Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Indians Unite Behind Ambiga

S Ambiga (left) is a marked woman, ever since she spearheaded Bersih. And in the process she threatens BN, especially UMNO. Following Bersih 3.0, she has endured protests in front of her residence. During one protest, disgruntled “traders” set up a burger stall and even tried to present her with a burger – despite knowing that Ambiga is a Hindu and a vegetarian. And in another protest, she witnessed the spectacle of weathered gaffers who assembled to wag their backsides. Then, for good measure, the government sued her.

Last Tuesday, Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz – the typical scramblebrained UMNO politician – branded Ambiga a traitor and suggested that she should be hanged for treason. She was even compared to the Al-Ma’unah militants who had attempted to overthrow the government in 2000.

Many in the Indian community were enraged and for the last one week, the Tamil media were flooded with press statements by Indian personalities, Indian politicians and Indian NGOs who came out in full force to defend Ambiga. It was indeed a rare show of solidarity for Ambiga by the Indian community, so much so that it even got MIC concerned, if not alarmed.

With the community lavishing attention on Ambiga, the question that surfaced in everybody’s mind is whether she will contest in GE13.

Ambiga has denied it but in the face of unflinching attacks on her, she may just decide to choose a political platform in order that she can continue her public role after the polls. Without a doubt, PR would be very enthusiastic about accommodating her for a parliamentary seat.

But what are the other options? She can always stand as an independent candidate for the Bersih movement in one of the KL seats. Who can stop her? Not UMNO. I am sure even PR would give way to her. And the prospect of being the voice of Bersih in Parliament is an enticing prospect.

Alternatively, she may choose to campaign for the opposition without contesting for a seat. In such an event, without any doubt, she would sway a bulk of the Indian votes away from BN. Again, this is worrying. At least for MIC.

Then on Saturday, Ambiga received an email warning her of a threat against her life.

Somebody is scared shitless about Ambiga. And why not? Ambiga appeals to almost everybody who believes in Bersih’s fight, cutting across all demographics. Truly 1Malaysia!

Therein, lies the danger. For UMNO.

Last evening, I was at the Money & You Toastmasters meeting. I was the evaluator for J-son Lee who delivered his Advanced speech from the Persuasive Speaking manual. There were three other speeches but again, Sheryl Chieng secured the most votes for Best Speaker because she was really the best! Of course, I took the Best Evaluator award and that was also nothing new. And I just loved the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening (i.e. How Yee) who emceed the meeting with flair, flourish and verve. An 8 out of a 10.

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