Reps doing the hop, step and jump for election success

But questions are being raised as to where these Bangsa Malaysia champions were during the push for a Malay-Muslim dominant government during the Sheraton Move.

(FMT) – There is a joke going around that party leaders of Parti Bangsa Malaysia are behaving like the proverbial “frogs under a coconut shell”, the literal translation of the age-old Malay saying “katak dibawah tempurung”.

It is usually used to describe an ignorant or unknowledgeable person, one of very limited outlook and experience. While this definitely does not describe the current PBM leaders, the pun here is using the word frog, as all of them have switched parties at least once. One even has hopped four times!

Party hoppers are widely referred to as political frogs.

They may not be ignorant but they sure are feigning it, calling for Bangsa Malaysia, especially when they could have done so when they were once members of multiracial parties.

PBM has six MPs, five of whom won in the 2018 general election under multiracial PKR.

They are party president Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang), Larry Sng (Julau), Steven Choong (Tebrau), Edmund Santhara Kumar (Segamat) and Xavier Jayakumar (Kuala Langat). The other MP Mohamaddin Ketapi (Lahad Datu) first quit Warisan to join Bersatu but left four months later to become an independent before joining PBM.

The party’s current assemblymen, also gained through party-hopping, are A Sivasubramaniam (Buntong), Paul Yong (Tronoh) and Leong Cheok Keng (Malim Nawar), all from DAP. The other two, Haniza Mohamed Talha (Lembah Jaya) and Daroyah Alwi (Sementa), were from PKR.

After having quit their multiracial parties, they are all now singing the Bangsa Malaysia song in perfect harmony, blithely ignoring the fact that their past statements and records are all over social media, which is impossible to erase.

This is probably the first time in Malaysia that we are seeing a new party being formed just to accommodate those who had hopped from parties on whose platform they stood at the last general election.

If the voters cannot see through their flimsy camouflage trying to hide their true colours, including those who were directly involved in the Sheraton Move which caused the current political mess, they are likely to be in for a shock at the next general election.

With social media in full swing about how they had let down the voters through their treacherous act, they must be fully aware that many Malaysians are waiting to “skin them alive” and punish them in GE15.

So they must be cleverly trying to fool the voters by using a new outfit, PBM.

And to boot, they chose the Bangsa Malaysia slogan, obviously knowing that the constituencies they had won in 2018 contained a huge number of non-Malay voters.

Zuraida said the party will launch a Bangsa Malaysia Doctrine, with the push for Malaysians of all races to accept each other to achieve national unity.

She even quoted the seventh-century fourth Caliph of Islam, Saidina Ali Abi Talib, who said “if a person is not your brother in faith, he is your brother in humanity”. As such, she added, as a plural nation, we must respect and celebrate the racial and cultural differences.

Well, this sounds fine and dandy and something that many Malaysians are dreaming about. But questions are being raised as to where these Bangsa Malaysia champions were during the push for a Malay-Muslim dominant government during the Sheraton Move.

Well, most of them were in the group of the abhorrent political frogs who had no qualms at all about showing disrespect to the voters who put them there in the first place with much hopes. They probably thought that Malaysians would forget their treacherous act by the time GE15 is called.

One can’t blame their confidence as Malaysians have shown time and again that they vote based on the latest promises made, never mind past bigotry and blatant lies that are often forgotten by the time the next election comes.

The Johor state elections in January saw Barisan Nasional bending over backwards to say how important the non-Malays are and promising to focus on inclusive policies. As everyone knows, Johor has a huge number of non-Malay voters.

After BN won handsomely, there has not been a whisper about the pledges.

The formula for Malaysian political parties is simple: Just make promises about Keluarga Malaysia, that no one will be left behind and everyone will be given equal opportunities, and throw in cuts in tolls, taxes and prices of goods. Spice it up with regular welfare handouts, and the masses will be convinced.

Well, that was the past.

GE15 promises to be a different battleground with the addition of about five million young and fresh voters. It’s hard to predict what will affect their decision but you can bet among the issues will be the cost of living, lack of jobs, huge loans for tertiary studies. And social media of course!

As for the seasoned voters, it will be a mixed bag. Some are waiting to punish those who let them down by switching parties, not keeping election promises and pushing for a race and religion-based agenda. Others will stick to voting for parties promising to push for Malay-Muslim supremacy.

Of course there will be those hardcore supporters who will stick to certain parties despite knowing that their leaders are corrupt, and had switched parties for personal benefits. But many believe most voters cannot be deceived by facades anymore.

As for the realisation of Bangsa Malaysia, it will be a long and arduous struggle that may span several decades if at all it happens. As for PBM, you can expect these leaders to go separate ways for political survival like they did before. That is if they win in the first place.