THE THIRD FORCE
Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng trumped his competition in Tanjung Piai yesterday with an overwhelming 15,086 vote majority in what is being dubbed the beginning to the end of DAP’s Pakatan Harapan.
Some are playing it to that tune, while others insist that it was a victory for BN against PPBM’s Karmaine Sardini who polled 10,380 against Jeck Seng’s 25,466.
Whichever way you spin the wheel, one thing is for sure – when making a comparison, make sure it’s on the same level and grounded in reality.
Truth is, Tanjung Piai was fought between PH’s Karmaine Sardini and BN’s Wee Jeck Seng on the principle of consensus which both PH and BN claim to abide by.
It follows, when PH pitched Karmaine’s name, it was with the approval of the DAP, AMANAH and PKR. Likewise, BN’s UMNO and the MIC agreed that their candidate be from the MCA.
That makes it a coalition-to-coalition battle, with leaders of all component parties sharing equal blame for the triumph and (or) loss of the candidates.
In the case of Jeck Seng, UMNO deserves equal credit for its role in shoring up his credentials just as much as the MIC does for reaching out to the Indian voter base.
In the case, of Karmaine, Lim Guan Eng deserves blame for stirring hatred among the Chinese and Indians against the Malay-Muslims by alleging that a win for the MCA would be akin to the endorsement of PAS’ and UMNO’s ‘extremist’ religious philosophies.
During a convention held in Muar, Johor, Lim told a crowd that these philosophies prevented the non-Muslims, particularly the Christians, from gathering to fulfil their religious obligations.
The Chinese and Indians are already witnessing first hand how the DAP has literally been bullying the Malay-Muslims with racially and religiously toned slurs through speeches and publications deemed offensive to Muslims.
Well aware of what’s happening in Hong Kong, they’re afraid that all this could lead to racial unrest that would further weaken the already sagging economy which Lim doesn’t seem to be able to control.
The Chinese can’t afford this.
The near 40 per cent swing of the community’s ballot towards the MCA for the first time since 2008 was a direct signal to the DAP that it failed the Chinese despite promises that PH would bring Malaysians to “the land of salvation.”
There is no version of this in which the DAP can pin the blame on anyone else but Lim Guan Eng.
Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim too was on the campaign trail as much as Lim was but didn’t seem able to muster a crowd commensurate with the turnout at Mahathir’s ceramah.
Actually, none of the DAP, Amanah or PKR leaders could attract as many people as those who turned up at Mahathir’s event to listen to him speak.