Mother of all elections or a circus?

Jahabar Sadiq

Is Barisan Nasional serious about getting back Putrajaya or is it just banking on the rural vote and power-sharing pacts after the snap polls? – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 4, 2022.

IT’S the mother of all elections, said Barisan Nasional chief Ahmad Zahid Hamidi ahead of the November 19 polls. 

It could be for the long-ruling coalition that lost power in 2018 before partnering with Bersatu and PAS to share government in 2020.

But it also looks a bit like a circus at the moment a day before nomination day. 

All main coalitions running to win GE15 seem to have scraped the bottom of the barrel to contest for all 222 Dewan Rakyat seats on offer. 

Consider Perikatan Nasional and its member party Gerakan. 

Far from the party founded by academics such as Dr Syed Hussein Alatas and politicians such as Lim Chong Eu and Lim Keng Yaik, it has now named carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan for the Pulai parliamentary seat. 

The man is notorious for his links to the Altantatuya Shaariibuu murder case and other deals said to involve disgraced prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor. He even penned a book entitled “Black Rose” about the matter. 

He’s a candidate on the PN ticket but not Gerakan president Dominic Lau. How is that for a joke from a coalition that wants another opportunity to rule Malaysia? 

Also, is BN serious about getting back Putrajaya or is it just banking on the rural vote and power-sharing pacts after the snap polls? 

It’s slate of candidates in Kuala Lumpur seem to be weak or not able to slug it out with Pakatan Harapan incumbents, unless they are hoping for a lower voter turnout or the youth vote. 

Perhaps only Johari Ghani in Titiwangsa appears to have the upper edge against PH’s Khalid Samad but the rest seem to just make up the numbers on the ballot papers. 

Yet, even PH appears to make the same errors. It’s candidate for Sungai Buloh is way below the quality or standard of former MP Sivarasa Rasiah. 

And this time, BN is putting its strongman Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, who has moved to Selangor from his former Negri Sembilan seat, Rembau. 

Apart from that, PH has named Shamsul Iskandar MD Akin to go against Zahid in the Umno president’s Bagan Datuk stronghold. 

What are the chances of a politician who has lost his recent Malacca state seat battle? Tough to say the least and puzzling that he is seen as a possible giant killer. 

But the biggest laughs must be reserved for those Umno and PAS dropped only to be picked up by each other’s nemesis - Umno’s Shahidan Kassim now contesting under the PAS logo in Arau and the Islamist party’s Khairuddin Aman Razali using BN colours in Kuala Nerus. 

Or should the laughs be for Annuar Musa, who when dropped by Umno, quickly revealed his own party - Muafakat Nasional - to contest the Ketereh parliament seat. 

That was the name of the now broken pact between Umno and PAS over the past two years. 

Mother of all elections? Yes, but the laughter now seems to have turned it into a joke on Malaysia. – November 4, 2022.

* Jahabar Sadiq runs The Malaysian Insight. 

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