KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 – Nomination Day is done for the May 5 polls that has seen a number of multi-cornered contests and titanic battles between candidates going on the campaign trail for the next 15 days.
Here is The Malaysian Insider’s take on Nomination Day, where there was no shortage of surprises, independent candidates and hubris.
* Biggest Fact
For the first time since the 1959 elections in independent Malaya, the Alliance/BN did not win any parliament or state seat unopposed.
For the first time in Malaysian electoral history, all 222 and 505 state seats will see contests.
* Biggest Sham
The spin cycle has started with Umno saying that the decision by its candidate for Pasir Mas to withdraw and give Datuk Ibrahim Ali a straight fight with PAS was not a directive from the headquarters, but a case of cold feet by its candidate. Now that would be believable if we all had single digit IQs.
The fact is that there has been pressure from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and others in Umno for Ibrahim to be allowed to contest the Pasir Mas ticket under Barisan Nasional (BN) colours.
But others in BN felt that fielding him under the blue of Barisan would alienate non-Malays even more after his threat to burn Bibles and fighting talk against Chinese.
So a nice compromise was found: the BN candidate for Pasir Mas would withdraw, paving the way for Ibrahim to be the defacto BN rep. Can it get any worse for middle Malaysia with Zulkifli Nordin and now Ibrahim Ali?
* Biggest Farce
Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS) have been in a possessive mood. Way before Nomination Day, there have been rumblings in Pakatan Rakyat over PAS’s penchant to make unilateral announcements on seats which had already been allocated to other parties in the Opposition alliance.
Despite several meetings, PAS didn’t budge.
The result: In the Sg Acheh state seat, Badrul Hisham Shahrin of PKR will be involved in a contest with Umno’s Mahmud Zakaria and Yusni Mat Piah of PAS.
And in Labuan, PKR’s Ibrahim Menudin will face-off with Hadnan Mohamad of PAS and Rosman Isli of BN.
In Terengganu, PAS is fielding three candidates in state seats meant to be a straight fight between ally PKR and BN.
PAS’s Adam Mat Said is up against PKR’s Mohamad Abdul Ghani Ibrahim and BN’s Mohd Mahdi Musa in Kota Putera.
In Bukit Besi, Roslan Ismail will run as the PAS candidate against PKR’s Mohd Shamsul Mat Amin and BN’s Roslee Daud.
In Seberang Pakir state seat, PAS’s Zakaria Dagang is in a three-way fight with incumbent Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Razak from BN and PKR’s Ahmad Nazri Mohd Yusof.
This is what happens when hubris and arrogance takes centrestage.
* Biggest No-show
Papagomo, the Umno blogger, did all his talking before Nomination Day.
He was going to take on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Permatang Pauh, blah, blah, blah.
He was a no-show today. Guess it is easier to upload videos than face the scrutiny of an electoral contest.
* Biggest Show of Defiance
Hands down, it has to be Wanita Umno’s Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim.
She quit her position as number two in the women’s wing, as supreme council member and as an Umno member, to contest the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary seat.
Kamilia was peeved that she and other senior members of the wing were overlooked as candidates.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that she was offered a state seat in Perak but turned it down.
It is fair to say that all is not well in Wanita Umno with Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil and Datuk Raja Ropiaah pockmarked by controversy and Kamilia now quitting the party.
* Biggest Joke
The DAP for sacking incumbent Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him for fielding himself as an independent in the Kota Laksamana state seat.
But he still represents DAP in the Kota Melaka federal seat.
The Election Commission (EC) has yet to get official confirmation of his status from the DAP.
* Biggest Fights
A five-way tussle for the Batu seat with incumbent MP Chua Tian Chang from PKR fighting BN’s Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai and three independent candidates – Atan Jasin, Nazariah Abbas and Datuk Hashim Karim from Berjasa.
A six-cornered battle in the Machang Bubuk state seat in Bukit Mertajam between BN’s Tan Lok Heah, PKR’s Lee Khai Loon, Kita’s “Datuk” Dr Vicky Vikneswaran, and three other independents – Datuk Tan Hock Leong, Wan Balkis Wan Abdullah and Ooi Suan Hoe.