A PR win in Batu Sapi will signify national change, Kit Siang says

By Melissa Chi
The Malaysian Insider
October 31, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang emphasised today the importance of the Batu Sapi by-elections, claiming that only Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could offer Sabah the dire need of change.

“It will have a large implication… it will be a preview to the federal change of power,” the Ipoh-Timur MP told The Malaysian Insider over the phone.

“What this by-election means, is for the first time the people of Sabah in a by-election will be voting for national change,” the federal lawmaker said, confident that if the opposition coalition wins the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat, chances of winning the next general election will be much higher.

He claimed that it is not possible for a “real change” in Sabah change without a national change in government.
“The significance and implications of this Batu Sapi election, this message can be sent out to the voters. I believe the majority of the voters will see the importance… if Pakatan Rakyat wins, there is a possibility of change.

“If SAPP wins, then it will only be a localised state affair,” the veteran leader said.

Prior to the start of the Batu Sapi campaign, both PKR and SAPP were at loggerheads over who should field a candidate to represent the opposition front and ensure a straight fight with the Barisan Nasional.

Despite talks, SAPP, represented by Datuk Yong Teck Lee who is now a candidate, insisted on fielding one of its own, refusing to give in to PKR’s cajoling. PKR had reportedly even urged SAPP to join the PR pact and pledged to back the party during the campaign, but Yong, a former chief minister in Sabah, refused to back down.

As a result, both parties have fielded candidates — Yong, from SAPP, and Ansari Abdullah of PKR — to fight against BN’s Datin Linda Tsen Thau Lin, who is said to be the favourite in the race.

Both PKR and SAPP will battle it out with BN come polling day this November 4.

The fight has been described as a sink-or-swim contest for SAPP and one that would be a clear indication of what would happen in the 13th general election.

The seat, comprising 25,582 voters, fell vacant following the death of Tsen’s late husband, Datuk Edmund Chong Ket Wah during a biking accident on October 9.

Chong had won the seat with a 3,708-vote majority over independent Chung On Wing in Elections 2008.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 4:04 pm

    Can win or not aah? Tough lah U know, 2 opposition parties killing each other, while BN candidate, though a newbie, will get enuf sympathy votes; can or cannnot 1 aah?

  2. #2 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 4:41 pm

    Having read the bus accident at Genting, I was just wondering as to why this driver had the audacity to drive bus for 13 years without a valid license? I got the answer: Ketuanan Melayu! The sloganeering of this has indeed permeated through to the extent, many begun to believe they were above the law, which is applicable to others. So the Power that be, please do not try to find out any reason. this is the reason after you have imbued such naive and self-defeating indoctrination programme all these years. The crooks no longer fear the law enforcers because they can resolve their problems first with their Political friends who then influence the civil services. After a while, the enforcers realized that they could not do much hence why no be a party to the scheme!! There can’t be any other rational reasons seeing rules and laws are broken without any fear by practically anyone!!! And we are basing such scenario to go to 2020!!

  3. #3 by negarawan on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 4:51 pm

    The way UMNO is forcing its unbridled power upon the rakyat through the police force, the judiciary, the EC must be stopped for good. I was following the latest development of the wrongful and violent arrest of Selvachandran, a key witness in the Gunasegaran death under police custody, and it is again clear that UMNO, through its Home Minister Hishamuddin, is behind all this. It appears that the police is taking some form of revenge against Selva. We are all responsible for the future of our country and by voting for UMNO and its puppets in BN (MCA, MIC, etc) we will be choosing for all these blatant and violent injustice and corruption to continue in Malaysia. Is this what we want for ourselves, our children, and our future generation? Think carefully as we will only have ourselves to blame if the evil UMNO/BN comes to power again. Even if it means voting an inexperienced candidate from PR, my entire family, relatives and friends will continue to vote for PR. Nothing can be worse than the corruption, evil, injustice, and mismanagement of the whole country’s economy by UMNO/BN. Foreign institutions and governments must be aware of what is really going on in Malaysia and take concrete actions against UMNO/BN leaders. The visit by Hillary Clinton must show to the fair-minded people of Malaysia that the US is not aligned and supportive of the corruption and injustices of UMNO/BN just because of US economic interests in Malaysia and in the region. Let the US show its true colors.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 5:12 pm

    Ya, what is the use? Even if Yong Teck Lee wins, Sabah will still be under BN rule.

