– K. Siladass, October 1, 2018.
UMNO led Barisan Nasional has thrown in the towel in the Port Dickson Parliamentary by-election, even before the actual contest had begun. The reasons assigned by UMNO for boycotting the by-election is that, according to the Election Commission, the by-election would cost RM3.6 million. This, it must be noted does not include the costs the candidates and the voters would incur. UMNO’s President Dato Seri Zaid Hamidi, says that this could have been used to relieve some of the financial woes the country is facing. UMNO claims that the government must be peoplecentric.
One wonders when did UMNO and its people begin to entertain the notion of peoplecentric, as facts are surfacing that UMNO and its allies in BN had been far from being peoplecentric but were enjoying the benefits through various devious means. Further, were they not under self-induced anaesthesia regarding the welfare of the nation and the people.
The next reason UMNO has raised is that the by-election is engineered to fulfil the political ambition of an individual. Although there may be merit in this argument, the crucial question is that the country has been drained off its wealth by an individual, Dato’ Seri Abdul Najib Razak. So, why now this wisdom given priority? Where was this wisdom, when Najib’s actions were for his benefit, his family and his cronies alone?
Whatever the true reason may be, the decision to boycott the by-election can only be seen as a person who is incurably ill abandoning hope of own survival. BN as well as UMNO are in similar position and that is the precise situation UMNO and its allies are in.
It is crystal clear that UMNO leaders themselves have begun to realise that UMNO’s megalothymia attitude (the arrogant attitude that it ought to be recognised as superior as Francis Fukuyama would define the word) had been exposed. With that attitude UMNO had been able to perpetuate the UMNO only theory which was hatched during the Malayan Union crisis incubated until Merdeka, given an identity of infinity and paramountcy thereafter, and which were shattered on May 9th this year.
In the circumstances, the real reason behind UMNO’s boycott of the Port Dickson by-election is that it has no plausible political agenda to put forward to the voters for their consideration. Whether it was proper for the serving member of Port Dickson Parliamentary constituency to resign is a question the voters will have to decide, and UMNO-BN-could have taken the opportunity to explain, and that is democracy is all about, not abstaining from the democratic process, and hurling ineffective arrows from outside. UMNO-led BN should have learnt the political lesson from former Labour Party of Malaya, whose demise was not only confined to boycott policy it pursued but also the overt acts of the BN’s predecessor the Alliance, which significantly contributed for Labour Party’s unceremonial funeral. UMNO-led Barisan Nasional is not in a different position.
Now, the voters need only decide whether Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim should be their representative – there being no other issues at all. Strangely, Pakatan Harapan too has no problem, or issue to campaign, because, the deeds of BN-led by the former Prime Minister Najib are now in the court to be adjudicated. The only thing PH can talk about is that Anwar Ibrahim is the Prime Minister-in-waiting, so give him the passport to Parliament! The voters have the right to ask: Is this necessary? Why the haste? And why incur so much of tax-payers’ money and, more importantly, why subject the voters to unnecessary inconvenience and money? Finally, the failure of UMNO or BN failing to take part in the PD by-election is not an issue at all.