One of my initial thoughts following the news about the arrests of Tan Hoon Cheng, Raja Petra and Teresa Kok was that, in the log-run, Najib would end up being one of the big losers of this episode. It was obvious that using the ISA against these individuals would not help the regime’s image and its public relations. And how on earth, I wondered, could this help the man in Umno trying to succeeded Badawi? Surely, Najib would have a lot of repair work to do to the BN bullock cart, if and when he inherits it.
But gauging from the public reaction and outrage being expressed across cyberspace, it sure looks like MCA and Gerakan are in an equally messy place as a consequence of this ISA episode. As if things weren’t bad enough already for Gerakan and MCA for - like Najib - also hitching their cart to Badawi’s buffaloes. To have several former party officials in the past few weeks get off the BN cart and join PR did not do wonders for the image of these parties.
Judging from much of the public outcry being expressed about these arrests, it looks certain that the already battered image of these parties is set to undergo further haemorrhaging. Many seem expressly angered and disgusted by the anaemic response of the MCA and Gerakan brass to these developments. Could it be that the fall-out from this episode just pushes enough supporters of Gerakan and MCA over the edge that they too will walk away from these parties just as many who once-upon-a-time loyally stuck with the MIC but eventually became disillusioned?
Could it be that by virtue of its own increasingly glaring contradictions, the BN bullock cart is truly coming apart? And it sure seems like the more the MCA and Gerakan appear as being dragged along by this cart, it gets inflicted with more damage.
The choice for these parties seem quite obvious: under these circumstances, the more they stay the course, the more impotent they appear; hence, they become progressively obsolete to the voters. Or they could become part of a Malaysian awakening.