FMT LETTER: From Stephen Ng, via e-mail
Najib Tun Razak has made known his “Winnable Candidate” list.
As I mull over it, I cannot help but ask questions. First, the list was said to have been vetted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) a couple of months ago. Yet, the list which was finally revealed was only announced a few days before the nomination date.
Are we saying that, with all the changes that were taking place, a number of candidates have skipped the vetting process to the point that DAP candidate for Serdang was happy to expose those with fake degrees? How else could they have obtained their fake degrees other than paying a sum of money equivalent to a bribe to obtain a fake degree?
Personally, I am not impressed with Barisan Nasional’s list of candidates announced last week by Najib, which appears to be totally out of sync with his own slogans of 1Malaysia and ‘People first’.
For example, to allow Kinabatangan incumbent to stand for the General Election is a bane to the women in this country. The incumbent himself, Bung Mokhtar had made derogatory and sexist remarks when parliament was in session. Instead of punishing him, Najib as the Minister of Women and Family Development, has chosen him as a “winnable” candidate, only to overlook the sensitivities of the women.
We have all seen how Zulkifli Nordin made derogatory remarks against the Hindu deities. In a multi-racial and multi-cultural society like ours, such arrogant attitudes should not, and cannot be tolerated. Despite the protest made by the Hindu community in this country after the video clip of his insults was exposed, Najib has chosen to keep Zulkifli Nordin as a winnable candidate against PAS incumbent, Khalid Samad in the Shah Alam Constituency.
This is shocking as Najib had been shouting the 1Malaysia slogan throughout the country; he should have fielded an MCA or MIC candidate instead to fight Khalid Samad to prove that his 1Malaysia spirit is alive. By fielding Zulkifly Nordin to stand as a candidate for Shah Alam is literally adding salt to the wound.
We have not forgotten how a group of Umno members from Section 23 Shah Alam had stomped the Selangor State Government with a cow’s head, spitting and stepping on it. The Menteri Besar of Selangor, Khalid Ibrahim had not taken offence against such a deplorable act, but what these Umno members had done was wounding the sensitivities of the Hindu community in Shah Alam.
Najib should have been fully aware that Zulkifly Nordin’s appointment will cause the gap to be widened between the Hindu and the Muslim communities despite Zulkifly’s apologies made this week. With the General Election around the corner, voters are skeptical, and they will wait to see Zulkifly lost in the election to see if he still remains apologetic with his jibes; meanwhile, I see the candidate as a bane to national unity. A thumbs-down to Najib and his 1Malaysia slogan!
The candidacy of Mukhriz Mahathir for N4 Ayer Hitam in Kedah is nothing but another attempt to continue with the legacy of Razak-Hussein-Mahathir, where their children continue to dominate Umno elite positions despite lacking in experience and seniority. It clearly shows that Umno BN in Kedah has no one capable enough to lead the state should it fall once again into the hands of BN in the coming 13th General Election.
The decision for Umno to field its candidates replacing MCA in several parliament constituencies such as Kuantan, Gelang Patah and Wangsa Maju is also a slap in the face of MCA. It also displays Umno’s dominance in the “Dacing” pact made 56 years ago. It clearly shows to the rakyat that when Umno decides that they want something, no one including MCA, could challenge its decision. Can we afford another 50 years of such patronage?
We were all expecting a straight fight between PKR’s Rafizi Ramly against the incumbent from MCA, Ong Tee Keat. However, what is obvious to the rakyat now is that internal factions within MCA have gone to a stage beyond repair and Ong’s faction had become the scapegoat by Chua Soi Lek, the MCA president himself. If Chua himself is a winnable candidate, he should have gone after Lim Kit Siang of DAP, instead of giving away the MCA seat to Umno.
The return of an old face and a controversial figure in the person of Isa Samad is again a bane to Barisan Nasional’s many transformation plans. It also shows that Umno is lacking in young blood, and have to keep recycling the old faces. In 2004, we learnt that Umno’s disciplinary board chaired by the late Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Ismail had punished Isa Samad for his involvement in money politics. Isa Samad’s Umno membership had been suspended for three years (June 24, 2005 to June 23, 2008), but his return to the political fray is a clear signal that Umno is short of talents.
Having said this, despite BN’s list of ‘rotten apples’ in the midst of fresh faces, we cannot help but to see dirty games being played during the next two weeks just to see these “winnable” candidates behave. The phantom voters are everywhere including Bukit Lanjan state seat and Subang parliamentary constituency, where we have detected names of people who were registered in the addresses of our constituents.
A number of voters have also been relocated elsewhere. They should fulfill their obligation as voters and come out in full force to tell this present government that we want change! It is time for all voters to come forward to cast their votes to dilute the effect of phantom voters. Our future, and the future of our children, should not be decided by the phantom voters.