s plan to be Mentri Besar may also be a move to help stabilize the relationship between Azmin and Khalid.
"I am confident that PKR Supreme Council has a strong reason to choose him as a candidate to run for the Kajang seat", he told mD.
What Do The People Of Kajang think?
Suhaimi Daud, 38, who hails from Kajang said Anwar’s nomination to replace Lee was not appropriate and he felt the decision as a move from a greedy man.
He said Anwar is not fit to lead Kajang because the opposition leader does not come from there.
"He is the Permatang Pauh MP, what does he want in Kajang?", he questioned Anwar.
"For me, it doesn’t matter who's running, but it is better if we can give an opportunity to the locals to represent their own people," he explained to mD.
It is different for Zamanhuri Yaacob who is in his 50s. He fully supports the nomination of Anwar.
"I am sure Anwar is the right candidate to bring about improvements here especially with his vast experience,” he said.
He also believed that there are a lot of Anwar supporters in Kajang.
Zamanhuri felt that the Kajang local people are confident with the promises of Pakatan Rakyat and one of it is to offer free education.
"If our children’s education is free ... there is no need for parents to apply for loans," he said to mD.
Meanwhile, Hiew Chew Kuang argued that Anwar’s road to fame will not be easy in winning the Kajang by-election. He felt Anwar's chances of winning the seat is 50-50.
"Though he is seen as a caliber and charismatic leader, but many of my friends do not like his character and his personal problems,"   he said.
He pointed out that while the majority of the voters in Kajang are Chinese and are expected to favour Anwar, the community must also weigh in Anwar’s personal nature and character.
"It is also better to have someone with a good character to lead us," he said.
Twitter Users Are Not Happy
Twitter users have been reported to be confused and unhappy with Anwar’s move to fill the DUN seat in Kajang. These are some of their responses:
..@ IhsanHuhu: "Seriously I trust more than PKR DAP. # You do not take people's trust awnings for granted. Surely we wat cans until PRU14 for any reshuffling."
@ Beckyilham: "So as an MP, do you serve the people or the power hungry leader in your party? # Francisco", he wrote.
Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang @ tankengliang: "PR leaders should come up with a crystal clear explanation on # Kajang fiaso. Just be honest and man up! Otherwise, face the consequences.
@ Mdsaifullah9: "You do not remember Voter anger to? Have to 'waste' time to go vote for PRK because Honourable Assembly # awnings resign," he wrote.- Malaysian Digest

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