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Monday, October 17, 2011

What can Tsu Koon 'sacifice' after living off taxpayers for decades?

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:34 AM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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The stakes were indeed high for Gerakan Women's chief Tan Lian Hoe when she decided to make a stand against the party president, Koh Tsu Koon. He was weak, she denounced, essentially calling for Koh Tsu Koon to step down.
24 hours later she was reversing herself, declaring her ‘loyalty’ to Koh, and promising to abide by any decision he makes. It was certainly a strange about turn. Most residents of Penang could have told Tan that Koh was weak. Most residents of Penang made their views clear in March 2008 that they had had enough of Koh.

Party politicking
In fact, Tan’s humiliating withdrawal of her statement is symptomatic of the party politicking within the ruling Barisan Nasional’s component parties. In this particular case, according to party sources, most of Tan’s peers agreed that Koh Tsu Koon was a weak, vacillating and lackluster leader.
Certainly it would not help Gerakan in the General Elections to have Koh leading them. However, they did not want Tan becoming a hero by being the one to oust Koh.
So, she was left on her own without support and forced to make a largely hypocritical speech reversing herself today. It is unlikely she could have so drastically changed her mind, overnight.
Face-saving exit
Another source claims that a deal was made where Koh would not stand for elections but Tan Lian Hoe had to retract her statements to preserve ‘party unity’ and to give Koh a ‘face-saving’ exit. Koh appeared to lend credence to this by offering to ‘sacrifice’ himself for the party.
It is not clear what exactly he is supposed to be sacrificing, considering that he has been living off the struggling Penang taxpayer for decades; and to no particular effect.
Not that it makes much difference to Gerakan, a party that is bound to be completely obliterated in the next General Election. The reason that the Gerakan, and several other BN component parties, like the MIC and SUPP, will be wiped out is precisely because their parties do not reflect the people’s wishes.
Blundering on
The few people who still care what happens to Gerakan want Koh gone; but party politics prevents it. The Indians wanted Samy Velu gone in 2008 but MIC party politics kept him in power and the MIC paid the price. The MIC has never recovered from the beating it suffered in 2008. And Samy Velu yet holds the levers of power in the MIC, operating not so stealthily from the background.
So the BN blunders on, cut off for the most part from the aspirations of the people, and where they see the writing on the wall, unable to do the necessary because of party or personality politics. For those who grow tired of reading about barely relevant entities like the Gerakan, they may take comfort in the fact that they won’t have to after the next election.

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