Sunday, September 04, 2011

GE 13 - Multi-ethnic crossroad for DAP

Come an election, seat allocation or distribution among component parties of a political alliance in Malaysia becomes a difficult, sensitive, and frequently, acrimonious exercise.

This applies to both BN and Pakatan, except the former finds it easier than the latter, for the simple reason UMNO can just bulldoze its views into unilateral decisions.

The only sector which UMNO had and will encounter most difficulties on this issue would/will be internal, from its own members, as witnessed in the last Hulu Selangor federal by-election and the pre-2008 Ijok state by-election, when much to the chagrin of its (local) UMNO members, it adamantly placed a MIC man each time in the federal and state constituencies as its preferred candidates.

Much as I dislike UMNO for its racist, arrogant and corrupt behaviour, I admire its decisions to place MIC (rather than UMNO) candidates in those Hulu Selangor and Ijok by-elections. That has been its strength, but the downside had been its bulldozing ways which made nonsense of the term ‘alliance’ because UMNO just rode roughshod over its so-called allies, MCA, Gerakan, MIC etc.

An example of this was ironically in the Hulu Selangor by-election where it ignored/dismissed the choice of the MIC President and directly selected the MIC candidate of its own (UMNO) preference.

The most humiliating reality of the so-called (pretend) alliance is that MCA, Gerakan and MIC couldn't even (still can't) nominate any of its party members as the candidate for the allocated seats without the UMNO president okaying those selections - witnessed that Hulu Selangor by-election humiliation for MIC. In other words, MCA, Gerakan and MIC (forget about the other parasite kutu parties) have been rendered into (ethnic) sub-branches of UMNO, not unlike the non-Muslim supporters of PAS wakakaka.

In its greater difficulty in seat sharing/distribution, Pakatan is at least one level more dignified than MCA, Gerakan or MIC had been allowed to enjoy.

In their at-times acrimonious squabble for seats – as witnessed in PKR’s avaricious grab of the Sarawak state seats and its arrogant dismissal of SNAP – Pakatan showed that no party was subordinated to another. That has been its strength, but then its weakness would be in tearing at each other in public eyes, often leading to concerns from its supporters that the alliance is about to disintegrate, and delight for its BN foes that it will.

A month or so ago, PKR again pre-empted its allies in declaring it will be contesting some 80+ seats in the next GE, while just a few days back PAS staked its claim to almost 70. That leaves roughly around 70 for DAP and PSM, and if they join Pakatan, SNAP, SAPP etc.

In terms of gross figures, despite PKR as usual grabbing the lion's share ('tis the nature of the beast wakakaka), it looks on the borderline of ‘okay-ness’, but as they say, the devil would be in the details.

Recently, DAP’s Zulkifli Mohd Noor caused an uproar when he gave PKR a taste of its own (greedy, selfish and power-crazy) medicine. Zul demanded that
PKR surrender one Parliamentary and 5 State seats in Penang to DAP’s Malay candidates wakakaka.

One of his detractors, no doubt a PKR person, shouted that the DAP should give Zul one of its won (Chinese majority) seat to Zul to contest, and for Zul to keep off the PKR turf.

Actually Zul did contest in one of those Penang Chinese-majority seats in 2004 but alas for some unknown reasons, not in 2008. I recall my matey Sunline (Poli 101) responded to my query in Facebook that Zul wasn’t feeling well enough for the 2008 GE. Zul could have been the first DAP Malay MP had he re-contested in the Bukit Bendera federal constituency in March 2008.

4 years ago, on 07 May 2007, I posted
DAP & PKR - blood brothers? which discussed Zul’s candidature in Bukit Bendera. I updated the discussion one year later after the March 2008 GE, where I wrote:

What ever happened to Zulkifli Mohd Noor who stood as DAP’s candidate in Bukit Bendera in 2004 and won a credible 18,000 votes out of 47,000?

As I had blogged previously, the DAP may have partial claim to their avowed multi-ethnic credentials – for example, they have put up many Indian candidates who have been voted successfully into both federal Parliament and State Assemblies.

Unfortunately none of its Malay candidates were ever successful, especially if and when they stood in Malay majority constituencies.

It was in a Chinese majority Bukit Bendera (Penang) that Zulkifli Mohd Noor made a decent mark, by winning nearly 18000 of the 47000 votes, and that’s no mean feat if we look at the ethnic breakdown. The Chinese majority federal seat had 13.82% Malays, 73.97% Chinese and 11.07% Indians plus a sprinkling of 1.14% Thais, Eurasian, etc.

Even if all 14% Malays in that constituency had turned up to cast their ballots for Zulkifli (which was absolutely unlikely), he wouldn’t get more than 5000 votes. This meant that there was a whole lot of Chinese votes (13,000 plus) for Zul.

I wrote on the possible reasons why Zul didn’t make it in 2004. That could have been due to three factors:

If you want to know more, please read my 2008 post
Gerakan & DAP - the missing songkok factor!

Since March 2008, Chinese-majority constituencies have become blue chips for Pakatan politiicans, providing much higher assurance of victory for them, regardless of whether they’re DAP Malay or Indian candidates, PKR and even PAS.

