Selasa, 5 April 2011

PKR did right: Snap may sell out to foes of Pakatan

Written by Selena Tay, Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

PKR did right: Snap may sell out to foes of PakatanIt looks like PKR has made the right move by going it alone to contest 48 seats in Sarawak.
Although this means that there may be many 3-cornered fights in the Sarawak polls due for balloting on April 16, it is by far the wiser choice as it becomes increasingly clear SNAP is no longer running on its own steam but has been "taken over" by foes of PKR.
"If we have to to go it alone, then so be it," PKR vice president Nurul Izzah told Malaysia Chronicle,adding that her party was confident it could still give Chief Minister Taib Mahmud the greatest fight of his political life.
Salehuddin, Soh and SNAP
SNAP has a long history in Sarawak but it has been on the downslide since the previous state election 5 years ago. The talk in town is that former PKR secretary-general Salehuddin Hashim (right) and fallen businessman Soh Chee Wen (below left) have staked their claim on the party.
Although they know they will not be able to beat either PKR or BN, or even spoil any significant number of votes for the Pakatan, their main objective is to discredit PKR and Opposition Leader Anwar Ibahim at all costs.

PKR will lead the Pakatan's charge in Sarawak and Anwar is now riding on a crest of popularity after a sex video against him was exposed to be a conspiracy hatched by Prime Minister Najib Razak and the Umno elite.
There is widepsread fear within the BN camp that after scoring unprecdented success in Sarawak, Pakatan will become unstoppable in the peninsula, with BN states Johor, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu and Malacca looking more and more vulnerable.
There are 71 seats open for contest. PKR will go for 48, DAP 15 and PAS 5. The remaining three seats were the original request of the SNAP leaders before they were approached by the BN men. SNAP then raised their request to 8, to 16, 27 and at one time even 40.
Too risky as talk of RM200,000 ang-pows float around town
In typical BN fashion, pro-Umno blogs have been busy condemning PKR for such a move.
Nurul, who is also the Lembah Pantai MP, is of the view that it is now too risky for PKR to collaborate with SNAP.
"We have no choice in this situation. We do not wish to offend the traditional people in Sarawak by badmouthing SNAP but there are just too many reports about their leaders having crossed over to the BN side thanks to persuasion by Salehuddin and his gang," said Nurul Izzah.
Unconfirmed reports have been going around town that from being a party with few candidates, SNAP has quickly and suddenly amassed dozens of candidates. Speculation has swirled that the said candidates are being paid at least RM200,000 by Pakatan's foes to contest and make PKR look bad.
If PKR acceded to SNAP's conditions for seats, if SNAP candidates won and then hopped over to BN, it will be PKR who will have to bear responsibility for such a fiasco , PKR chief negotiator Tian Chua toldMalaysia Chronicle.
"It is better to avoid such a situation in the first place, especially after our bitter experience from the 2008 GE where we rushed in recruiting candidates and they later abandoned us for the riches offered by BN," said Tian.
Not easy but Sarawakians must fight for their future
Tian also admitted that the going will be tough for Pakatan as it needed to educate voters in a short campaign period of just 10 days.
Other problems include raising massive amounts of resources to campaign in the interiors, while the BN has at its command the full use of taxpayers' money via government machinery such as boats, helicopters and 4WDs to tour the state.
Pakatan will also have to contend with hostile voters who are used to instant gifts such as food hampers and hard cash to care about good governance, transparency and accountability - concepts and issues that are totally alien to them.
"Pakatan is talking about a better future for the future generations, something which is intangible to them compared to solid cash in their hands," Nurul Izzah said.
While it cannot be denied that many years of conditioning by the BN-controlled mainstream media have dulled the minds of the voters, exacerbating the Pakatan's problems in communicating with traditional BN electorates, Tian and Nurul remain confident.
They said their coailtion is now more organised than in the previous state polls in 2006.
"PKR, DAP and PAS is now a coherent Opposition and this is the best time for the people of Sarawak to vote for a change," said Nurul Izzah.
- Malaysia Chronicle

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