THE politicians probably think voters in Melaka are gullible enough to believe their triggering of the state government’s collapse was done in “the interest of the people.” What nonsense!
Pantai Kundor assemblyman Datuk Nor Azman Hassan, who was one of the four assemblymen who defected from the Barisan Nasional state government, said his withdrawal of support for Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali was made with that drivel.
He announced that he and Sungai Udang assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Haron were left with “no choice” but to save the state from what he claimed was “incompetent leadership.”
In an Oscar nomination worthy performance at a press conference last week, Nor Azman broke down in tears while apologising to the people for his actions.
“I want to seek forgiveness from the people in Melaka. I am sincere and our actions were for the sake of the people,” he said, with the customary waterworks as he put his hands together in a gesture of apology.
The takeaway from the Melaka episode is a bunch of squabbling politicians jostling for positions and trying to take control of the state government.
They didn’t even have the patience to wait until the next general election, possibly concerned that the state assembly wouldn’t be dissolved, and that the GE would only involve federal seats.
The two co-stars in the plot are Telok Mas assemblyman Noor Effandi Ahmad from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and Independent lawmaker Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee.
Let’s look at the track record of Norhizam, an independent, who was a former DAP man. He won the Pengkalan Batu seat in 2018 and then quit the party two years later to be an independent.
The former bus driver turned politician is well-known for his hot temper, if not, uncouth behaviour, and had reportedly even quarrelled openly with his constituents.
The Melaka saga started when the Perikatan Nasional government came into power in March 2020 following the defections of four assemblymen, which led to the fall of the previous Pakatan state government in 2018.
The four were Paya Rumput assemblyman Datuk Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen and Telok Mas assemblyman Noor Effandi Ahmad – both from Bersatu – as well as Rembia representative Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis (formerly PKR, now Umno) and Norhizam.
Basically, Effandi and Norhizam caused the previous state government to collapse and now, they have repeated their performance with the Perikatan state government.
Going by their strange script, they also did this in the state and people’s interests.
In 2020, when Norhizam quit the DAP, he said he was doing it in the “interest of the Malays,” and that he no longer wanted to be a lackey, adding that “I am going back to the right path.”
Honestly, nobody cares if they’re quitting for the Malays, Chinese, Indian or the Portuguese communities because no one in their right mind would believe their spiel.
It’s no stretch of the imagination to say Malaysians are sick and tired of these politicians.
If only they had shown as much urgency in serving us than to scheme and counterplot and craft that scrap they call a statutory declaration. And do they expect the people of Melaka to now face a fresh state election?
After the fiasco in the Sabah state elections, which were held following the collapse of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s government in 2020, no one is going to risk their health to help politicians fulfil their ambitions.
The state polls set the timebomb off for that Covid-19 explosion in Malaysia, a pandemic we had controlled so well till then.
So, the four who betrayed Sulaiman were hoping to waltz into the state government, particularly for the CM post. However, the rug was pulled from under their feet with the dissolution of the state assembly, approved by the Governor. Now, the four want to appeal to the King to stop it.
So, it’s a catch-22 – no one wants a coup or a state election.
Why would we want to go through this political insanity again, just when we’ve saved the situation and vaccinated nearly 90% of the adult population?
Of course, those who advocate a state election may say Sabah can’t be benchmarked because vaccines weren’t ready then. But even if people are fully vaccinated, the numbers can shoot up instantly, as Singapore saw.
Since Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob became Prime Minister, he has cooled down the political temperature and balanced the seesaw between the opposition and government to strike a truce.
There may be some who will question the effectiveness of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Opposition and government, but at least it’s a stride towards a mature democracy.
It’s the start of bipartisanship and finding common ground for initiating reforms in Malaysia, which the country is crying out for.
The only way now is for the Federal Government to turn to the legal and health experts to find an acceptable solution, as rightly suggested by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Onn.
The millions of ringgit potentially spent can be put to better use instead of having the state election.
But for a curtain raiser, let’s have solutions that genuinely benefit the state and people.
Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 35 years in various capacities and roles. He is now group editorial and corporate affairs adviser to the group, after having served as group managing director/chief executive officer. On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.