Sunday, April 25, 2010

A tight race

It was a tight race, with many saying it was too close to call.

And close it was too, but in the end, the BN candidate P. Kamalanathan won with a majority nearly ten times larger than the late PKR MP of Hulu Selangor won in the 2008 General Election.

But then, a close analysis of the number of votes (compared to the 2008 GE) shows that PKR garnered an additional 200 votes while BN gathered an additional 2000 votes. It does seem that the winning majority came from these additional voters since the last GE, all things being the same.

While SiPM (M) has indicated that no matter who won, the Hulu Selangor constituents won big in an election where both BN and PKR put up candidates of caliber, the campaigning was still marred by overzealousness of the Dirty Tricks Dept from both parties.

BN played on the fact that Zaid Ibrahim used to consume alcohol and owned race horses, while PKR chose to cast doubt on P. Kamalanathan's degree from Edith Cowan University. Both were factual, Zaid did use to partake of the amber fluid and the MIC man did get his degree from Edith Cowan, through a 3+0 twinning programme with Olympia College.

It is this reliance on dirty tricks which indicates the lack of maturity of political campaigning in Malaysia, be it a by-election or a general election. A more productive campaign would be to question the candidates on the issues of the day, rather than their personal traits.

Instead, what we saw was the usual denigration of attributes which really meant nothing about the man itself, perpetrated by both PKR and BN in equal measure. SiPM (M) thinks this needs to stop, as we gear ourselves for the next by-election in Sibu, Sarawak. Let that be about real issues, issues an MP is supposed to be handling as he's elected to the federal Parliament.

Let us learn from these lessons, as we move on to the 11th by-election since GE12 in Sibu. It's a different ballgame over there, with the Sarawakians taking their state-hood much more seriously than any one in the peninsular can claim to. It would be an election where, hopefully, the issues rule and where once again both DAP and BN put up candidates of caliber for the electorate to pick from.

And once again, SiPM (M) says, it's tricky.

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.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When the tail wags the dog

We at SiPM (M) actually wonder who runs the country, 1Malaysia or 50Malaysia.

While the PM is away on a PR bought ego Washington DC trip, his deputy decides to take things in hand and makes remarks invalidating not one, but two of his boss' plans for uniting Malaysia and his fractured coalition.

It makes us at SiPM (M) wonder if this is a carefully crafted play to keep us continually guessing their strategies, or if its just open dissent as the power play between Najib and Muhyidin is played out in the open.

Not only has the DPM single-handedly killed any chance of the interfaith panel being formed, he has also been showing all Malaysians that he is more than willing to let Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa dictate the government's actions and policies. Surprising that a single independent MP is able to wag the DPM. Perhaps it should just be made official, by making him the DPM. Or PM.

While the voice of a liberal Malay agenda is gaining some momentum, Malaysians have long grown tired of racial and religious rhetoric and politicking. The business of running the country seems to be taking a second seat to one-upmanship in state assemblies and Parliament.

It does seem that Perkasa has the ability to overshadow even BN's arduous decision over who to select as a candidate in Hulu Selangor. Even here, the discord between the MIC President's personally selected successor and the choice of the local UMNO branches needs the PM's tiebreaker. This does not bode well for the MIC's role within the BN coalition.

Conversely, PR seems to have more or less agreed on a heavyweight. Whether he will be able to placate the voters, remains to be seen but his coalition has at least shown some cohesion among its component parties.

The further this goes, the more the schism is going to widen, and the more alienated Malaysians are going to get. As my colleague points out, thank you Mr DPM for pushing more votes SiPM (M) way. We stand for a Malaysia for its rakyat, and for what makes all of us tick. We stand for a Malaysia as it once was, not what it seems to be turning to.

We stand for a Malaysia where justice has a fair shake at being done, instead of insulting experts who try to shed light. We stand for what the ordinary Malaysian needs.

Give SiPM (M) your vote, and sound the clarion that Malaysians are tired of shenanigans from all parties.

You know its what needs to be done, we don't talk shit.

Small Fry

Mr DPM. Terima Kasih.

You have singlehandedly minimised an effort for religious harmony in Malaysia. You should be proud.

You are a hero now. Not a zero. Your frankness is appreciated. We all know our place in Malaysia now. Thanks to you.

The Siber Party of Malaysia (M) understands that you have to do what you have done. We will do the same. But we won't waste time on a small fry like you.

We have bigger fish to catch. To fry, so to speak.

At the very least, we thank you for your comment which will send votes our way. Vote SiPM (M), where there are no small fries. Just fish.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Sibu hunts a head

And before the 10th is even open for nominations, we get news of another looming by-election.

This time it is in Sibu, Sarawak. And a politically significant one it is too, since the Sarawak state elections are soon due, and both Pakatan and Barisan have been talking up their chances of taking the state.

For Pakatan, it is important that they make some inroads into east Malaysia, for they would need that should they harbour any hopes of forming a federal government. For BN, its a barometer of how they have managed to shore down their strength since the losses of March 2008.