  5. #5 by dagen on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 5:24 pm

    Yes Jib said it. So let us all do it. Let us deliver to umno a body blow – a truly crushing defeat – so that the political life of umno may become seperated from its body.

    Lets go Batu Sapi. Show them like what your brave brothers and sisters in sibu did. Batu Sapi people, may god bless you and malaysia.

  6. #6 by DAP man on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 6:14 pm

    It’s unfortunate the king makers in Malaysian politics are the “knows not who knows not” people. They have no access to information and don’t even know the significance of their votes.
    We are just as bad as some African countries.
    In an informed society this BN would have vanished long ago.

  7. #7 by sotong on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 6:52 pm

    The government must embrace change to to win the next election…..but there is no indication it could change or change quick enough to survive, time is running out.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 7:14 pm

    PR’s standpoint should be first priority to deprive BN’s Batu Sapi Parliamentary seat. That means if BN were not to contest – and assuming Yong Teck Lee’s SAPP is not collaborating behind the scenes with BN – who will, between PKR and SAPP, garner more votes from Batu Sapi’s voters.

    If SAPP has the edge because SAPP is Sabah based – PKR’s election machinery is not that established there – if Yong Teck Lee being a former Chief Minister of Sabah and President of his party had better chances than Ansari who has no history of winning any election battles before – wouldn’t it better for PKR to give way to SAPP’s Yong so that votes against BN are not split???

    The argument that a national based coalition like Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could offer Sabah the dire need of change better than a localised party like SAPP is valid only if it were assumed that SAPP would not join PR in a certain eventuality and at some point in the future.

    What PR has done and its rhetoric against BN is to provoke in East Malaysia a sense that they have been neglected by ruling coalition BN concentrating its attention on West Malaysia.

    So the stand Yong/SAPP is basically taking is that PR’s commitment to give attention to Sabah/East Malaysia is always subject to proof, the condition precedent of which is for PR to first position itself to be at vantage point to win the GE (in the eyes of SAPP). That depends on a myriad of factors one of them PKR’s own factionalism that is not exactly inspiring confidence on prospects.

    Until that condition is met (from Yong’s perspective) he would rather opportunistically edge his bets and stay independent on premises that whilst Change is desired, the parochial interest of Sabah (after being neglected by West Malaysian politicians for so long) should come first. And whyu not if such parochial appeal gets most votes from locals?

    If Yong/SAPP is not with PR, he is also not with the BN.

    So if PR’s bigger and longer term plan is to dislodge the BN – and this Batu Sapi means a lot to morale of the contending parties in relation to the coming GE – it makes sense that PR and PKR should give way to SAPP/Yong if between the two, it can be objectively determined SAPP/Yong has the edge.

    PR’s interest is not served by splitting the anti establishment votes because if BN wins Batu Sapi because of this split in the oppositions, the ruling coalition’s morale will be afforded a tremendous boost as far as preserving the status quo of their fixed deposit states in East Malaysia is concerned.

    If chances of SAPP joining PR in the future are greater than it joining BN and if at this moment the parochial sentiments in Batu Sapi favour Yong/SAPP over Ansari/PKR, it makes no sense for PR/PKR to split the votes against BN, the common political adversary just in the short term interest of aspiring for political foot hole in Batu Sapi at this moment.

  9. #9 by johnnypok on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 8:57 pm

    Nothing to lose … a win by either SAPP or PR will boost the chance for PR to rule and to prevent the country from going bankrupt … so take the money from BN but vote for the opposition.

