Thursday, April 9, 2009

An Orang Utan Would Have a Better Chance.

Well I told you, didn’t I? In my last column, I mentioned that the MIC would soon be telling us, despite the embarrassing loss in Bukit Selambau, that it has made in-roads with the voters and, as I put it, “will continue to make progress as it has done over the past year.”

And barely twenty-four hours later, Samy Vellu and Vell Paari try to put not only a positive spin on the beating in Bukit Selambau, but like an old (really old) CD, we hear the same pathetic song. Make no mistake – this was an devastating and embarrassing loss not just for Ganesan, it was an especially humiliating thrashing for Samy Vellu (and Vell Paari). This state assembly seat was arguably as important a campaign as the MIC has ever undertaken. When was the last time Samy Vellu personally campaigned intensely for over three weeks for a state assembly seat?

He and Vell Paari desperately wanted to turn their steady and consistent losing streak around. Oh, I know, someone might say Samy actually did recently calk up a personal victory with another term as president of the party. Well, despite claims to the contrary, there really was no competition for that position, was there? As a matter of fact, it seems like these days the only time Samy can win an election – as within his so-called, ‘re-election’ as party president - is when no one is allowed to run against him or there is no opposition candidate involved!

Frankly, no disrespect to Manikumar for his win in Bukit Selambau; it was an impressive win for a newcomer who had to go up against the BN/MIC political machinery. But this by-election clearly demonstrated that the MIC cancer is so severe that this defeat had less to do with Manikumar – as much as he’s probably seen as a breath of fresh air – but more with the fact that the majority of the voters just wanted to distance themselves from the cancer. Perhaps Samy does have a point when he claims that the MIC’s loss was not due to the choice of their candidate (Ganesan). But what Samy cannot see and cannot admit is that it had a lot to do with the party the candidate was associated with.

Note that Vell Paari claims that the voters opted for Manikumar because, as Malaysiakini reported, of the supposed “promise of the exco post by the PAS-led state government.” Well, that of course begs the question: what precisely makes Vell an expert on why the voters actually opted for Manikumar? I suppose he’d expect us just to take his word for it. You don’t suppose there could be several other likely explanations? I suppose Vell would be incapable of recognising that perhaps the majority of the voters simply no longer have trust in the MIC. Hey! How’s that for a very likely explanation!? So much so that Manikumar’s margin of victory against the MIC was even greater than the V. Arumugum’s margin against the MIC the last time, albeit by 40 votes. I suppose we're all to be convinced that this is the MIC's progress and a result of their 'in-roads' with the voters.  

Manikumar’s credentials notwithstanding, I would not have been surprised that if the opposition’s candidate had been an Orang Utan, they would have still defeated the dysfunctional, scandal infested, and discredited party controlled by Samy Vellu.

As with Manikumar, I want to also be clear that I mean no disrespect to the Orang Utan either when I say that I think the Orang Utan might actually win if the voters had to choose between an Orang Utan and the MIC.

On the contrary, it’s a compliment to the Orang Utan.    

G. Krishnan