How will Pakatan’s ‘move’ end in Kajang?


Sheridan Mahavera, TMI

If there is one thing that Alan Tham of Sungai Chua hopes will come out of the drawn-out by-election is that things will finally improve for Kajang folk.

And he means tangible changes – like an end to traffic jams in the town and its suburbs.

Tham’s sentiment is shared by many in Kajang and will be translated into the votes they will cast on March 23.

Their hope is that the game of politics played by Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, whose antics were clearly played out in this by-election, will at the end of the day mean real improvements in the daily lives of Kajang’s 39,278 voters.

Underneath all the hype about the “Kajang move”, politics and elections are supposed to lead to better lives for voters.

Not just for politicians to settle feuds and gain power.

As things stand right now, the majority of voters still believe that for Pakatan, the coalition is doing the former and not the latter.

According to Pakatan activists, the coalition stands a good chance of keeping Kajang.

The question is whether they can increase the winning majority by more than 6,800 votes.

But there are a growing number like Tham who feel that after two terms of Pakatan rule maybe it is time to give the BN a chance.

“Pakatan took over in 2008. But they could not do much about the jam. So maybe we should give BN a try again. I have confidence in (Datin Paduka) Chew Mei Fun,” said Tham.

Barisan is banking on Chew to do the nigh impossible task of unseating PKR in Kajang.

A former deputy minister and MP, she goes up against Pakatan’s Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Much of the campaigning on both sides has been framed in terms of referendums.

Pakatan would like to see it be a referendum on the Appeals Court verdict against opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, which it claims was brewed up by BN.

BN wants a referendum on Pakatan triggering the by-election in the first place to pave the way for Anwar to become Selangor menteri besar.

Some 56% of the voters of Kajang don’t mind having the by-election, according to a Universiti Malaya Centre for Election and Democracy studies survey in February.

When tabling the survey, UMCEDEL director Prof Datuk Redzuan Othman said locals tended to like by-elections as it meant extra attention from politicians to their local problems.

“I live in Kajang and like others in my neighbourhood, my house has been broken into. At least with the by-election there will be extra cops around to catch criminals,” said Redzuan.