MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Friday, October 28, 2022

Dropping Santiago: what was DAP thinking?


From R Shanker

So, DAP has finally done it. The party ejected one of the hardest-working MPs in the nation, Charles Santiago, from contesting in the general election (GE15).

Even more glaring, there has been no satisfactory explanation from the DAP leadership, although Gobind Singh did mention the need to put up a fresh face, as Santiago has served three terms.

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It can’t get more indifferent than that, can it? Would Gobind care to extend a similar logic to DAP politicians that also have served three or more terms but continue to be nominated? Himself included?

Perusing the contents of a letter by Penang DAP deputy chairman P Ramasamy, as published in another portal, alludes to the causal factor behind such treatment.

Simply put, Santiago was on the receiving end of party politics. Contrast the muted treatment in announcing his departure with that of the hero’s send-off for Tony Pua by DAP head honchos, and one can’t help but buy into the victim-of-party-politics theory.

Well, so much for a Malaysian Malaysia which aspired to operate on the principles of competency, accountability, and transparency. Certainly nothing transparent with the manner in which DAP has conspired to pour sand into voters’ aspirations, especially those in Klang.

All the more, then, one can’t help but feel bemused by DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook’s optimism in his speech at the Pakatan Harapan (PH) convention in Ipoh.

“A Pakatan Harapan government will be formed”, he declared. One wonders where he gets his mountain–moving faith.

For, by all accounts, the prognosis is that it would be Barisan Nasional (BN), and Umno in particular, that would win the most number of seats.

Personally, I, too, would love to be optimistic in dreaming of another season of BN/Umno–free era in the governance of Malaysia.

But let’s get real for GE15. And if you don’t believe me, then one would only need to be reminded of the results of the many by-elections since the last general election (GE14). Each was a wake-up call for PH.

Allow me to provide an analogy. Suppose you have a son who will be sitting for an important exam in three weeks. In the past, he received help from an excellent tuition teacher, whose effort had helped the boy get through his previous exams with flying colours. Further, the lad has a good relationship with the tutor.

Would you, as a responsible parent, decide to drop that tutor, and replace him with a new one, just before the exam? Your son would ask, “but why?” And you reply, “oh well, this tutor has taught you for a long time, you need a new face.”

Ridiculous, right? You wouldn’t dare commit such stupidity, especially at a critical juncture.

Well, that’s exactly what DAP has done.

I wonder who are the people responsible for DAP’s strategy. How could any right-thinking person concoct this game plan, which in my mind, is truly making a case for the proverbial snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory?

Why replace one of the hardest-working MPs from PH and in whom many of his constituents have voiced their satisfaction?

If, as some predictions hold true that PH would come out second in GE15, then the next best course of action is to attempt and win as many winnable seats as possible. Klang, if Santiago had been picked as the incumbent, was one such winnable seat. So please, DAP, why risk losing it?

If the party has any bone to pick with Santiago, then do so after securing this winnable seat. At least give some pushback from what is otherwise gearing up to be a sure BN-Umno victory.

Instead, DAP is content with pushing ahead a narrative that ignores public sentiment. Against the backdrop of such absurdity, DAP then should be under no illusion that the reverberation could be far-reaching. In my mind, this is setting the stage for certain failure.

Then again, I think the damage would have already been done, without much prodding from BN. Already the effect of the fallout is being felt on social media.

If DAP couldn’t even roll out a winnable strategy, then why is Loke gung-ho about celebrating victory on Nov 19? - FMT

R Shanker is an FMT reader.

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

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