With Mr Salleh Marican coming forward and putting his hat in the ring, we may have a contest for the upcoming EP in September. There are sceptics commenting since he made the announcement but he had previously indicated well in advance his willingness to respond to the PM’s call for capable Malays to come forward to meet the call to serve the people.
In fact, I was present at the Reach session when Mr Salleh Marican was the first to speak to the government panel comprising of Dr Yaacob Ibrahim and Mdm Rahayu Mahzam. He expressed his disappointment to them about the change to the financial requirement from 100 million paid up capital to 500 million equity shares company. He indicated then that this change would affect his chance of serving which he was seriously considering when the EP was made exclusive for Malays.
However, he clearly is determined by still coming forward and willing to make the pitch to convince the EP committee to qualify him possibly on the third equivalent route.
He mentioned his strength of being a businessmen thus comfortable with big numbers as his company is worth at least 200 million in equity shares. Thus he has a valid reason to be heard fairly by the committee on his other credentials that would compensate for not exactly meeting the minimum financial requirement for the job. On that note alone, we should give him a chance to make his case before the committee.
The Malay community is still hoping likewise for more potential candidates with credentials to offer themselves as a possible EP. The value of a contest should not be underestimated.
The word on the ground is a great sense of disappointment among the Chinese majority who felt this reserve EP is undermining their believe in the ‘system’. Their reaction however is mix from out right condemnation and a desire to cast a protest vote possibly through spoiling them to voting in any other non-government candidate.
Among the Malays they are similarly mix about the EP as they never see this anywhere in the community’s priority to do list for the government. The mainstream media nonetheless as expected has gone into overdrive since the announcement for a reserve EP was made. The picture coming from them is the general support and gratitude of the Malay community towards this initiative by the government. The more realistic ones see this as a desperate manoeuvre to stop the potential victory of Dr Tan Cheng Bock at the polls if it was an open election. This group would likely cast a vote for the non-government candidate.
In all honesty, the Malay vote ironically do not really matter much as it is a low percentage. The swing will be to see where the supporters of Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Mr Tan Jee Say cast their votes. They are clear defined blocks that may determine who wins. The PAP block are quite predictable and from what the last EP showed its about 30-40% at most. So there are 60-70% potential vote eagerly waiting to be cast against the PAP/government candidate. All is not lost people. Let this EP be a healthy contest for a better deal to the people to check this government. So let the contest begin.
Source: Damanhuri Bin Abas