Pakatan generals and sweaty palms 

A rumour has surfaced that the opposition’s top brass will ditch their sure-win seats to tackle more hostile constituencies in the quest to capture Putrajaya.

RK Anand, FMT 

Pak Cik Kassim stared at his palms. The blisters and scars were testimonies to his hardship. But it was the sweat that worried him.

Toiling in the farm was back-breaking labour and the returns never justified the effort. But he was grateful that Allah had given him the strength to earn an honest living. When confronted with trials and tribulations, he found solace in his faith.

He had never given much thought about politics until now. In the past, whenever there was an election, he would cast his ballot for the Barisan Nasional candidate and return to work. He had heard strange rumours about this Datuk Seri and his wife but never paid much attention to such slander. To do so was a sin.

But when he read the newspaper this morning, it shook him to the core, caused his palms to sweat and his fingers to tremble. He was in a dilemma, and his decision could affect both his life here on earth and his afterlife.

At this point of time, it was difficult to be a Muslim in Pekan.

To his horror, the newspaper had revealed that Tok Guru Nik Aziz would be contesting against Najib Tun Razak and that nagging voice in his head kept reminding him of the venerated Islamic leader’s warning that those who voted for Umno would land in hell.

He felt that it was wrong to brand Muslims who do not subscribe to a particular view as infidels but since he was not well-versed in the religion like Nik Aziz, he could be wrong. And that notion frightened him.

Pak Cik Kassim did not want to go to hell. He was afraid of fire.

Imagine if the PAS spiritual leader decided to challenge the caretaker prime minister in the latter’s traditional stronghold in the coming general election.

With all the skeletons said to be dangling between Najib and his wife, it would be interesting to witness Nik Aziz rummaging through their closets and pulling out bone after bone during the campaign period.

And like Pak Cik Kassim, Najib’s well-groomed palms would be perspiring as well. Perhaps a tad little more than the farmer’s.

Moving into hostile seats

During times of war, generals hole up in shelters to churn out strategies and devise ridiculous code-names for the various operations to which troops would be dispatched for a rendezvous with death.

As for the coming mother of all electoral battles, should she ever come, a different stratagem might be used. It was one that would place the generals in the line of fire instead.

A rumour had surfaced that the top brass in the opposition bloc could step out of their respective comfort zones and move to hostile seats in their assault on the administrative capital while leaving the safe seats to the second or third echelons.

Take Permatang Pauh.

It was the fortress of Anwar Ibrahim and even if his neighbour’s cat was nominated as the candidate, the BN hopeful would face an uphill battle in convincing the voters that he was a better choice.

But that was until the last general election, when Penang was still under the rule of BN.

Some observers now claim that the Malays were disenchanted with the DAP state leadership and this might affect the opposition leader’s support. But to most, he was still the undisputed champion.

Therefore, instead of retaining his title in the Permatang Pauh ring once again, Anwar could put on his boxing gloves for a punch-up elsewhere.

Perhaps he could travel south to Lembah Pantai to knock out heavyweight and federal minister Raja Nong Chik. The latter was considered a serious contender for the seat held by Anwar’s daughter, Nurul Izzah.

For symbolic reasons, one observer suggested Kubang Pasu, the former seat of his arch nemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad. If Anwar was victorious there, it would be a bitter pill for the doctor to swallow.

With her charm and intellect, Nurul had managed to step out of her father’s shadow to become a brand name in her own right. The princess of Reformasi was now a queen in the hearts of all races.

Among others, she could be pitted against Umno’s Oxford edition Khairy Jamaluddin, who was rumoured to be moving from Rembau to Kepala Batas, the seat which belonged to his father-in-law.

Hadi versus Muhyiddin?

To be fair to Najib, the opposition must ensure that Muhyiddin Yassin and the Muslim voters in Pagoh suffer from sweat-stained palms and premonitions of hell as well. This could come in the form of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

PAS number two Mohamad Sabu and the Mandarin-speaking Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin could train their guns on the likes of Hishammuddin Hussein and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi instead.

Meanwhile, the father and son team in DAP as well as Teresa Kok and other senior leaders could embark on a mission to assassinate the political careers of MCA bigwigs, including that of Chua Tee Yong.

Karpal Singh, on the other hand, could be sent to Segamat to put Dr S Subramaniam in a rocketship to the moon.

Whereas DAP’s Professor P Ramasamy could drive up Cameron Highlands to ensure that the MIC president, who was expected to contest there, came tumbling down the hill.

Fearful of such a prospect, the rumour mills claim that G Palanivel had struck a deal with the opposition to safeguard his position.

– See more at: