Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Posts Tagged ‘MIC

Thoughts on Hulu Selangor By-election, Part 1

As I write this, BN is leading the voting count. Of course once counting is complete I fully expect the losing side to demand a recount (assuming the rules allow it). This by-election had the most effort put in by both sides so far, more than any by-election to date. (Note: I am aware I left out mention of political issues e.g. no corruption, but I have my reasons to focus solely on PKR).

Why PKR needs to win

  • Zaid Ibrahim needs a win to legitimise the important role (post?) he was given when he joined PKR. Remember when he had to cancel a trip to Sabah/Sarawak because some leaders disapproved?
  • Tan Sri Khalid needs a win because his leadership style has made a lot of enemies among party grassroots.
  • Anwar Ibrahim needs a win because the party hoppers that were his close friends hurt his clout among the grassroots. It surprises me when I hear long-time members make disparaging remarks about him. Since late last year there was serious talk that Zaid should replace him in the near future. Such talk only increases the internal squabbles.
  • PKR needs to show that they can run a by-election with the grassroots and leadership that they have. It will affect member morale nationwide.

So if PKR loses, I expect the usual complaints about phantom voters or even so far as declaring the by-election invalid due to the 14,000 voters that had their voting stations moved.

What works in PKR’s favour

  • Use of state govt machinery to get votes. The MB moved his office to Hulu Selangor and for the first time in history, held the weekly State Exco meetings there instead of Shah Alam.

What works against PKR

  • Lack of cooperation between PKR and PAS. Whether this is due to PAS disapproval of Zaid, or just lack of organisational skills of PKR is anyone’s guess. However PAS did state publicly that it was due to difficulty in coordinating with PKR.
  • Lack of strong PKR grassroots. By strong I mean given a task, they will really do it and not just come back later and say they did.

What works in BN’s favour

  • Crazy sums of money to give out. I don’t agree with bribes but I have to say that if their concerts had attendees (PKR had concerts too), and gifts accepted then the blame lies with the electorate. If bribery was the right way to get their vote, sadly that show BN understands them better.
  • Larger grassroots base. Functional or not I wouldn’t know.

I actually hope BN wins, for several reasons:

PKR members (not just elected reps) have gotten too arrogant. They have forgotten that they were handed power in 2008 and need to earn it in the next GE. They should have invested time in defining party culture and developing leadership at every level, not just blindly recruiting and ordering members to volunteer. Our message is good but our grassroots management strategy is weak.

PKR needs to learn that different communities require different tactics to win their vote. For some people all they understand is how to vote based on race or which side gives more money. The only way to change that mentality is by education and 2-3 weeks of ceramah is not enough. This is where strong grassroots come in, if not ceramah then by leafleting. It’s an epic task but it needs to be done.

All 3 ADUNs under the MP seat are BN. Even though they have been crippled by having their state allocations withheld by the Selangor State govt (and given to Exco members Ean Yong and Elizabeth under ADUN Angkat programme), they still matter. The previous PKR MP could not have achieved much because he did not have a strong grassroots or ADUNs to help manage the constituency. The Exco members are too busy to be there for him as regularly as ADUNs. So if Zaid won, by the next GE the BN candidates can say, “You see? You voted for Zaid but he couldn’t help with local problems”.

Win or lose, an MP gets no allocation if he is from Pakatan. Zaid would have to carry the burden of managing a large constituency, raise issues in Parliament and whatever leadership tasks he has in PKR/Pakatan Rakyat. If he loses, he can still help the voters and work on building a strong grassroots for the next GE. It’s only 2 years away. If he wins he has to hope the Exco members are available to disburse funds from the ADUN allocations for him. They are very, very busy people. The pressure to perform as MP will be high, whereas even as a non-MP he could work with the Excos for the constituency, as preparation work for next GE. That is why I see a loss as a good thing.

You could argue that if BN wins, Kamalanathan will use use his allocation to reinforce voter support. But win or lose he can do that anyway. Zaid does not get that option. The fact is that you need money to solve people’s problems.

I learned a lot these past 2 weeks and saw a lot of ugliness on both sides; I’ll try to document it soon.

