Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dollars and Sense

As the Malaysian expression goes: so clever. Najib has actually found a way to attack his opponents before the Penanti by-election is announced - by saying that by-elections cost money. As the Star reported Najib as saying:
"It is different if an elected representative dies but resignations are political decisions which can also be regarded as a political ploy," he said.
Now, if this had been in regards to the Permatang Pauh by-election I would see the logic in that. (Though Anwar could of course put forward the argument that he should have been eligible in March 2008 to begin with.) But that was months ago... and it would take a true dumbass to believe that Fairus or PKR is engineering a political ploy, for the whole issue is not doing the Pakatan Rakyat any favours.
Speaking at a press conference... he said the people resent by-elections that were held deliberately.
If the people truly do resent these by-elections, apparently they resent the Barisan Nasional even more, with the Bukit Selambau and Permatang Pauh by-elections showing a larger majority for the Pakatan Rakyat victory.

Also in the Star:
When asked if Mohammad Fairus had betrayed his constituents with his resignation, he said it was up to the people to judge was had transpired.

"The people are smart now and can make up their own minds," he added.
Well, the people of Kuala Terengganu, Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Permatang Pauh certainly made up their own minds. And smart they were.

If one would like to save up some money from by-elections, I suspect that those who were sprayed with water from the police could suggest ways to be more efficient with costs.

At the end of the day this smacks of a smokescreen, diverting our attention from what is truly important: that while by-elections may be costly in currency, the denial of people's right to choose in the cases of three Perak party-hoppers is far more costly to our democracy.

*April 19 update: ...or a smokescreen for not fielding a candidate towards certain defeat!

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