Central to all of this would be were Taib Mahmud throws his weight, which for now is firmly behind BN. Nevertheless even the PM knows that he still needs to take into account Taib's considerations (read: interests) in the matter before seeing it as a done deal.

The Sibu by-election will thus serve as an indicator of how state elections will go. One would expect the DAP to play a significant role here, given their long time presence in both the seat and the state. However, the hawks in PKR may insist to have this done their way, which to be sure will test the loose coalition's cohesion. One wonders if we will have a repeat of 2008, when a PKR candidate stood against his coalition partner from the DAP, against the late Robert Lau from SUPP.

In any case, one would think that Sibu will have a bigger import than Hulu Selangor, with the bigwigs from both PR and BN making their presence felt.

The federal seats from Sarawak are important, if PR ever hopes to win a Parliamentary majority. While BN's dominance in Sabah and Sarawak saved their rear ends in 2008, they cannot hope for this to always be the case, especially since Ku Li is still stirring up the distribution of oil profits.

It is a well known fact that the profits from oil found in Sarawakian territories is largely used to fund projects in the peninsular. However, if one were to be in Kuching, the development and economic growth is something which would surprise you.

So, would the oil issue play a major role in this by-election ? Will Ku Li be a thorn in BN's side in the run up ? Will DAP's Fuzhou coterie in Sibu be able to pull off a win when they've failed in the past ?

Siber Party of Malaysia (M) will soon meet to see if we should throw our hat into the fray. After all, we do have a competent Fuzhou in our ranks, even if he is mostly silent and on a pork eating frenzy. SiPM (M) believes that even if the Chinese make up 60% of Sibu, the Melanau and Iban people are significant enough to play a role. Time for them to speak up and to be heard, and SiPM (M) will gladly do that if provided adequate amounts of tuak and langkau.

Sarawak is not all about oil and logging. The other natural and cultural treasures it has should also be made known, and we at SiPM (M) will promise to bring more tuak and langkau into the peninsular, thus assisting the Sarawakian economy, should we be elected.

For as we said, either way, we still need good candidates bearing fresh eggs, even if headhunters they may be.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Blue Pill or the Red Pill, or wait for a Purple Pill ?

And in just two weeks, the circus will start as the country faces its 10th by-election in 25 months in Hulu Selangor. And we say democracy is dead in Malaysia.

Two years and two prime ministers. Two years and two fronts to choose from. Two years, and too much rhetoric from both sides and one prime minister. (The other one fell a sleep often and didnt say much).

The economy has not yet recovered fully, and emigration of our talent is becoming a problem, even as nothing is done to retain the ones we still have.

Racial rhetoric is allowed to flourish as short daggers are openly kissed, the symbolism as clear as it was before when a former youth chief did the same. But then, this is outsourced activism to amphibian bodies.

They hop and croak, in unison without independent thought. Or independent balance in Parliament. They hop when rewards hoped for do not materialize. And smear former allies and colleagues. Are these the ones whom we've entrusted our national policy and federal lawmaking to ?

The other side is not much better either. Preferring theatrics to actual governance and providing the check and balance needed, they lose the sympathy once abundant for the injustice done to them.

One man seems to be saying the right things, but for now he is keeping his cards close to his chest and awaits action against him. Or for an opportunity to present itself.

What then of the choice for the voters in Hulu Selangor ? Who do they throw their ballot for ? How much time will they be able to consider ? No one knows, for even as both the BN and PR are undecided about who they want to field, internal pressures in both parties reek of communal and personal interest agendas. The best candidate for the constituency may just be a pipe dream.

There is a need for a strong candidate. One who holds his weight with refreshing ideas to rejuvenate a country tired of politicking and crisscrossing barbs which serve no purpose. A candidate with strength and wisdom, to know when silence is needed and when the voice of his people must be heard. One who can rise above it all.

Siber Party of Malaysia (M) hopes for a choice all voters across the nation can be proud of.

The real slim shady.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Hulu Selangor Campaign

A year after a new prime minister, what else is new?

Najib Razak might have announced a lot of initiatives and measures but none have taken bite. We don't have to remind anyone of the alphabets that he has strung along or the fact that he is stringing us along too.

A measure of what he is lies in the Hulu Selangor campaign.

Although the Siber Party of Malaysia (M) is not contesting the seat, we would like to put our points across to the good people of the federal ward.

Are you still falling for the basket of goodies that come before a hotly-contested by-election that appears key to the prestige and popularity of two self-centered coalitions?

Pakatan Rakyat needs to win this one. Well, PKR needs to keep the seat after losing four MPs. As for Barisan Nasional, an additional seat is always welcome as it builds up towards a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Of course, SiPM (M) will decide whether to vote along or against either coalitions. To paraphrase WC Fields - "I never vote for anyone. I always vote against."

But you good folks of Hulu Selangor decide. Just like the rest of Malaysia will have to decide whether Barisan or Pakatan is worthy of their vote. For us, its simple, only the SiPM (M) gets the vote.

We are as real as can be. And heck, we rap too.