Friday, April 27, 2007
Parthiban Or Khalid
BN or PKR?
Tomorrow (Saturday, April 28 2007) the people of Ijok will choose their Wakil Rakyat.
Who will they elect to represent them in the Selangor State Legislative Assembly? To look after their interest and their welfare?
Ijok, nestled between Rawang and Kuala Selangor, is a Malay-majority constituency.
The last Wakil Rakyat (of BN), K Sivalingam, was from the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) which means he was an Indian.
But he won the seat, thanks to the Malay votes.
If you ask the BN leaders to go on record, the late Sivalingam was a friendly, committed and hardworking representative who had the constituents welfare at heart.
According to other people including the Malay constituents, he screwed up big time. He didn't care for the Malays.
All said and done, you cannot deny that the outcome of the by-election depends on which way the Malay votes go.
That is why the BN leaders have been going over their heads to convince the Malay voters to let bygones be bygones, to let's start afresh and support their 39 year-old candidate, K Parthiban, because he is different and will make things happen.
And this time, the BN top guns will make sure that their guy will not screw up.
And that is why PKR has picked a Malay as their candidate. Khalid Ibrahim, or "Tan Sri" as his party workers refer to him, is a former Umno politician. The 61 year-old is a former corporate man and is a millionnaire.
As a Malay millionnaire, he can make a difference to the lives of the people in Ijok. He has been campaigning as "the saviour of the Malays". An Indian will not be able to help the Malays., as had been proven in Ijok.
Ijok is not unfamiliar to me. It is near Kuala Selangor where we have relatives. My father would take us visiting there during Hari Raya or for wedding receptions.
There had been very little change in this largely rustic constituency. But, since campaigning started, Ijok has assumed an overnight change. Lots of BN money is being pumped to give it things that Ijok should have got in the last three years.
I have met Parthiban. I think the BN made the right choice in him. He is a local boy, a youth leader, a former teacher and well-known not only among the Indians but also in the Malay community. He can even speak Javanese. That is endearing.
I have not met Khalid. So I cannot say whether the PKR made the right choice, Someone said the PKR did a wise thing by having a Malay. I don't know about that "wise" bit. PKR did not have a choice, It was the logical thing to do. I also don't know whether they got the right Malay for the job. But my view is not important. It is the views of the people of Ijok that matter. And tomorrow we will find out.
Tomorrow, we will find out what the people of Ijok want. Will they vote for Parthiban or Khalid? Will they vote for BN or PKR?
Will they vote blindly or wisely.