ELECTIONS should be won or lost on issues and policies – who will govern better, who has the public’s interest at heart, which party has a long-term sustainable plan for our future. But sadly, that’s not always the case, with unsubstantiated personal attacks and mudslinging a common feature in Malaysian elections. We take a look at some of the arguments that have been made by politicians wanting to trump their opponents in the run-up to the 13th general election since independence.
On sex and sodomy
“… So people like this cannot be prime minister.”
“I fear what would happen to the officers if he becomes the prime minister. Even his driver is not safe. So are those in the office, some of them are cute. Not only women who are cute, there are cute men, too.”
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, making snide references to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the sodomy charges that have been levelled against the opposition leader. Dr Mahathir was campaigning for the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Putrajaya. (Source: In Putrajaya, Dr M doesn’t skimp on sexual innuendos, Malaysiakini, 28 Apr 2013)
“No wonder there’s been heavy rain and floods in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor since the election campaign started. It is because we have many aspiring singers who perform on video in the contest.”
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) strategy director Rafizi Ramli quipped that in the MCA, one had to be a star in videos, even in black-and-white ones, to be an election candidate. He was criticising the dropping of Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat as an MCA candidate, and making an apparent reference to the leaked video of MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek having sex outside of marriage. Chua is, however, not running in this election, the first time an MCA president isn’t contesting in the general election. (Source: Video stars and the corrupt become BN candidates, Malaysiakini, 28 Apr 2013)
On former prime ministers
“When Pak Lah led the country, every day he would talk about Islam Hadhari (progressive Islam) but never about the economy, because Pak Lah’s [Islamic studies] background is the same as Anwar: they don’t know about the economy, they only talk about doa (prayers).”
Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, on what would happen if the Pakatan Rakyat takes over the federal government and Anwar becomes prime minister. (Source: Anwar’s will be another Pak Lah gov’t, says MCA chief, Malaysiakini, 26 Apr 2013)
“It shows very clearly that in Umno the power is Mahathir. The real power is not Umno, not even Najib Tun Razak (Umno president), but Mahathir.”
“It is Mahathir who is behind these nominations as he said (before) that the country needs more ‘Ibrahim Alis’ to save Malaysia and the Malays.”
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, commenting on Mahathir and the controversial candidacies of Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali and vice-president Zulkifli Noordin. Zulkifli is contesting the Shah Alam parliamentary seat under a BN ticket. The Umno candidate for Pasir Mas, where Ibrahim is standing, failed to file his nomination papers, resulting in a straight fight between Ibrahim and PAS candidate Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz. (Source: Get new advisers, Kit Siang tells Ghani, Free Malaysia Today, 26 Apr 2013)
It’s all about personal ambition
“If she is sincere, why didn’t she provide the free check-ups in 2008? Now, every week we see free clinics. From there we can see that Lembah Pantai is only a platform for her. She doesn’t understand the people and the place.”
Umno’s Lembah Pantai candidate, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, criticising his opponent, PKR candidate Nurul Izzah Anwar. He also said that Nurul Izzah was “only good at criticising but fails to provide solutions”. (Source: Leave my family out of it, Nong Chik tells Nurul Izzah, The Malay Mail as quoted in Malaysiakini, 22 Apr 2013)
“First, he tells people to take him to Parliament so that he can execute political reforms. But when he goes on his walkabouts, he tells residents who complain to him about local issues that those are not his duties to attend to.
“At a dialogue with residents in SS14 on Thursday, he hinted that if Pakatan Rakyat formed the government, he was likely to be appointed International Trade and Industry Minister.”
MCA’s Kelana Jaya candidate Loh Seng Kok, accusing his PKR rival Wong Chen of “only wanting to be a minister”. He said it was “obvious” that Wong wanted to boost “his own agenda for a ministerial position”. (Source: GE13: Loh: Wong just wants to be a minister, The Star, 28 Apr 2013)
I really hate this kind of selective and dubious writing. The article claims we should be based on policy and not personality but writes only one-sided arguments.
When DAP hentam CSL’s video, how is this about policy? When DAP and PR hentam Rosmah, how is this policy and not personal? When DAP attacks MCA for not being able to protect the Chinese, how is this policy? Isn’t it racists as well? There are just too many hypocritical statements coming from PR on this issue. Nik Aziz has no credible policy at all for economic [viability]. Why is the personality and not policy important in his case?
Man, I have enough of these double-standard arguments. If integrity is important then make it the same for all. Don’t be selective.
JW Tan says
Actually, hentam Rosmah is mainly about graft. That was the reason behind the outrage about the NYT advert, as well as the recent Facebook stuff about Rosmah’s very expensive handbags.
Appearances matter. Rosmah needs to appear as if she is not utilising her position as the wife of the Prime Minister for personal gain.
Yes, Ellesse! How dare they attack BN and Pakatan Rakyat! If they were balanced as they said they were, they would only comment on Pakatan Rakyat! Everyone knows that they’re the ones who are wrong!