Friday, April 23, 2010

Stop horsing around

Pakatan Rakyat should stop horsing around.

They should get real serious about winning Hulu Selangor - or any other seat - and not depend on the people's anger and frustration against the ruling Barisan coalition to get their votes.

Being seasoned politicians, Pakatan leaders like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should have known about the weaknesses of his candidate Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Now that the Umno guys have dug up dirt like his drinking habit (in the past) and his current ownership of race horses, the Pakatan guys are on the defensive and doing damage control reportedly with little success.

They should have known that such un-Muslim habits would not go down well with the largely rural conservative Malay constituents in Hulu Selangor.

And the Pakatan guys cannot cry foul about dirty tactics employed by Umno by embarking on a smear campaign as Pakatan, especially PKR, have always used the case of the blown-up Mongolian beauty Altantunya to smear the Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. As they say, all's fair in love and war, and politics.

The Pakatan guys can always resort to saying that the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman also owned race horses, but as a political analyst pointed out to me, the circumstances in his era were different as the Islamic revival amongst Malaysian Muslims had yet to take place. Islam had yet to be practised with great fervour then and the fact that Tunku was of royal blood and his affable character somewhat blunted any criticism of him.

Times have changed...and Pakatan are now fighting a Barisan that has - other than a couple of member parties - been rejuvenated by the improving economy, less infighting and the relatively strong leadership of Najib.

Fielding a Muslim candidate with flaws and skeletons in the closet in a conservative constituency that has been a Barisan stronghold for many elections is possibly suicidal.

On top of that, Zaid Ibrahim is not a nobody in politics or Pakatan - he is a bigwig and if he loses, Pakatan will have to lick very deep and painful wounds.

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