Sunday, April 19, 2009

Penanti by-election - what is the point of it?

It's a by-election that nobody needs. Penang CM Lim Guan Eng is peeved at the turn of events leading to the Penanti by-election. The Penang PKR assemblymen must be wondering why one of them can't be good enough to be DCM I, the voters are tired and do not need another by-election, taxpayers are upset that more money would be used, the BN is well aware that it cannot win this by-election, and certainly the entire polls have no impact to the political equation in Penang.

An upset Guan Eng told the media today that he did not know what was happening and that all questions from the media should go to Anwar - who wants a by-election so he can pick the candidate of his choice to be DCM I. Not among the current pool of PKR leaders. Guan Eng said he was only informed of Fairus Kamaruddin's decision to quit after the press was informed. Fairus, meanwhile, has given the Penang PKR leaders a two-week deadline to clear him or he would expose the dirty linen in PKR. It isn't clear whether he would be charged by the MACC as speculated but the latest talk is that there isn't enough evidence. In any case, he has quit his state seat, so the question of him being an independent is no longer an issue.

In the case of Penanti, there is little choice but to hold the by-election. Even if the BN isn't keen to contest, the whole process of nominations must be carried out and if independents are fielded, the process of elections would still have to be carried out. Unless of course, the PKR wins the by-election unopposed. But clearly, the perception is that this is one by-election that is unnecessary. It is a forced by-election. One could even suggest that this is an abuse of the democratic system. It is not about winning or losing but the question one should ask is: what is the point of it?


Nostradamus said...

Yes, the same must be asked of Perak. What is the point of elections in Perak anyway, what is the point of Perakians voting, if the Perak state govt is determined by buying over froggies. Might as well abolish elections and declare Malaysia a dictatorship, and be done with it.

The true abuse of democracy is what happened in Perak.

Anonymous said...

Datuk Wong. The democratic process must go on, even if it does not wanted. This is the process to remove a scab and select a new representative of the the people.

Anonymous said...

Well, if we follow your logic, then let us skip the general elections as well and perpetually let BN be the government forever. By elections is part and parcel of a democracy and I am really surprised that someone of your stature and experience in journalism could not see it for what it is.

Anonymous said...

Is never a waste of public fund when the government squander the rakyat's money by flying first class,living in suite,taking "disneyland study tour" driving mercedes benz instead of Perdana ,throwing lavish dinner in 5 star hotel.

The point is, the rakyat wants the best representative to sit in the government to serve them and not serving themselves.

Those who are tainted either in bn or PR need to resign.

chris said...

We have a very interesting situation,a by-election where the BN is not keen to contest.So let it be as it is the right of the BN to do so.

Why say by-elections are not necessary as they are provided for in the constitution?

Without a election how can we,the taxpayers, select our representatives?If by-elections are a waste of money then what about the millions lost in corruption?

It is time for our journalists to be truly ethical and objective in their assessment of the political developments in the country.They should always uphold truth however much it may hurt those in power.

Unknown said...

We are forgetting the people of Penanti. In a democracy it is their right to elect a leader of their choosing and no one should take that right away from them.

Anonymous said...

Why SPRM have to ask PKR the points of it?
Why dont BN stop asking and keep on doing hat BN suppose to do and be like a man, try to get back the Penanti seat and stop the crap as such PKR is trying the populist approach.

truemalaysian said...

Dear Datuk,

Whose perception you are talking about?? It is BN's perception. BN's perception need not reflect the people's perception. We want by election and we want it in Perak too. Go PR Go.

charles said...

Dear Datuk Wong,
I disagree with your comment. By election give the chance to Rakyat to choose the calibre leader to be "DCM 1", and we should not take away this right from Penanti and Penang electorate. This is also a gauge to measure on Penang new state government's popularity after one-year rule.

Anonymous said...

