KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Opposition strongman Jeffrey Kitingan’s former key aide, Phillip Among, thinks the Opposition was already doing a good job of destroying itself, with or without the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
“DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, in that sense, was not connecting the dots accurately. His son being arrested on corruption charges must not be allowed to be used by Najib, if true, to try and hasten the Opposition’s destruction.”
“The Penang Chief Minister should have known that buying a private residence below the market rate, as a public official, may be argued in Court as a corrupt act. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
Among, who heads the Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (GRS), argued that the Opposition’s strength does not hinge on Lim Guan Eng staying on as Penang Chief Minister but rather on him leaving the political scene, at least for the moment. “He should go on a sabbatical and fight his corruption case.”
“Let’s put back the focus on the mega global financial scandals bogging down the Najib Administration.”
If the focus of the Opposition and public attention shifts to the Guan Eng corruption case, lamented the Sabahan who heads the Malaysia United People’s Party (MUPP) in GRS, only the BN would benefit. “The ruling coalition would be able to use the case to divert public attention from the financial scandals.”
“It will be open season as the BN indulges in its politics of distraction and disruption.”
Among was confessing in a telephone interview that he fears for the Opposition and wonders whether it would ever be able to get its act together, especially in the wake of the Guan Eng corruption case. “Let’s see whether the Opposition takes the right position on the case. Let’s see whether it has what it takes.”
“If Guan Eng hangs around, fighting his case as Penang Chief Minister, the Opposition can’t claim that it would be stronger as a result or come out stronger from the ordeal.”
The Opposition, stressed Among, must call BN’s bluff on politics to avoid weakening itself further and/or getting nowhere in its politics. “Otherwise, the people would be so disappointed with it, and might continue to decide that better the known devil (BN), than the unknown angel (Opposition).”
“The people have been caught for so long between the devil and the deep blue sea.”
The GRS Chief ventured that the Guan Eng case aside, the Opposition needs to rein in several of its leaders so that it remains united and strong. “These are the leaders who, sometimes single-handedly, can virtually destroy the Opposition.”
PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang, continued Among, poses the greatest danger to the Opposition. “He was instrumental in breaking up Pakatan Rakyat (PR) through his hudud Bill.”
Earlier, he reminded, Hadi refused to turn up for meetings held by the PR Leadership Council, and insisted on vetoing decisions decided by consensus. “To add insult to injury, he’s playing political footsie with Najib.”
“He has one leg in the Opposition bloc and another in the BN camp through Najib.”
Hadi also refused to play ball during the recent by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar. “If not for Hadi, Amanah could have given Umno a run for its money in the two by-elections,” claimed Among.
Hadi also insisted that the Chief Ministers in Sabah and Sarawak, must be Muslim, he said the Prime Minister must be Malay, and referred to the Iban as having a cawat (loin cloth) mindset.
He traced back the rot in the Opposition as beginning in 1969 when Gerakan, PPP and PAS joined the BN. “That set the clock back until the 2008 General Election when BN lost its coveted two-thirds majority.”