Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kampung Boy Better Than Any BN ‘Local Boy’

So Umno/BN apparently plans to make a big stink about the fact that Zaid Ibrahim would not be a suitable MP for Hulu Selangor because he’s not a ‘local boy.’ Well, I imagine most of the voters in Hulu Selangor are probably more savvy than the BN machine is prone to give them credit for.

I’m sure Zaid and the PR coalition would welcome such an attack on Zaid from the BN and I have a strange feeling that before this was even made public, the political central nervous system within PR had fully anticipated this eventuality. After all, we know, don’t we, how predictable the BN tends to be.

This predictability about the BN, of course, also includes the fact that they’re notorious for being absolutely inconsistent and pathetically shameless. So what, that Zaid is not a ‘local boy’? And I think that the voters is Hulu Selangor are intelligent enough to know that just having an MP with local connections doesn’t mean squat. Just ask them about Palanivel! I’m sure the voters in Hulu Selangor can tell you about just how hopeless and removed this MIC/BN insider with ‘local’ connections had become from the people of Hulu Selangor. Well, guess what? They were so frustrated and fed-up with this locally connected insider that they threw him out of parliament.

So much for the hang-up about having a local candidate. I have a strange feeling Hulu Selangor voters understand that what is key is that they elect someone who will advocate for them and is capable of delivering; not just someone who can brag about being ‘a local boy.’ Oh, and by the way, I wonder if the BN people remember another infamous ‘local boy’ of their own from Sungai Siput? Aah, what was the name of that local character that the voters of Sungai Siput put on the heap of “political trash” they threw out in 2008? Furthermore, I think we can all come up with several examples where BN itself has enthusiastically put up a so-called ‘outsider’ as a candidate in elections.

So you see, being in the BN fold means you don’t have to be consistent or even concerned about your credibility. You just need to be shamelessly opportunistic. Yes, this is another perfect example where BN will do anything and say just about anything – however hypocritical it might be (heard of the Apco fiasco?) – to score political points.

Let’s see if the voters in Hulu Selangor can rise to the occasion and send a convincing message that they want credible leadership from a kampung boy and not cronyism from ‘a local boy.’

G. Krishnan