  10. #10 by Loh on Sunday, 31 October 2010 - 9:34 pm

    PR cannot get SAPP to sign an undertaking that it would not join BN if elected, so PR actually had no choice but to contest. The record of SAPP shows that one cannot have confidence that it would be willing to remain in the opposition when it has something to sell to BN. The people deserves the government, and Sabahan deserves their leaders. We sill soon know whether Sabahans ever trust PR to take them to Putrajaya.

  11. #11 by katdog on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 1:08 am

    PKR Sabah is in a big mess splintered by divisions. Even in a straight fight, it would have been difficult to defeat BN.

    In my opinion, SAPP are trying to remain unaligned in the hopes that they can opt to join the winning side in the next GE. I doubt SAPP is really committed to reforms of any kind. As far as i can tell, SAPP’s platform is for more autonomy and development for Sabah. That doesn’t necessarily mean SAPP supports reforms in our political, judicial and justice systems. I wouldn’t give parliamentary seats to SAPP unless SAPP agrees to champion reforms for the entire nation and not just for Sabah.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 8:08 am

    As it is it is already difficult, evn in a straight fight, to win against BN’s candidate Linda Tsen, who besides the incumbnt advantage of BN’s well money oiled machinery, will also get the sympathy votes. 3 cornered fight with SAPP & PKR (both opposed to BN) and also fighting each other offers the remotest of chance to upset BN’s applecart but only generate antipathy between PR and SAPP and wasting each other’s scarce financial electoral resources (as compared to BN’s) without compensating advantage.

    For PR it is particular foolish if (assuming) it can be objectively determined that between SAPP & PKR on a standalone basis the former has a comparatively better chance against BN.

    Yong/SAPP is for now not with the BN : otherwise why did they leave BN in first place? Yong/SAPP is for now concentrating on the parochial agenda of “Sabah for Sabahans”. No doubt that is not exactly symmetrical with PR’s agenda of national change for improvement of various institutions degraded – but one cannot exactly blame the Sabah party for taking such a parochial stand when (a) parochial sentiments of Sabah for Sabahan are stirred by PR itself when it constantly drums into their heads that Semenanjong politicians neglect them as a backwater state (b) SAPP/Yong takes the opportunistic ‘wait and see’ stand to assess if PR/Anwar have a chance to do what it professes to do ie have the capability to take over Putrajaya.

    The last time Anwar talked of over 30 crossovers from East Malaysian lawmakers that came to nought. Surely when you invite someone to jump the mother ship into another better vessel it cannot be based on a promise that does not materialise. [One cannot expect the guy to jump and find when its too late there is no platform but only the cold seas awaiting him!]

    When one talks about “Change” in national sense, the first prerequisite is still to dislodge BN first. To the extent that SAPP is there to further common intentions of opposing and dislodging BN, it is still an agent of it (ie Change) even if its electoral campaign places priority on “Sabah for Sabahan” instead of national better governance, restoration of integrity of institutions etc. To ask of SAPP to give an undertaking that it would not join BN if elected is demeaning to the image and claims of that party to independence. If the electoral theme and platform is ” Sabah is for Sabahan” then no Semananjong politician whether from BN or PR should be seen dictating to SAPP what to do in Sabahan’s best interest!

    Yong already made it clear in respect of SAPP’s relations with PR – “We can be friends first. We can work together first. But we have not come to the point when we can answer the question of yes or no to us joining PR. It is not even in our agenda to join,” he said.

    Is that wrong what he said? If one says he is politically opportunistic and double guiltly for playing on parochial sentiments of ‘Sabah for Sabahans’ then he is no more opportunistic and guilt than the rest of politicians on both sides of th political divide who take a stand that best maximises the garnering of votes to win.

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 8:19 am

    Why would a PR win in Batu Sapi signify national change more than (say) a SAPP win in Batu Sapi if in either case the BN’s candidate were defeated? On the contrary there would be no national change if by reason of the SAPP & PR fighting each other the BN’s candidate wins more triumphantly to inject a morale booster for its campaign in its traditional East Malaysian fixed deposit states with the next GE in view!

