“Only BN is parochial; PH parties have no qualms to move out of comfort zone”

SWITCHING constituencies is a healthy practice that should be welcomed in order to curb the widespread of localism and provincialism among political parties while at the same time, make Malaysia a more united country.

In defending such practice, veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said political parties such as DAP, PKR, PAS and Amanah have leveraged the concept quite widely and successfully for a long time.

“Even UMNO practiced it in the early years of independence. Candidates from outside the district and even the state contested and won,” penned the former Bersatu supreme council member in his latest Facebook post.

“For example the late (Tan Sri) Fatimah Hashim who hailed from Muar (Johor) won the Jitra-Kuala Nerang seat in Kedah during the 1959 and 1964 general elections, and was later appointed as Social Welfare Minister.”

But alas, year after year, Kadir observed that UMNO has become more and more parochial (regional) to the point that even leaders from adjacent districts are not accepted.

Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

“As much as possible they want local born candidates,” he asserted. “From that point of view, UMNO is no longer a national party as in its name would suggest. It has become a state and district party. Or rather the constituency party.”

Such practice is becoming more glaring especially now that it has lost in the previous general election and is no longer confident with public support.

“It will not risk placing outsiders or moving areas,” argued Kadir.

“Everyone wants to compete in his own hometown or is busy looking for a safe seat like the party’s deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan. He wants Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to vacate his Rembau parliamentary seat so that he himself (Mohamad) can contest there.”

On the contrary, Kadir pointed out that leaders of DAP, PKR, PAS and Amanah are daring enough to contest outside their constituencies or even switch constituencies because they are confident of voter support as well as to expand their party’s influence.

A case in point is how Opposition leader and Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has his eyes set on the Tambun parliamentary seat to take on Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu (a.k.a. Peja) who is currently the Bersatu deputy president and the caretaker Youth And Sports Minister.

Recall that the former Perak menteri besar had contested on PKR’s ticket in the previous general election when he toppled former finance minister II Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah and PAS’ Muhamad Zulkifli Mohamad Zakaria with a majority of 5,320 votes.

Apart from Anwar, former PKR information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin is on the verge to give up his ‘safe’ Hang Tuah Jaya parliamentary seat to take on UMNO president and BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the latter’s Bagan Datuk stronghold.

“On the other hand, UMNO which has shown tendency towards parochialism has resorted to cut corners from the lowest to the highest level,” lamented Kadir.

“If the party wants to win more seats, then its president, deputy president and vice presidents as well as the heads of its Women, Youth and Puteri wings should give up their safe seats to candidates who are not very strong while they themselves attempt to seize seats that are currently controlled by opposing parties.” – Oct 25, 2022


Main photo credit: Bernama 

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