Because democracy is important, that's why. At least Fairus is willing to step down and not be bought over. Waste of money?? Certainly not done by PR.

the dark knight said...

datuk wong,i dare say any educated person would see the list of excuses that BN gives as lame..We all know that BN is not going to win this by election...but instead of admiting it would be a tough fight,they use the people as cover for their cowardly acts....millions are wasted every year in the form of unwanted projects,corruption,and other stuff.a by election is important for the people of that place to be represented

pls tell me datuk wong,which goverment who claims to put "people first performance now" is actually scared to get a mandate from we can clearly see in Perak and now penanti...both elections were claimed "to be a waste of people's time and money"...when the actuall fact the people of perak cry for elections everyday....hoodwinking the public with fancy slogans and gimicks is not going to work in this day and time

Anonymous said...

The by-elections are necessary for the electorate to pick their representative. It is part of the democratic process. Of course BN has the choice of giving a walkover to PR. The cost of the byelection need not be that high if PDRM do not send such a big contigent of police there.

Anonymous said...

DS WCW, you should know the reason for the by-election and the point of having elections is a supposedly democratic country! As a press man, you should know full well the reason. Please do not echo the calls of the BN parties for the sake of doing so. The cost of the elections were driven up by the excessive presence of the police force. There is no need for such a large police contingent in a small little town. But if the BN has no confidence of winning, just say so, give a walkover, but please don't blame PR. The politicians should not think we are fools, so please ask them to stop making stupid hogwash statements.

joenathan said...


What you mean by 'what is the point?The seat in Penanti fell vacant,therefore by law a bye-election has to be held within 60 days.No?As simple as ABC.

You see these UMNO fellas,had spent hundreds of millions providing instant noodles in all the 5 bye-elections held so far,therefore they have to do the same in Penanti too,otherwise it would be obvious that UMNO was only trying to buy the people's votes,period.

Muhyiddin expressed his frustration and anger recently by branding the Chinese as ungrateful,(after all this community is the one who is contributing most of the taxes), this itself speaks volume of their hidden agenda.Infact Muhyiddin had inadvertently spilled out the true nature of UMNO.

Therefore,it doesnt take a rocket scientist to decipher the fact that,without an iota of doubt,no way UMNO/BN would be able to win in Penanti.UMNO knows this fact very well,so to avoid giving out instant noodles,as they feel the 'ungrateful'rakyat dont deserve those 'instant noodles'(the tax payers funds anyway,which right fully should go to the rakyat),these UMNO duffers come up with a pusillanimous reason.

BTW,the show has to go on,democracy,not only be practised but must be seen to be practised.

Anonymous said...

Lim Guan Eng should resign as chief minister. He is a disgrace. How can he let anwar dictate what happens in penang?

- antianwar

Anonymous said...

How could it be a waste of money for a by-election? The money spent is going through a circle where those directly earning from it will spend it and those selling it to the spenders will also spend it and it goes round and round. It helps the economy and the Government is getting it back again from taxes generated from those chain effect.

The voters are also not tired because all the by-elections are from different constituencies and is affecting them only once. Those really tired are the political leaders. The rest is more than happy because they can earn extra money.

warongkopi56 said...


A real pour out! Too long in storage,so much so went out of alignment.Remember one pointing at others three at themselves.

Anonymous said...

I think Guan Eng shld use CAT on himself and see himself out. I think he is just a useless leader who has not being transparent and is letting someone he knows he cannot trust lead him -Anwar. I am so sick of this political drama. At least with UMNO what I see is what I get. This one -all fat smiles and misleading. I am so not voting for the pakatan anymore.

William said...

Dear Wong,

what is your view on the current election law? Do we need amendments to it?

Do you agree that there should be a penalty for unreasonable resignation by an assemblyperson?
This had been proposed by the Tan Keng Liang (Kedah Gerakan Youth chief) as well as by Mukhriz. Both were highlighted in the media. I think i also read that a proposal had actually been sent by Tan to SPR.

Even Lim Kit Siang had commented on this issue in his blog (although negatively as usual calling them both no brainer).

It would be great if you could give your views on this matter. I think to date, you are one of the well respected journalist in this country.

Perhaps, you can write an article on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Mr chun wai,
the point is BN scared lose in the by-election. As simple as that.

22 years old boy