Monday, August 25, 2008

MCA leader: Don't be fooled by Anwar & BN's tough fight to tempt the Indian voters (Malaysiakini)



A minor tiff broke out in parliament today after Deputy Home Minister Chor Chee Heung advised voters in the Permatang Pauh by-election to be cautious of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is pitted against main rival Arif Shah Omar Shah from Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

"I hope voters in Permatang Pauh will not be fooled by Anwar Ibrahim’s campaign," said Chor, the Barisan MP for Alor Star. Balloting for the by-election begins tomorrow, Aug 26.

The minister was responding to an additional question posed by Sri Gading Barisan MP Mohamed Aziz, who questioned Anwar’s aptitude. Mohamed Aziz said the PKR leader had once rejected PAS’ hardline Islamic policies and yet the two were now coalition partners in the Pakatan Rakyat.

The squabble began when DAP MP for Cheras, Tan Kok Wai, questioned the lack of provisions in the Societies Act 1966 to deal with phantom members in political parties. Tan used rival party, MCA, as an example.

Tan accused MCA of having only about 100,000 properly registered members, but yet claims to have more than one million members. Tan slammed the government for not investigating the claim.

"(The people) have been fooled into joining a party and) it is against the principle of democracy," said Tan.

Chorus of protests

His comments sparked a chorus of protests from BN MPs, who accused him of bad intentions.

They argued that he had no right to question MCA, but Tan merely retorted “the truth hurts.”

Chor replied that existing provisions were good enough to monitor all registered societies.

The minister also said every registered society is required to review the number of their members annually.

He then quipped that the reason why Tan raised the matter could be because DAP probably had phantom members. Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had to intervene to stop the squabble, stressing that "if you dare to criticise others, then you must also be prepared to accept criticisms."

There were only about 20-odd parlimeatarians present at today’s proceedings.



When the Indian voters rejected Barisan Nasional during the last general election, MIC was dumbfounded as to why it has suddenly lost ownership over these voters who since independence have been their traditional backers.

With the party becoming irrelevant as a result of its massive lost in the March 8 polls, it decided to take a different approach in this Permatang Pauh by-election to test out new tactics to win over the heart and mind of these Indian voters.And MIC now thinks it has hit the right button in answering the question of luring back the Indian voters, not just in Permatang Pauh but nationwide as well.

Even before the polling date for this by-election was announced, MIC president S Samy Vellu said that he would be trying to put in a personal touch by seeing all 3,375 Indian voters in this constituency to convince them to vote again for BN.And he has been doing that in his rounds here since campaigning period started on Aug 16.On top of that, the MIC chief also resorted to give away groceries to the needy Indian voters, reminding them that only a BN representative in Parliament can provide them with continued prosperity.

And in the last leg of the campaigning period, MIC has come up with another method to lure the Indian voters - by giving out free VCDs, of popular songs interspersed with political messages, expounding the virtues of BN and the perils of PKR.

Samy Vellu has been quoted in the media as saying that the give-away VCDs would be provide an opportunity for MIC to tell the voters as to why they should get back to support BN candidate Arif Shah Omar Shah.The VCDs also contain footage of concerts organised by MIC for the voters.

These VCDs are being given to the voters during MIC's house-to-house campaigns.

At the end of the campaign, Samy Vellu declared that he was happy with the response he had elicited from the Indian voters, proudly saying that he was confident they would return to the BN's way.

The opposition's successful tactic

The use of VCDs is surely a tactic lifted by the MIC from the opposition.

During the general election, the opposition played up the Indian voters' sentiments by distributing thousands of VCDs showcasing the demolition of temples and the impact of Hindraf rally to garner support.

That tactic succeeded big time, resulting in a strong switch on Indian voters from the BN to the opposition.

PKR is once again using the same trick to keep the Indian support in Permatang Pauh.

The Hindraf factor is also still relevant in Penang, just as it was during the general election.

Many PKR leaders are quietly smiling with the arrest of nine Hindraf leaders on Sunday for illegal assembly.

"The issue of minority rights is still a big issue here. With the arrest of these Hindraf people, we are sure that many of the fence-sitting Indian voters would have decided to vote against BN," said a PKR leader.

"We are now confident of an additional 500 Indian voters," he added.

A simple street survey undertaken by Malaysiakini also backed the claims made by the PKR that the Indian voters are still keen to vote for PKR's Anwar Ibrahim, hoping that he would bring about the much-needed change as far as race-relations are concerned in this country.

What the voters' feel

Below are some of the comments from local Indian voters:

Sritharan Arumugam:What they are claiming about Anwar is not true. When I attend his ceramah, I sense some truth in them. A lot of Indians have faith in him and we believe that he will become a new and much improved prime minister. He's the only one now who is daringly questioning our rights. Even Samy Vellu didn't do it... he was just a political puppet. Anwar is the only one who is voicing for us now and we believe he will keep his words.

T Narayanasamy:Anwar to win 100 percent of course, because he has the full support from the Chinese community, Malay community and our Indian community. It is based on this that I believe he will win.

M Soosaimanikam:We should give a chance to the new party, if they can't perform then we change them later. It's people who decide at the end of the day. If you want your future generation to do well, then the people must give chance to the new government. And if you are not happy with them, then we change them.

S Thulasiammal:I think the truth lies at Anwar's side. And whoever is telling the truth will win. And definitely Anwar is going to win, because the truth is in his side.None of us believe all the allegations made against him.

T Sivalingam:All these years we were blinded. Based on what Anwar is telling us now, we know where the truth is. Definitely our vote is for Anwar. We are reading papers and watching news, we are witnessing ourselves what they (BN) are doing. We are capable of making a good decision.

P Bubalan:Surely in this by-election, the chances of Anwar winning are very high.The allegations made against him are something that hard to accept. It is the same thing they did in 1998. And now that he's making a comeback, and when chances are there for him to be the next PM, we believe all these are conspiracy by his political enemies who are trying bring him down.
entire news n photos courtesy of Malaysiakini

2 comments:

NewChief said...

BN can win!?? i doubt so eventhough they use media like TV and newspapers as their advantage. those people who vote for them are for interets only known to them or those who has been conned into believing only BN can give security and harmony among races. as for wealth prosperity, it goes to their own pocket and not to u or I !!

ever wonder why PAS can hold kelantan until today? don't tell me all residents there are muslim and no other rakyats. the media will of course not tell us what did they do because BN will be made embarrassed instantly !!

now, we see anwar being able to head PAS,PKR & DAP under one party which shows that he has full respect for all races. not like BN though they have MIC,MCA or Gerakan . these 'other races' are ALWAYS put to rot aside until they are needed which i feel so upset about.

we gained independance because we want to become MALAYSIANS irrespectable of races but today's BN talk about MALAY MALAY MALAY ONLY !! badawi should be brave like mahatir to hit out on its 'children' to stop such racism remarks but he is scare he might become more un-popular, i guess.

in my opinion, it is better to be loved by most than to be hate by some . correct me if i am wrong, datuk badawi please.

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