Sunday, April 15, 2007

Should DAP contest in Ijok?

Gone Machap, come Ijok, and another question comes: Should DAP contest in Ijok?

DAP contested the seats in 1999. Our candidate Krishan Veeriah lost to Sivalingam by 3,166 votes. Ijok was then a 16,847 voters state seat in Selangor.

In 2004, DAP gave it to PKR and PKR's Abdul Rahman Moharam lost to Sivalingam with a majority of 1,649 votes. Another independent candidate Mohamed Sharif Nagoorkani garnered 313 votes. Sivalingam technically won the seat with a majority of only 1,336 votes.

The DAP has three branches in Ijok, but going by tradition that the DAP will participate in any by-election where by the party had participated in the previous by-election, then DAP is not suppose to contest but to give way to PKR. This is the same logic applied in Machap by-election. It will reflect very bad on the party if it were to violate this logic.

However, I believe that for all opposition parties, Ijok by-election is not only a by-election for PKR but a by-election for all opposition parties.

Being a semi-urban-semi-rural constituency, Ijok has a different political impact as compared to Machap.

While Machap is considered as a BN stronghold in Malacca, Ijok does not hold the same water. As Malays in Selangor are less insulated from urban higher living cost and are more politically enlightened, it will be quite interesting to see how they will cast their vote this time, when the 12th general election is around the doorstep.

More so when it is a place close to PKR Selangor Chairman, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's hometown, Kuala Selangor (Ijok is one of the state seats under Kuala Selangor Parliamentary Seat). There are already some internal discontentment between UMNO MP for Kuala Selangor Tarihep Daud and UMNO Jeram Assemblyman Amirudin Setro.

The moment when I knew Sivalingam passed away in Chennai, the most immediate thing that comes to my mind is Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

The real test for BN has come, and it's Ijok, in Selangor!

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