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Sunday, September 25, 2022

There are more important issues than Tajuddin’s candidacy

 

In many households, the talk is about the cost-of-living crisis. Expenditures on transport, petrol, food, eating out, energy and house rent have risen dramatically. The cost of everyday items is rising faster than the increase in people’s wages.

Other questions spring to mind. Are people living in the rural areas worse off than those living in towns and cities? Where are the strategies from the various parties to help vulnerable families?

You’d have thought that politicians would focus on the welfare of the rakyat and yet, many talk about holding elections, their candidacy, their preparedness for GE15 if floods were to occur and such matters.

Such attitudes explain why voters hate politicians as they appear to put their own political survival first and ignore important issues which affect the people.

One such politician is the MP for Pasir Salak who was very excited about his candidacy for GE15.

Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has held the Pasir Salak seat for three terms and he claimed that he had 100% grassroots support to defend his seat. He denied that his followers were divided into various camps and claimed that they were fully united. He said that his leadership as division chairman was solid, and division and branch members were fully behind him.

To silence his detractors, he said that his 50-year-long membership in Umno was proof of his commitment and leadership.

It is odd that Tajuddin is staking his claim to represent Pasir Salak, even before the call for GE15 has been made. Is he very pushy or merely ultra keen? Is he impatient for the general election to get under way? Or is there another reason for his apparent enthusiasm?

Things have not exactly gone Tajuddin’s way in politics and he has every reason to be the first to express interest in defending his seat. His insecurity is one such factor.

Last June, he was removed as a member of the Umno Supreme Council. In July, he was deselected after being nominated to be Malaysia’s ambassador to Indonesia.

Cast your mind back to May 2021, when two LRT trains crashed in Kuala Lumpur. Tajuddin was then chairman of Prasarana, the rail operator, but lacked the empathy with the public which people in his position are expected to have.

Instead of showing concern for the train crash victims, he refused to visit the passengers who had been rushed to hospital after they sustained injuries in the crash. To receive moral support from the chairman would have given the patients a positive boost.

But Tajuddin’s excuse was that he was feeling apprehensive about the Covid booster jab which he was to receive the following day.

Little did he realise at the time, but Tajuddin had become a demonstration of a politician putting his own interests first, before the interests of the people.

Worst was to follow. At a press conference, Tajuddin joked about the crash and insulted a foreign journalist by asking if she knew how to speak English. His insensitivity and arrogance prompted his immediate removal as Prasarana chairman, by the minister of finance.

The coming general election is fraught with many difficulties and uncertainties.

The corruption trials of Umno leaders, the behind-the-scenes horse trading between key politicians, the inclement weather if GE15 was to be held towards the end of the year, and the candidates themselves. All these factors have presented party leaders with a massive headache.

Tajuddin may want to be the first in the queue to defend Pasir Salak, and he may claim that he is the best candidate, but does the president of his party and the leader of the coalition have other plans for that seat?

Tajuddin’s arrogance and obstinacy have enraged many Malaysians and his behaviour will act against him. Will he prove to be a liability or an asset for his party at the general election? - FMT

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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