- Chandra Muzaffar (former PKR Vice-President)
Since I posted Ijok - where Indians are now cursed! I wonder whether we have bashed the Indians in Ijok enough?
But let’s move on and see why the Chinese in Ijok have been praised as brave risk-takers. I wouldn't be surprised at all if some blokes would now come forward to say: "Since my great great great granddad sailed to Malaya in a leaky tongkang, we Chinese have always been known to be great risk takers".
So what’s the reason for PKR supporters’ praise of a hitherto despised politically-uncommitted (openly anyway) Chinese community?
It was reported that the Chinese in Ijok has swung their voting preference over to PKR.
For example, in Chinese-majority Pekan Ijok, PKR’s majority of 306 in the 2004 almost doubled to 584 in the recent election. Then another Chinese-majority district Batang Berjuntai saw an almost 50% increase in support for PKR (from 658 in 2004 to 979).
Surely these have been proof that those Ijokian Chinese had vaulted the fence over to PKR?
It must be depressing for MCA president Ong Ka Ting who probably went home to gobble half a dozen tablets of Mylanta and begged his wife for a wee massage on his poor throbbing temples, and again, in all probability he would be suffering from constipation for a few days.
Raja Bodek of Gerakan, apart from playing with his giant keris, acted dunno, pretending his party is multiracial rather than Chinese-dominated.
But the PKR supporters have been effusive in their praise of the local Chinese, in sharp contrast to their fury at those damned Indians (specifically Tamils – Malayalams and Ceylonese exempted).
Yes, Ah Peh, Ah Chong and Ah Soe have finally pulled up their Hing-brand socks, and brought home the proverbial bacon (no pun intended) for the PKR.
Kam sia, kam sia, but hang on a ding dong moment, not so fast. In reality, if we pare it straight down to the bone, it’s all thanks to the sheer magnetism, personality, charisma, oratorical skills and charm of Anwar Ibrahim.
His supporters and some sympathetic post-election-wise political analysts declared him as the ONLY national natural nonpareil, a leader with the appeal that cuts across the ethnic board. The Ijok election results must surely be evidence he has increased his appeal among Chinese voters.
The myth building of him continues. Very soon he could even be touted as … and why not … Bao Gong? The poor long-dead judge must be rolling in his medieval grave, out of excitement at the possibility of being referred to once again as an exemplary model by an UMNO … OK … former UMNO leader.
But wasn’t the lowest turnout, apart from Indian-majority Tuan Mee (79.9%), in the Chinese-majority Pekan Ijok (75.1%) and Batang Bestari Selatan way (68.6%, pathetically way below 80% plus just recorded in Ijok)?
Maybe Anwar was not as influential as a Saturday game of mahjong, as some of his over-zealous supporters would want us to believe.
Oh, what about the DAP? Were intrepid Lim Kit Siang and his party members just playing a mere supporting role in the hazy background in effecting the sexy Sino swing to PKR?
Poor Lim Kit Siang, ever overcompensating in an informal alliance, more dedicated and working harder than PKR would for his DAP, as was witnessed in Machap.
I wonder whether, without the DAP contributions and influence, plus the Chinese educationist roped in by Lim, those Chinese Ijokians would even countenance Anwar Ibrahim?
In my reckoning, the Chinese Malaysians have a tendency to vote to punish rather than to select, with some notable exceptions (eg. late Dr Tan Chee Khoon, Lee Lam Thye, Karpal Singh, maybe Lim Kit Siang).
They punished the MCA in 1969 and then 30 years later, the DAP. The last punishment shocked local politics of the unthinkable, when the two leonine stalwarts Lim and Karpal were consigned to political Timbuktoo.
It’s the Taichichuan manoeuvre – soft softly punish the monkey.
Was then the so-called slight swing in the two (low turnout) Chinese districts a friendly warning to the MCA’s Ong Ka Ting and Gerakan’s Raja Bodek to pull up their Domenico Vacca socks (at least US$90 per pair)?
If that's the case, then maybe PKR could be prematurely counting the support of the politically 'chicken' Chinese before they're hatched.