Friday, April 16, 2010

The wayang ends, let's cool it

And the wayang kulit has finally played out.

Both PKR and MIC have announced their candidates for the by-election in P94, Hulu Selangor. Batting for PKR would be former cabinet minister and ex-UMNO Kota Bahru MP, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim while stepping up to the crease for MIC is P. Kamalanathan, the new face of MIC and party information chief.

While Zaid's candidacy was announced without much fanfare, the hoo haa over the MIC candidate played out in the press at large. On one side you have MIC supremo Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu insisting that it was his deputy, G. Palanivel or bust while the UMNO branches in the constituency wanted Mugilan, the deputy youth chief. Clearly it was bust for the MIC president when he was forced to back down and suggest Kamalanathan instead.

And what a slap in the face it must be too, to have their candidate selection so openly influenced by UMNO. Can Samy still say that he's the strongman of the Indian community ?

However one silently rising notion would be that Samy actually planned this blow up in public, if nothing but to show that Palanivel wasn't wanted nor accepted by BN/UMNO. Why though would he undermine his deputy like this, especially since he promises to turn the party over to him ?

Perhaps this is the first shot of a battle to get his son, Vel Paari, a spot in the upper echelons of the party hierarchy and continue the dynasty. A page out of the old playbook of his longtime friend, Tun Mahathir Mohamad, who is doing the same for Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.

Still, the UMNO-MIC show aside, even within PR there are indications that Zaid's selection was not done with unanimous agreement. Some say Zaid's liberal policies and outlook mean the folk from PAS may not push their election machinery in H.S. enough for him, while others are saying Azmin Ali is threatened by Anwar's selection of Zaid as his possible successor. Azmin wants that spot, you see.

No matter how they got selected though, SiPM (M) had called for a good candidate selection, in order for the voters to choose from quality choices for Hulu Selangor. On that count, both Zaid and Kamalanathan fit the bill. Both are liberal men, with some good ideas, both represent the new wave sweeping their respective parties, and both are fit to be in Parliament if elected.

And oh, while we are at it, another fly by night ADUN from PKR quit his party. Ho hum, no big news this and lost it was in the bigger Hulu Selangor miasma.

It is a brand new story, folks, played out in the old wayang kulit style. As Malaysians, let us all watch and enjoy it.

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