Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Disrespectful Ibrahim

A simple ceremony in Parliament to mark the death of Batu Sapi MP Edmund Chong became a 1Malaysia issue when an MP was accused of being disrespectful. According to the Star (October 12, 2010, p N20), Members of Parliament had stood up to observe a one-minute silence but the Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali (yes, the obnoxious fella from Perkasa) chose to remain seated. Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said Ibrahim was biadab (rude) and didn’t have respect for others. “He was speaking loudly on the phone. The House was in silence. And everyone was turning their heads looking at him because of his loud voice. His behavior contradicts the 1Malaysia spirit,” Khalid added. Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo even asked disbelievingly “What kind of MP is he?” Well, as Kuala Krai MP Dr. Mohd Hatta Ramli said Ibrahim’s attitude didn’t reflect the Malay culture. I don’t have to offer any comments because these MPs have already expressed them. Ibrahim’s boorish conduct is just ingloriously disgraceful.

And in the same newspaper (p N12), the Batu Sapi parliament seat by-election poses a triple test for political parties in Sabah – at least that’s the Star’s reckoning. The first test is whether BN can defend its ‘fixed deposit”. The second test is whether PR can hammer out a deal with home-grown Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) to find a “single” candidate, so that a multi-cornered electoral fight can be avoided. And the third test will be for SAPP to field its own candidate and gauge how much ground support it has garnered since the party pulled out of BN in 2008.

From a PR point of view, it is whether the “Pakatan Plus” pact with SAPP for a one-to-one contest against BN in the next general election can be realized, or will SAPP – positioning itself as a “non-aligned party” – go it alone if there is no agreement with PR. Grassroots supporters supposedly feel SAPP should contest the Batu Sapi seat on its own steam. Let’s wait and see...

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