Dear Anwar, drop the CNY drama

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JAN 29 — Here is a drama that would be “screened” in Kajang soon.

But it is no Chinese New Year blockbuster that most of us are looking forward to.

In fact, it leaves many wondering what Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is trying to prove. The rift between Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Gombak MP Azmin Ali continues to widen as PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is parachuting into the centre of controversy to contest in Kajang. This was after Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh resigned on Monday.

It is amazing that PKR, despite being the minority in the state after DAP and Pas had secured 15 seats each in last year’s general election, hogged the limelight as the ego and eagerness to occupy positions prevailed.

While those within PKR harp on unity, it was apparent none existed within as efforts to overthrow Khalid remained. For the record, Anwar insisted he had no plans to run the state.

Perhaps we could believe him on this occasion. After all, there is an unwritten rule in the state that an MB had to be Selangor-born. For the record, Anwar is from Penang while Azmin was born in Singapore. Then there’s the consent of the Sultan of Selangor.

The Pas Youth election committee are not quite pleased with the current situation and they have every right to habour such feelings as any change within the state required the consensus of Pas, DAP and PKR. Also, PKR ought to be reminded they do not run Selangor alone.

But politics aside, why the need for another by-election barely eight months after the general election? It was not a situation where someone had died or folks in Kajang were forced to vote in a new assemblyman.

Instead, what we have is an unnecessary process to satisfy the political agenda of a handful. And do folks in Kajang actually know Lee or did they just merely voted for another PKR member?

We can foresee the issues being raised during the ceramahs — the ‘Allah’ debacle, rising cost of living and the typical slamming of opposing politicians — the same issues which had already hogged the media and spoken about in coffee shops.

How would this benefit the folk of Kajang? It remains to  be seen.

In fact, there was hardly any attempt to defend the move made by Anwar and PKR on social media.

A Selangor PKR member said: “This is just another sandiwara  engineered for the PKR election (in May).”

“Every one is eager to secure a position in order to secure votes and the members’ confidence prior to the election. Once it is over, things will be back to normal within PKR.”

The party insider said he would rather concentrate on Selangor’s football team in the Super League than the Kajang sideshow.

Bluntly put, what we have here is a by-election that is not required. Money will be wasted on campaigning when the same funds could be channelled to those who really needed it. Perhaps PKR could visit the Kajang Stadium or try and beef up the Kajang Municipal Council accounts to serve the people better.

But traders in Kajang, a town famous for its satay, would be smiling ear to ear. The creative few could rename their products ‘satay Anwar’ or ‘burger PKR special’.

Outsiders will invade the town, check into hotels and spend money in the name of the party they represent. And when the by-election is over, things would return to normal in Kajang.

In the last election, three independent candidates — Ong Yan Foo, Mohd Iwan Jefrey Abdul Majid and Khalid Kassim — joined PKR’s Lee, MCA’s Lee Ban Seng and Berjasa’s Mohamad Ismail in the N25 seat.

Independent candidates could also seek fame this time around, for the sake of making a difference, while MCA would surely be eager to field a candidate. But would it really matter as they would be going against Anwar.

To Anwar and company, in the spirit of fair comment, the by-election would be a waste of time and money. To politicians from all divide, Barisan Nasional or otherwise, start thinking of the people.

We can do away with such dramas. There are many other things that we ought to fight for. Kajang is not one of them.

p/s Politics aside, here’s wishing all a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.

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