‘TIS the season for by-elections, or so it must feel to Malaysians, who have been subject to six — Permatang Pauh, Kuala Terengganu, Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau, and now Penanti — since the general election in March 2008.
And now, we stand on the brink of yet another one — in Manik Urai, Kelantan.
Of these by-elections, four have been necessitated by the incumbent’s death, while three are the result of resignations, all of them by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) representatives.
For the locals, by-elections are a chance to see the various politicians — both government and opposition — who would otherwise not turn up in these areas to campaign. It has also been traditionally an opportunity to receive promises of government funding for various local projects. To be sure, this is becoming less and less likely, with the failure of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to secure victories in by-elections, at least in the peninsula.
For the rest of Malaysians, however, by-elections continue to be a platform where larger national issues are played out.
But some quarters have charged that by-elections, especially those not necessitated by death, are a waste of public funds. The BN, in fact, chose not to contest in Penanti on the basis that it is “constitutionally wrong” and merely the result of PKR infighting.
What do you think? Give us your six words on by-elections in the comments section below. Below are some from The Nut Graph team to get started.
Additionally, if you have any suggestions for what our next Six Words should be on, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthy reps do less by-elections make.
Needed in Changkat Jering, Behrang, Jelapang.
Mandatory, whether for deaths or defections.
Diabetes, cardiac arrest, or party-hopping? By-election.
A case where more isn’t better.
Creepy…Where’s my feng shui sifu?
N Shashi Kala:
Another chance to get it right.
Local issues battle with national concerns.
Elected reps have seemingly short lifespans.
The right ones are not dying.
BN motto: Can’t buy me love.
A nuisance, but better than dictatorship.
Ceramahs are the new rock concerts.
Pi mai pi mai tang tu!
Thank God for short campaigning periods.
Why do these people keep dying?
Don’t die on me, my assemblyperson.
Ack! My heart! Blip, blip, tuuuuuuu …
The Nut Graph: suffering by-election fatigue.