PAS in fact is banking on the Chinese factor for victory in many of its staked 70 federal seats for GE-13. Such is today's lamentable lot for Tunku's UMNO when the Chinese (even MCA members) see UMNO as its least desired or (as the case may be) most despised/hated political representative to an extent that they would be willing to vote for PAS instead.

Even if the constituency doesn’t have a Chinese majority, the more Chinese voters there are, the better the chances of victory for PAS and PKR candidates.

That has been why PAS, PKR and now even PSM are drooling for such Chinese-majority seats, traditionally DAP’s turf even for its Indian and Malay candidates such as Kula, Karpal, Zul, etc.

A very recent example of this ‘drooling’ over a blue chip seat has been being Dr Jeya’s ambit claim for Jelapang. According to an informed source, the principles of seat distribution are:

(1) Incumbent seats to be contested by the incumbent party!

My question on Jelapang, where the 'remarkable' Hee defected from the DAP is: Could DAP reasonably argue that notwithstanding that defection, Jelapang had voted for DAP and not Hee the person, thus DAP is the moral ‘incumbent’. If so then DAP would have both the political and moral rights in contest again in that state seat.

On the other hand, if one can argue successfully that with Hee's defection, DAP cannot be the moral ‘incumbent’ because, for example, voters had voted for the candidate rather than the party (a not completely impossible through rarely/unlikely case in Malaysian elections), then DAP loses the political and moral right to re-contest in that seat.

However, there is great danger in such a 'Hee'-ish argument for PKR (the notorious tadpole nursery) because of the defections or resignations, as the case may be, of its erstwhile MPs, namely ‘golf-course’ Zahrain, ‘Kulim Wonder’ Zul, ‘Gerakan-Daddy’ Tan Tee Beng, ‘Always-Absent’ Badrul Hisham, 'Love-Anwar-then-hate-Anwar-now' Gobala, poly-political-party Wee, etc etc etc.

Should Pakatan support Dr Jeya’s claim for Jelapang (and PKR’s claim for more of DAP’s seat in urban areas in both Peninsula Malaysia and Sarawak), then I have no doubt that DAP’s Zul and other DAP Malay members will be morally right in staking claims for the federal seats of Bayan Baru, Kulim, Nibong Tebal, Port Klang, Wangsa Maju etc, and all the associated state seats within those federal constituencies. Frightening for PKR, ain’t it, wakakaka.

(2) Seats contested by a particular party in the past, gets to contest again in the same seat unless there are exceptional circumstances warranting a change!

Now, what would constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’? Would losing (not making headway) with the voters be one of them, like PKR’s unfortunate lot in Sarawak or nearer at home, Hulu Selangor?

I leave you with these thoughts.

Now, on to the once-impregnable MCA fortress in Johor! Poor MCA is now quaking in its pantsUMNO-provided sarong at the very thought of GE-13. But more interesting for us, who in Pakatan should be allowed to challenge the BN-MCA (or Gerakan) candidates? DAP, PKR, PAS, or PSM? Your thoughts ;-)

Note of Appeal: I hope my brother Haris Ibrahim would forego his MCLM's pledge not to contest in GE-13 and go for the Bentong federal seat against Liow Tiong LIE wakakaka. Dear Haris had once expressed his wish that, should he offer himself as a political representative, he like to stand against LIE.

Back to Zulkifli Mohd Noor and his important and very relevant wish to have Malay candidates contest under the DAP ticket in Penang, which I strongly support, having expressed so in my earlier post
Gerakan & DAP - the missing songkok factor!

I’m going to be fair and very bold.

As the DAP has now come of age as a prominent political party, to the extent of striking cold fear into UMNO, which until recently had considered DAP only as a minor irritant and a MCA-Gerakan problem, it should stop putting the same candidate in both a federal and state seat. Its days as a minor party with limited choices of good candidates for federal and state parliaments are over. I’m thinking of Lim Guan Eng as MP in Bagan and ADUN in Air Putih, and Teresa Kok as MP in Seputih and ADUN in Kinrara.

Note: I don’t give two hoots for what PKR or PAS will do with such dual representations by one person. As for PSM, it is still a small party which incidentally has very strict qualifications for its members to become MP or ADUN, so I won’t include it in this call.

Let’s start with sweetie Teresa. Though we need someone capable like Teresa in the Selangor exco, alas, the 'powers that be' plus so-called ally PAS in the person of one pro-Malay unity person didn’t feel comfy with her as the deputy MB of Selangor, all because Teresa suffered from triple 'C' handicaps, being Chinese, Christian & ‘Charbor’ (female).

Given the above, I believe Teresa will serve better by dedicating her exceptional ability to federal parliament, so I would like to see her surrender Kinrara to a new DAP candidate. To be fair to Teresa, while she was/is/will be virtually invincible in Seputih, I recall she expressed her surprise in winning the Kinrara state seat, thus I don’t believe she’ll demand to cling on as the candidate for that state seat.

Now the radical and far more important proposal!