  14. #14 by Jeffrey on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 8:25 am

    There is therefore only on justification for PR to field its candidate, and that is if between PR ‘s and SAPP’s candidate Batu Sapi’s voters will vote overwhelmingly in favour of the PR’s candidate.

    Thus far I have not heard anyone familiar with Sabah’s politics assert that this is the case. Therefore I am not convinced that there is any good reason at all for PR to activate a 3 cornered fight in this Batu Api by- election.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 8:26 am

    ooops – “only ONE justification”

  16. #16 by k1980 on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 8:40 am

    Pairin took his PBS out of BN in 1999 but returned a few years later. So will Yong TL’s SAPP once the reward is too irresistible to reject. Deputy CM post will do for him.

  17. #17 by undertaker888 on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 8:58 am

    mr yong is just looking for the highest bidder to benefit himself. if he totally cares about his state and his country, he should join PR and contest against the evil regime.

    but i think this is what mr yong is doing. if he wins, he will use this opportunity to bargain with umno for $$$$. if he loses, well he can always join PR on a later date.

    so dont trust this slime ball. all they care about is getting concessions.

  18. #18 by boh-liao on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 9:39 am

    Looks like PR candidate is good 4 slipping n dropping into d sea
    Will there b a miracle against another opposition and BN?
    NR not there yet 2 bribe d voters: ‘U scratch my balls, I scratch your backs’ stuff

  19. #19 by Jeffrey on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 10:36 am

    Or is this PR strategy to have PKR’s Ansari split and take way take away some of Muslim Bumiputra votes (60%) of Batu Sapi from BN so that Yong/SAPP could win and later join with PR?

  20. #20 by Loh on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 10:45 am

    It has been advised that people should not challenge the constitution and should adhere to the social contract. Do the persons who advised take social contract to mean the constitution, do they see the so-called social contract the forerunner of the constitution, or does the social contract a separate agreement beside the constitution?

    The forerunner to the constitution loses its utility the moment the constitution is in force. It would be pointless to harp on the social contract. If the social contract is an agreement beside the constitution, then that is not covered by parliamentary democracy. It would mean that the constitution alone cannot safeguard the nation, and that extra-parliamentary struggle is to be expected. That cannot be true. Hence social contract is an excuse for politicians and the government to justify their deeds which go against the provisions of the constitution.

    There are condemnations that people challenged the constitution. That is ignorance. Laws are the people to abide, and there are institutions, though now in the state of malfunction, to ensure compliance. As for the Constitution, there are provisions for its amendment. If the challenge is taken to mean that people ask for the constitution to be amended, then that challenge is perfectly within the right of the citizens. If challenging the constitution is meant going against the provision of the constitution, the perpetrators are the government in power. Ordinary citizens need not be advised to observe the laws of the country since ignorance has never been a valid defence.

  21. #21 by dagen on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 10:57 am

    Had a thought over the weekend. Not quite related to this thread. But anyway here it is, for a laugh, that is.

    Let me relate a familiar and common scenario. Two friends, Mr A and Miss B, deciding on what to have for dinner, say. In the scenario I am about to describe, Mr A typically would say something like “I am ok, depends on what Miss B wants”. And Miss B’s stand: “I will eat anything. I’ll depend on Mr A’s choice.” Now Mr A choice is to be drawn from Miss B’s choice, which in turn is to be drawn from Mr A’s decision. What a perfect loop of needless nonsense. Unless one of them breaks the loop with a firm decision, the link will circle between them forever. How useless their respective positions were. That my friends is not necessarily a bad thing. Especially if they are lovers. I am quite certain however that my this last remark do not apply to married couples. Anyway this is not my concern. So let me move on.

