MAY 12 — It is scapegoating season now in Barisan Nasional (BN) and anyone that is dispensable will get the blame, except the real reason why the coalition didn’t do as well as expected.
BN won 133 federal seats, down seven from 2008. In the 12 states, it lost a combined 31 seats to only keep 275 out of the 505 state seats contested.
Today, the Umno-controlled New Sunday Times carried an interview with former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat who blamed the “stigma” of Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s sex scandal in 2007 for the party’s disastrous showing.
“I do not think it is fair at this juncture to say the situation would be less disastrous or not without him at the helm, but one thing that I could see clearly - and this is not just my personal observation, but rather a common observation among many party insiders, especially the ones who participated in the electoral canvassing - is that his stigma, so to speak, is still haunting him and the party,” Ong said about his political arch-rival.
Throughout the interview, Ong did not put the entire blame for MCA’s weak results on Dr Chua’s shoulders, but agreed with the interviewer that Dr Chua’s “arrogance and alleged cronynism” had partly contributed to the lacklustre polls results.
Ong, like many in BN and even its newspapers, cannot spot the pink elephant in the room in reviewing the Election 2013 results.
Malaysians from all races in most urban seats rejected candidates from almost all BN parties, not because of any stigma about sex scandals but more about other scandals.
There is corruption, extravagance, arrogance, cronyism with other BN leaders too. Do we have to go through that list again as a reminder for those who seek to view the election results in a myopic way?
MCA candidates lost as much as Gerakan candidates, as well as MIC and PPP candidates because they were linked to Umno, and not because of a sex scandal.
Fielding Malay rights group Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin in Shah Alam and supporting Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali in Pasir Mas cost BN more votes across the nation than it did in just those two seats.
Increasingly, the younger generation of Malaysian voters are casting their ballots on issues of fairplay, governance and rule of law, not on the desire to put someone of their own ethnicity in government or the Cabinet.
Sex is only an obsession of some BN parties, who think they can unseat or smear their rivals by exposing video clips or pictures online. It doesn’t work anymore.
Dr Chua’s stigma did not cost MCA votes in the May 5 general elections but what did was indeed his party’s arrogance and shameless display of Islamophobia and links to Umno which fielded people like Zulkifli in Shah Alam.
Take the sum total of all that and you will see why MCA did badly in the polls. And for that matter BN.
It is just sad that the NST and their political masters in Putrajaya still believe that this spin of either a racist DAP or an incompetent Dr Chua and others still works to deflect from the core issues of why BN lost more seats in Election 2013.