Over the last week, Perak has been swamped with political talk not only by a single party but also by all from both sides of the political divide. Day before yesterday, all had become clear. Four state assemblymen from the Pakatan Rakyat government declared that they had become independents and that they were supporting the Barisan Nasional. The new government took oath at about 3.45pm this afternoon.
The talk of elected representatives jumping ship was started by none other than Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Soon after the March 8, 2008 general election, where the Barisan Nasional lost its two-third majority and some five states to the opposition, Anwar declared that he had some 30 members of parliament in his fold and that they would crossover to the Pakatan Rakyat. This he had said, would ensure the fall of the Barisan Nasional federal government.
He even went to the extent of saying that the Barisan Nasional government would fall by Sept 16, 2008. Then the dates began changing based on where he held a ceramah. This was his so called trump card to keep the Barisan Nasional on its toes.
While all this was taking place the same Opposition leaders, who are now calling for fresh elections in Perak, had applauded Anwar and said that they would form the federal government in a matter of time.
Then Opposition leaders, except for DAP chairman Karpal Singh, had supported the crossover and felt that it was fair to form a government based on crossovers.
But now, the scenario had been reversed and now all of a sudden crossovers are a taboo for the opposition. Yes, I agree that the people voted for a change at the 2008general election and their wishes must be respected.
The razor thin majority in Perak where the opposition had 31 seats compared to the BN's 28 was the result of the polls. Now after the crossovers the BN's seats is still 28, while the opposition's had been reduced to 28 due to three of its representatives jumping ship. They did not jump to the BN but they choose to become independents and declare their support to the ruling federal government.
Now the score has become Pakatan Rakyat -- 28, BN -- 28 and Independent -- 3.
One fact that I noticed is that the Indian community, which threw bulk of their votes for the opposition at the polls, have become the major losers result of the latest political manoeuvre.
Under the opposition, the community had a speaker and a state exco member. But not anymore. There are no Indian representatives in the BN in the Perak state assembly.
Where does the Indian community takes its problems? Who do they go to in case of problems and they need assistance? I am not bragging or anything like that but I seem to be the only Indian BN elected representative in the state by virtue of being the member of parliament for Tapah.
The answer to the above questions have yet to be answered by the BN leadership. The leadership needs to create a position on par with a state exco to look at Indian affairs in the state. He must be given powers to instruct any state-run bodies, like an exco member. This person must also be hardworking as he would be instrumental in trying to bring back the Indian voters into the BN fold. Although it is still early days, plans must be put in place so that the community in Perak does not feels neglected or sidelined by the ruling Barisan Nasional government.
With all this in mind, I wish to remind the Indian community about one thing. Politics are played by politicians and as members of the Indian community, I urge the people to come united on this matter. Please ensure that we are not left behind in any development.
This post is just a gist of what I have to say on the matter. More will follow. Thank you.
*KL Feb 20:* I bumped into a senior editor from Utusan Malaysia this afternoon and asked him what he thought about his former editor-in-chief's tweet on...
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