By Francis Paul Siah
YOU want to take a gamble in politics by switching allegiances. Then, be prepared for the consequences.
It really does not matter much if you are an ordinary party member. People tend to move from party to party, at times for some strange reasons. If you do not hold a senior party position, that is probably okay as it is hardly noticeable by the public.
I have no intention to be rude. The reality is that in politics, no one cares about a ‘nobody’. (Include me on this one. I’m also a ‘nobody’ but I’m not a politician too.)
So, if you think that you are not a long-term player in one political party and likely to jump from one to another (perhaps even on the flimsy excuse that you do not like the face of your new party president), then stay an ordinary member or better still, just get out of party politics.
However, if you are an elected representative and turn into a katak, it takes on a totally new dimension and chances are that you will be ostracised, even demonised, by the electorate.
That will remain a stinking stigma for the rest of your political career, if it does not abruptly end it.
Sadly, in Malaysian politics, we have had our share of the dreaded betrayal of the people’s mandate by elected representatives and worse, by those we have entrusted as our political leaders to helm the nation.
The Sheraton Putsch last February is an episode which all decent Malaysians will remember, probably forever, as “despicable and unforgivable”.
Then came the Sabah coup engineered by Tan Sri Musa Aman in late July, backed by 17 ‘frogs’ from the Warisan-led state government.
I would describe those taking part in such putsches as “self-serving parasites and leeches” who must be shown the door in the next elections. They have no place in the august legislative assemblies to represent anyone, except themselves.
Come polling day on Sept 26, I urge my fellow Malaysians in Sabah to vote out the frogs in their midst. You know who they are.
Unfortunately, Sabah is one state synonymous with political kataks. I do not expect such a degrading culture to end with the elections this month. Already, there are 447 candidates vying for only 73 seats. This is the most crowded Sabah elections and in one constituency, 11 candidates had entered the fray.
I’m not sure I’ve heard of a 11-cornered fight for a single seat before. This borders on ludicrosity, but this is a free country and any eligible citizen has the right to seek elective office. They should not be denied that right.
What I find impossible to believe is the absence of potential frogs among the 447 who desire to be Yang Berhormat. Already, five candidates from an alliance of independents had declared that they would be open to joining any party if they win.
Then, the six incumbent assemblymen who attempted to oust the Warisan government in July are now trying to retain their seats as independent candidates.
They are Abdul Rahman Kongkawang (Labuk), Musbah Jamli (Tempasuk), Saddi Abdul Rahman (Sukau), Lasiah Baranting @ Anita (Tandek), Masiung Banah (Kuamut) and Kenny Chua Teck Ho (Inanam).
Should these known kataks be elected again on Sept 26, then those who voted for them must be blind. I make no apologies for saying this. We will never get rid of the katak culture if we still choose to trust the untrustworthy.
I started off earlier by stating that if you want to take a gamble in politics by switching allegiances, be prepared for the consequences.
Let’s take the case of Inanam incumbent Kenny Chua. Originally from PKR, he was in the Warisan government as an assistant minister.
That was probably not good enough for him. I don’t know what he was thinking when he switched camp to Musa’s side and decided to throw his former boss, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, into the dungeons.
Where is Chua today? Not surprisingly, no political party dares to touch him with a 10-foot pole. Like Chua himself had explained — he was supposed to defend his seat on a PBS ticket but that did not materialise.
So, the poor fella went in as an Independent when he could not sell himself to anyone or any party. Now, do we sympathise with Chua or are we more likely to tell him straight up that “You deserve what you get for being a katak!”
Then, what about the mighty Sabah warlord, Musa? Surprisingly, no parties or coalitions offered him a ticket. Even his own brother, Datuk Anifah Aman, refused to piggyback him on his fledgling Parti Cinta Sabah.
What is the moral of the story?
It does not pay to be a frog in politics.
This piece first appeared in the New Sarawak Tribune. The views here do not necessarily represent those of this portal.