MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Guan Eng's bungle-low

COMMENT It was a bungle, there is no doubt about that. Lim Guan Eng dug a hole for himself, and his rivals, being politicians, pushed him in. As the old adage goes, all is fair in love and war.
Since the issue made headlines, the chief minister has found himself in a spot similar to where Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has been rooted at for months.
However, Lim and his supporters can find some consolation in the facts that the sum involved in his scandal has three zeroes less than Najib's, fewer twists or rolling heads, and confined to an island unlike the prime minister's which spans across several continents.
On the other hand, DAP, like Umno, has been forced to mobilise all its resources in defence of its leader.
Like the prime minister, Lim has repeatedly denied any elements of corruption or wrongdoing in the deal, where he purchased a bungalow below market price at RM2.8 million on an island where house prices are astronomical.
Like the prime minister, Lim has also blamed the so-called fabricated allegations on political rivals who are conspiring against him.
Like the prime minister, who claims there was a willing donor and willing recipient, the argument for the bungalow also centres around a willing seller and willing buyer.
Another resemblance is how the seller, businesswoman Phang Li Khoon is said to have offered the house at a low price out of respect for Lim with no strings attached, just like how in a letter, a Saudi prince pledged US$375 million for Najib out of admiration for his governance based on Islamic principles, without expecting anything in return.
And like the prime minister, Lim has to deal with the issue of perception.
When news of Najib's colossal donation broke, questions were raised on the motive:
  • Why should a Saudi royalty be so generous?
  • What was asked in return?
  • Was it for done in exchange for a deal in the future?
Similarly, Lim is also faced with the same questions and no amount of justifications and explanations can alter the perception and doubts.
The seasoned opposition leader should have realised that any deal between a businessperson and a politician in power is inviting trouble to come knocking on one's door.
So the chief minister has only himself to blame for the mess that he finds himself in.
There is no point barking at rivals, as politicians, they are expected to milk and even twist this issue to achieve maximum impact.
And making the situation worse is excuses such as negative 'feng shui'. -Mkini

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