Lim GE must decide whether he wants to continue being CM Penang, a job which he does very well, and whether he is confident he will continue to be one in 2013, which I personally believe he will.

If so, he must surrender his federal role as an MP and thus his constituency of Bagan to Zulkifli Mohd Noor. I am sure Zul will become one of the several DAP MPs after the next GE election.

I want to see Zul in Parliament as one of DAP’s MPs, if not the first one. My Penang Larng (fellow Penangite) has my complete support.


  1. Fully agreed give Zul the Bagan Parliamentary seat.Let LGE concentrate as CM.

  2. Surely, such a formidable web-site and lighting blog posts, I definitely will save your blog site.Have an perfect evening!

  3. Umno leaders can decide on whatever candidates they want, whether they are from Umno or it's component parties.Umno is like a koi swimming among minnows in a pond against its siblings,Mca.Mic and Gerakan.It can gobbled them up anytime.

    I agreed that some opposition leaders should give up their state or parliament seats to either concentrate on state or federal level.That would make them stronger leaders if they can concentrate on servicing their constituents on the spare time on their hands,instead of running around from state assemblies to parliamentary seatings.

  4. re "Zul could have been the first DAP Malay MP had he re-contested in the Bukit Bendera federal constituency in March 2008," if i'm not mistaken, the late DAP national vice-chairman and former Cuepacs chief Ahmad Nor was a one-term MP after winning the Bayan Baru seat for the party in the 1990 general election. Just my 4sens (inflationlah) worth ;-)

  5. Anon of 11:33 PM, September 04, 2011, you are absolutely right, mea culpa - being an ardent supporter of Zul, perhaps I was just a wee too engrossed in getting him into parliament thus touting him (incorrectly) as DAP's 1st Malay MP ;-)

  6. Kaytee

    There was another DAP Malay Adun named Fazlan Yahya (not sure of the surname).
    From what I heard LGE wants Mat Sabu badly to contest in Penang since he was born in the island state.
    He wants to change DAP as a Chinese face especially to win Malay voters in Penang.
    But that Sabun fella is now a liability to PKR. Can't shut his big mouth.

  7. My dear Buttercup, DAP always had Malay candidates, like Che Rose of Perak way way back in the party's early days, but it has to come up not only with Malay candidates but election-winning Malay candidates, or the party will (unfortunately) be seen as an Indian-Chinese-Eurasian (non-Malay) party only.

    I don't think Mat Sabu fills the bill as he is PAS, not DAP - and I doubt as No 2 in PAS, he would ever want to stand under a DAP ticket.

    I would have love to see Zaid Ibrahim and Haris Ibrahim as DAP members/candidates but alas, they have gone their own KITA/MCLM ways. Unfortunately, Ku Li is way too senior and thus way too set in UMNO to make such a radical change wakakaka.

  8. Indeedy. But you can't get Malays to contest on DAP ticket. Fadzlan, Che Rose are but the few Malays.
    Mat Sabu is A PAS man wooed by LGE for Penang.
    But honestly I think he will lose if he contests in Penang.
    Zaid is too much a capitalist and opportunist to be a DAP candidate.
    He wants to be a minister at least which DAP cannot give him.

  9. I like Zaid; he's moderate, practical and speaks his mind, most time sensibly too.

    I had hoped he would join DAP, but unfortunately he chose PKR, perhaps believing he could moderate PKR to his middle-of-the-road style of politics without the standard fangs bearing machoism or the mindless black-white (either you're with us or against us) Bush-ism, but alas that was not to be.

  10. Sad to say KT you fail to see Zaid as opportunist of the highest order.
    I have friends who know him so well. He is not what he seems.
    Look at his life-style.
    Only Abdullah Badawi is stupid not to know that man and annointed him as minister. And he failed miserably.

  11. His life style (open and not hypocritical) is not unlike the much loved Tunku wakakaka thus I don't hold him to that critically. Really, what is the point of being an imam, pastor, priest or monk openly but a corrupt and evil man deep in the heart, like a certain mufti or some Christian pastors in USA?

  12. I admired (note the past tense) for quite a long time.
    However, his recent behaviour as a "BN-friendly independent" has exposed him as a charlattan.

  13. Zaid is not, nor has he ever claimed/declared he's, BN-friendly. In fact recently I read (probably in Malaysiakini or perhaps The Malaysian Insider?) he criticised BN on one particular issue (don't ask me which; can't remember by now).

    Zaid practises mature (civilised) politics, that is, he criticises a policy which deserves to be criticised, supports a policy which deserves to be supported, regardless of whether that policy was issued by BN or Pakatan. Western democracies call supporting the other side's policy "bipartisanship".

    In Malaysia, other than Zaid, only Karpal, Lim KS and Lim GE have been seen to exhibit bipartisanship on a couple of Najib's policies. But don't expect bipartisanship from PKR or UMNO - just look at some feral comments on various interactive media or blogs like M2Day


    Zaid Ibrahim is a tyrant (on top of being a frog and a BN stooge) hahahaha...

  15. KT,
    Any thoughts from you on Najib's ISA master stroke ?