Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The Tenang candidates. Let's hope eventual winner Mohd Azahar Ibrahim (right) has been certified medically fit to carry out his duties for the full term. (Pic: NST)
So BN has won the Tenang by-elections. Not unexpected. Johor is traditionally a BN state. Voters there probably went with the familiar BN symbol rather than vote for the better candidate. Understandable. After all, who has heard of Mohd Azahar Ibrahim or Normala Sudirman? But everyone recognizes the BN and PAS logos.

Voters in Malaysia are clueless when it comes to choosing the best representative for their constituency. That's why people end up electing frogs who are in the habit of leaping from one party to another for their personal gain. This year being the year of the bunny rabbit, will Malaysians be seeing more party-hopping from their representatives?

There have been 14 by-elections since March 8, 2008. The 15th one is coming up in Merlimau, Malacca. The Election Commision has declared Feb 26 for nomination day, and March 6 for polling day. That gives voters a grand total of 8 days to get to know the candidates. It's that enough time? NO!

(Left): MCLM Chairman Raja Petra Kamarudin, (Right): MCLM President Haris Ibrahim

That's where the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) comes in. MCLM plans to offer 30 candidates by March this year to opposition parties looking for suitable candidates to field in the coming elections. So far, it has named four candidates: Malik Imtiaz Sarwar (National Human Rights Society president), Sreekant Pillai (human rights lawyer), Haslinah Yacob (former president of AWAM), and Dr Nedunchelian Vengu (private dental surgeon).

These people have solid credentials. Regardless of when the PM calls for general elections, these candidates will have months to prepare themselves. More importantly, voters will have more time to get to know the candidates and vote for the one they can trust to best represent them at state or federal level.

If you see yourself as a potential candidate, approach MCLM. Just be sure you have the right qualities: the passion to serve the people, a seeker of truth, a man of principles and integrity. Their loyalty must be to the people who elected them. And of course, they must have an aversion to party-hopping.

For more on why MCLM's objectives resonate with many Malaysians, read the Sunday Star interview with Haris Ibrahim, MCLM president, or visit the website.

No comments: