I salute Tanjung Piai voters for teaching Harapan a lesson


COMMENT | To Tanjung Piai voters, let me give you a very sincere salute – one with respect, appreciation and gratitude – for your remarkable role in taking the lead on behalf of Malaysians to teach Pakatan Harapan a long-overdue lesson.

You have told Harapan leaders in no uncertain terms not to play play with voters. Voters are the masters, not politicians. Your message is loud and clear

It is obvious that for the past 18 months, Harapan leaders possess little or no empirical skills to understand the big questions related to political behaviour or public opinion.

Many of them have acted high and mighty, including their supreme commander, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, thinking that they can do no wrong and continuing to ignore the vociferous voices of Malaysians clamouring for them to mend their ways.

Public opinion is regarded as a constructive or a baneful force in a democracy and few political advisers worth their salt are prepared to suggest that the government should ignore it.

Harapan has established many advisory groups since May 9 last year, and I do wonder what sort of advice they are giving their political masters.

If I were in the Harapan council, I would advise that these so-called advisers with big names and high-sounding titles to be immediately sacked and replaced with more sincere and dedicated souls who genuinely love and care for the nation and people.

Once the power of public opinion is ignored, the end result is crystal clear as depicted by the landslide victory of the opposition Barisan Nasional in Tanjung Piai.

If Harapan learns nothing from the wrath of the electorate in Tanjung Piai, then I say good riddance to this alliance of hope which, to many today, is simply clueless and hopeless.

I congratulate the voters of Tanjung Piai for securing a victory that they and all their fellow Malaysians truly deserve. With your sacred votes and your wisdom, you have shown Harapan no mercy – which they do not deserve anyway.

You have brought Harapan down to earth, and that is exactly where they should be, at least for now.

If Harapan leaders are unable to swallow humble pie and do not hang their heads low in shame over this crushing defeat, then the coalition deserves to be annihilated in GE15.

I’m actually amazed that PKR president Anwar Ibrahim considered BN’s overwhelming majority in the Tanjung Piai by-election as a shock.

MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng won by a whopping 15,086-vote majority by garnering 25,466 votes against Bersatu’s Karmaine Sardini’s 10,380 votes.

It is surprising that the premier-in-waiting could not see what was coming when ordinary folk could from day one.

However, it’s well and good that Anwar also acknowledged that the bruising defeat was “a message to the entire Pakatan Harapan leadership, and we must learn from the by-election results”.

Let me say here that I was in a celebratory mood last night, not so much in BN’s victory but more in Harapan’s defeat.

At 5pm yesterday, I sent out this message to friends in various chat groups, accompanied by a photo of an orangutan: “I look forward to a Harapan defeat tonight. I’ll be a very happy man even if my orangutan friend wins as long as it’s not Harapan”.

To me, it does not matter who wins as long as Harapan is defeated.

I had stated my stand on Nov 2, the nomination day of the by-election

The reason I said I would vote for MCA or Gerakan was to register my protest against Harapan’s misdeeds and U-turns of the past months and teach them a lesson they will never forget.

 I’m glad that the Tanjung Piai voters are on the same page as me. They spoke not only for me but for many fellow Malaysians too.

I also stated on Nov 2 that BN made a wise decision in choosing MCA’s Wee Jeck Seng as their standard-bearer. They have been proven right.

I’m not a fan of BN or Umno, but I have to give them credit for doing the right thing, at least in Tanjung Piai. Credit is certainly due to them this time.

In response to Mahathir’s message to Tanjung Piai voters on Nov 14 telling them not to shoot themselves in the foot, a friend sent me this message last night:

“Dr M, you want our votes? Then show us your transition plan and dateline. You have not been honest with us on the matter. We rather shoot ourselves than to allow you to keep shooting us.

“You shot us when you appointed an incompetent Maszlee Malik as the education minister. You shot us by not recognizing UEC. You shot us by implementing Jawi khat. You shot us by keeping Zakir Naik. You shot us by pulling out of ICERD and the Rome Statute.

“You shot us by removing GST and re-implementing SST. You shot us by protecting Azmin Ali. You shot us by attending the Malay Dignity Congress. You shot us by pissing off India with your big mouth. You shot us by protecting the Perak menteri besar. So what is another bullet in the foot?”

I hope, for once, that our prime minister listens to the real and pressing voices of discontent from Malaysians.

The sooner that Mahathir realises that he is not the indisputable and indispensable saviour of the nation, the better it would be for Harapan.

There is still hope for Harapan yet. The sooner the grand old man retires for good, that is.

Finally, let me thank the voters of Tanjung Piai for electing my orangutan friend (and rejecting Harapan) to be their new MP.

And congratulations to Jeck Seng on his grand victory. I’m also glad that your party president Wee Ka Siong will now be less lonely in Parliament.

I hope to meet you one fine day to congratulate you in person when I drop by Parliament.

  • Malaysiakini

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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