Thursday, December 5, 2013

Najib Razak Gloats

Paramount leader of the BN chicken coop Najib Razak and Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman held a press conference on November 26, 2013 to gloat that Sabah PR is losing widespread support and they even warmly welcomed the former PR members.

You and I know that this is a wrong strategy to use in order to boost the ruling party's popularity. Obviously, BN is desperate.

But the fact is that it may cause BN to actually lose support, especially in the Kadazandusun-majority areas. The Sabah electorate is not as accepting and docile as we (i.e. non-Sabahans) assume they are.

Sabahans have not always been kind to defecting party leaders – or infamously known as "katak-ing" in Sabah. Remember in 1994, the then opposition PBS (Parti Bersatu Sabah) witnessed defections on a mass scale that not only crippled PBS but forced it to give up power to BN. These frogs joined BN or formed their own BN-aligned parties. The PBS offshoots such as the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) failed to make inroads. Then the 1995 general election results saw some of the renegades losing in the election. The voters were unforgiving and they punished the "buhangkut" (a Kadazandusun word for frog), such as Jeffrey Kitingan, Bernard Dompok, Monggoh Orow, Othman Minudin and Limun Laikim.

The story did not end there. In the 1999 state election, more of the turncoats were punished. Dompok, who worked to get back his former Moyog constituency, was once again defeated.

The lesson everybody is missing is that the betrayal by PR frogs will not bolster BN's strength in Sabah, but that it may well backfire.

Yesterday, I was at Level 4 in Lanai Kijang – a Bank Negara center of excellence in knowledge and learning in central banking and financial services – in KL’s Jalan Berjasa. I am glad I went because Kijang Toastmasters made my travel to the city worthwhile with great speeches. By “great”, I mean in the areas of content and language.

I was the only external speech evaluator there – not counting the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening and the General Evaluator who are also outsiders – and I must humbly confess to being impressed. I am not easily thrilled but these Toastmasters very nearly blew me away! And they started on time too! So I am awarding this club an 8 over 10 score for this meeting. 

In case you didn't know, it is newly-chartered and therefore, it is most heartening to discover a rare gem of a Toastmasters club that showcased quality! BTW, I was voted Best Evaluator, which of course is not surprising. Ahem.

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