Written by ak57

April 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Devamany to be Whipped

Johari: Not fair for BN MP to blame govt for Indian woes

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 26, 2007): A backbencher was told today it was unfair for him to accuse the government of being unfair to the Indian community when it comes to sharing the country’s economic pie.

S.K. Devamany (BN-Cameron Highlands) had said, when posing a supplementary question, that despite measures promised by the government in its 2020 Vision policy and the Ninh Malaysia Plan, the reaction (Hindraf’s demonstration) yesterday showed that there is frustration in the lower rung of the Indian community which saw the involvement of youths and those from the middle income group.

“What are the actions taken to show proof of the government’s efforts in overcoming poverty and limited opportunities in the Indian community,” he asked Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum in Parliament.

Johari, replying in Parliament lobby, said it was not fair for Devamany to say the Indian community took to the streets on Sunday because the government was not being fair to them.

“How can he say that the demonstrations were due to Indians’ frustrations,” he said.

– quoted from an article published in the Sun on 26th November 2007 (link)

Despite representing himself poorly on Al-Jazeera on Sunday, it appears that Devamany made the quick decision to take off the ‘incompetence mask’ worn by most ministers and ask a perfectly reasonable question. Johari’s response indicates that he believes it to be work of the Opposition, or some other malarkey.

What is the result of Devamany questioning his masters’ (government) statement? A meeting with the Chief Whip, which turns out to be Najib. All these years I have been wondering whether we have a Chief Whip and who it is, and its Najib.

MIC MP to explain remarks to Najib

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 27, 2007): S.K. Devamany (BN-Cameron Highlands) will meet Barisan Nasional Chief Whip and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak to explain his remarks on the Indian community’s woes in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said a report from the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) and the transcripts of the Hansard involving the MIC man showed that he broke ranks by questioning Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum.

He added that the MIC Central Working Committee member broke ranks with his BN peers by disputing the government’s figures on the number of Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) demonstrators by saying that 50,000 participated in the rally.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament lobby today, Nazri said Devamany’s remarks went against the BN and MIC’s stand and position on the Hindraf demonstration.

He further criticised the first term MP for putting his party in a difficult position and urged him to stand by the majority of Indians who did not take part in the rally.

“We have an MIC MP refuting the party’s stand on several issues. It is serious,” said Nazri.

“If you want to be a fighter, then fight. But don’t put your party in a difficult position, “Nazri stressed.

Asked if the BN action against Devamany would make him a “hero” among the Indian community, Nazri said the BN could not be thinking in terms of one community.

“Should we encourage people to be popular among the community by breaking ranks? Or should we consider the welfare of the whole BN? Do we not take action against Robin Hood because he robbed the rich to give the poor, even though he broke the law?” he asked.

On Monday the backbencher in a supplementary question questioned the government’s policies on the Indians in the country.

He said that despite measures promised by the government in its 2020 Vision policy and the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the reaction on Sunday showed that there is frustration in the lower rung of the Indian community which saw the involvement of youths and those from the middle income group.

– quoted from an article published in the Sun on 27th November 2007 (link)

Nazri quickly pounced on the report of a disloyal lapdog (more news on this online, don’t have the link right now sorry). I wonder how Devamany will fare?

Getting Whipped

Written by ak57

November 28, 2007 at 7:01 am

Another Racial Party

Ex-PKR man Nalla forms new Indian party

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk K.S. Nallakaruppan, who left Parti Keadilan Rakyat a dejected man, has formed a new political party after a four-month hiatus.

The Malaysian Indian United Party (MIUP) aims to uplift the Indian community especially at the grassroots level by providing better living and health standards, helping youngsters and fighting corruption, among others, he said.

Nalla, as he is fondly known, quit PKR on May 25 following a rift with de facto leader and one-time best friend Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“I joined PKR in August last year hoping to serve for the betterment of the Indian community but realised it was not the right platform,” he said Saturday at a press conference to announce the new party.

– quoted from an article published in The Star on 6th October 2007 (link)

We don’t need another party whose goals are centred on one race – that just helps promote racism. Was there no way to help the Indian community as part of KeADILan? For tolerance and unity to grow among our people we need to put an end to all the racial parties – UMNO, MCA, MIC and now MIUP.

Written by ak57

October 7, 2007 at 5:08 am

Posted in Local News, Politics

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