    In further demonstration of such circular nonsense let me relate another example. I will use a definition for this purpose. You see. I am a lawyer. [If only I am a chippendale dancer instead. And heck. It is too late for me to contemplate a career change!] And lawyers love to define things – the meanings of things. It is in their heads, if you dont mind; and in their tongue too, for christ sake! And I will now define an ANT. Nothing tricky there. Believe me.

    Yes to me here, an “Ant” means “a 6 legged insect that moves like an ant”. Now this is a beautifully ambiguous and utterly useless definition. “A 6 legged insect that moves like an ant” is an Ant! So what is an ant? It is a 6 legged insect that moves like (a 6 legged insert that moves like (a 6 legged insect that moves like (a 6 legged insect that moves like (a ….))).

    I am beginning to sound like that idiotic yellow sponge in bikini bottom, dont I?. But what is the big fuss really, dagen, with this ambiguity? You may ask. After all we know what an ant is. Hah. Oh yeah. Try this then: An “oratiforaculi” means “a 6 legged insect that moves like an oratiforaculi”. Silly? Stupid? Meaningless? Correct. Correct. Correct.

    And “oratiforaculi” is a word of my creation purely. So dont bing it. Let me now bring on something realistic. Actually, something real. Something we have been living with and have taken for granted for decades. “Malay” means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay
    language, conforms to Malay custom and … (Art.160 of the Federal Constitution).

    Errr, Tuan tuan dan Puan puan sekalian …

    … dagen had to cease his great exposition prematurely. The mic. And the stage. Both have been taken over by the PDRM, the boys in blue.

    With his razor sharp mind which no doubt has been fine tuned by his legal knowledge, dagen observed and quickly arrived at the decision that “Next time I will speak with my clothes on.”

    (to be continued …)

  22. #22 by k1980 on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 1:05 pm

    An analkleptomaniac is a creature (of God?) who keeps the dna of others inside his rectum without washing it for 2 days…..

  23. #23 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 1:24 pm

    The people in Sabah had been easily fooled by the past politicians and it is time they stand up to ensure that such happenings do not repeat. If Yong can truely walk the talk, then PR should withdraw but what has he done to convince the people of Sabah that he deserved another chance? At the same time, is the PKR’s candidate up to the mark? As the scence plays out, many of us are disillusioned by the inability of some politicians to make sacrifices to achieve the main objective of creating CHANGE. So can we stick to it?

  24. #24 by Godfather on Monday, 1 November 2010 - 1:52 pm

    I think many people would know that Yong is a political opportunist brought up in the BN style of patronage (and corruption). If the Batu Sapi voters want to vote him in as their MP, then there is nothing much we can do. The worst case scenario is if we allow him to don PR colours, and he wins and then he goes to BN to strike a deal.

    The guy is not controllable, hence it is better to compete against him if he can’t provide any assurance that he has changed his spots.

  25. #25 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 - 5:44 am

    I expect YTL to win as PKR seems to be having problems within the party that undermines people’s confidence.
    Giving a person sympathy votes is not the right way to decide for the future.
    In the next GE, the voters in Sabah will make a different decision if they want to see an earthquake in Putrajaya. For the state government, they may want local leaders to hold the important positions.

  26. #26 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 - 9:33 am

    Dis BN pendatang candidate got speak BM or not? Or got just speak England only?
    2 b an MP, u know, must speak BM
    Nanti got elected, in parliament no dare 2 open mouth 2 speak in BM, how aah?
    Standing 4 buy erection just 2 continue late hubby’s position is NOT GOOD reason lah

  27. #27 by k1980 on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 - 12:36 pm

    Residents and others in Kampung Baru Cina in Gua Musang were reportedly paid RM100 and given a 1Malaysia T-shirt each to take part in a walk through the residential area yesterday afternoon.

    Penang’s senior citizens only received RM100 for a whole year and no T-shirts!

  28. #28 by Ray on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 - 11:30 am

    Pls Grap the Free goodies once in a long while. Galas Rakyat Kg.Cina.. BUT Fear Not the Keris Gangs…
    Just Vote PR..Dont worry..
    Lets Be United for PR

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