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Abdullah should honour his
promise to be Prime Minister of all Malaysians and allocate time for full
debate on the meaning of the Ijok by-election before Parliament adjourns
(Parliament, Wednesday) : The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should honour his promise to be Prime Minister of all Malaysians and allocate time for a full debate on the meaning of the Ijok by-election on Saturday before the current Parliamentary meeting adjourns next Thursday after a four-day resumption beginning on Monday.
Two days ago, Abdullah conceded that there was a swing against the Barisan Nasional among the Chinese voters in the Ijok by-election and asked the MCA and Gerakan to explain why the Chinese had supported the Opposition.
However, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting still disputes that there is any significant swing, claiming that while “there was a certain extent of swing in the votes but as a whole, Barisan still obtained a substantial number of the Chinese votes”.
With such hidebound denial syndrome with the classic complex of the ostrich hiding its head in the sand, how can the Prime Minister expect to get any truthful answer from MCA and Gerakan leaders as to why there was a swing of the Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok?
MCA leaders are quite united in publicly pinning the primary blame for the swing of the Chinese voters to the Opposition in Ijok on the MIC and the poor service record of its former Assemblyman Datuk K. Sivalingam. Ka Ting said a secondary factor was the unhappiness of the Chinese with “certain statements which had hurt their feelings”.
This has further reinforced public doubts about the ability of the MCA and Gerakan to tell Abdullah the truth as to the reasons for the swing of Chinese voters in Ijok to the Opposition, especially when:
However, the Prime Minister must also take pains to find out the reasons why the Malay and Indians voters had voted against the BN in Ijok, although Umno has managed to secure majority Malay support for the BN candidate in three districts which had gone to the Opposition in the 2004 general election – namely Jaya Setia, Bukit Badong and Simpang Ijok – while MIC President Datuk Seri Samy Vellu had locked up the overwhelming bulk of the Indian votes.
Abdullah had promised to be Prime Minister of all Malaysians and that must include the 40.1 per cent or 1,649 Ijok voters of all races who had supported the Opposition in the by-election.
As Parliament will resume on Monday for another four days before adjourning its current session which was officially opened by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on March 19, Abdullah should agree to have a full parliamentary debate on the Ijok by-election as the entire Federal Cabinet, including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, had descended on Ijok transforming it from a mere state assembly by-election into a major test of the 42-month Abdullah premiership – with many Cabinet Ministers guilty of “ponteng” from the parliamentary meeting during the last week in April.
The Ijok by-election result will have the most significant impact as compared to the four previous by-elections of Kuala Beruang, Permatang Pasir, Batu Talam and Machap in determining the timing of the 12th general election – bringing it earlier rather than later.
The country must be prepared for the next general election to be held as early as in five months’ time.