MP SPEAKS | I am surprised by the outburst of Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa yesterday, when contesting my claim that DAP and Pakatan Harapan will be the underdogs in the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 26, 2019, and that my being trapped in Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama in Ulu Jelai on New Year’s Eve was an indictment of the failures and neglect of the Umno/Barisan Nasional government over the last few decades to uplift the Orang Asli community into the mainstream of national development.
The Orang Asli community have never been able to enjoy access to the most basic necessities that they are entitled to as citizens of Malaysia, whether in medical aid, educational and economic opportunities, basic infrastructure facilities of clean water and electricity, and most important of all to them, land rights.
Annuar was shedding crocodile tears.
If Harapan is in the business of abuse of powers and misuse of government resources, I would not be trapped in Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama on New Year’s Eve, as a helicopter would have been summoned to fly me out of Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama, leaving the Semais to be cut off from the outside world – in an era of information when information travels at the speed of light.
Imagine Najib Abdul Razak, when he was prime minister, being trapped in Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama on New Year’s Eve, completely cut off from the world outside? Unthinkable!
But no helicopter lifted me out of Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama on New Year’s Eve – the most powerful proof that Harapan is not Umno or BN.
In fact, it was only after I was trapped in Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama that I found out that the director-general of the Orang Asli Development Department (Jakoa) for the past seven months is a local Orang Asli from Kuala Koyan, Ajis Sitin.
This illustrates the second major difference between Harapan and BN. In the former during old times, the Jakoa director-general would be required to be part of the visit of a delegation into the Orang Asli interior, and every spot of the visit followed and anticipated.
Was it conceivable that the director-general of Jakoa would have been trapped to spend a night in Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama, completely cut off from the outside world?
In fact, after realising that the director-general of Jakoa is a local Orang Asli from Ulu Jelai, Cameron Highlands, I paid him a courtesy call at the Jakoa headquarters yesterday.
Ajis (photo) told me that the three Orang Asli areas which require the most efforts in upliftment in Peninsular Malaysia are Ulu Perak, Ulu Kelantan and Ulu Jelai, with Ulu Jelai being the most backward of all.
Ajis, once a senior civil engineer at the Public Works Department, served as deputy director-general (development) of Jakoa last October before he became the Jakoa director-general.
A miracle to take place?
I am quite encouraged by Annuar’s outburst over my speech at Kampung Orang Asli Simoi Lama on New Year’s Eve that it would be a “miracle” for the DAP/Harapan candidate to win the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 26, for two reasons.
Firstly, it is an indication that such a “miracle” might happen.
Was Annuar suggesting that Harapan’s victories in four previous by-elections after the 14th general election – Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong state assembly by-elections in Selangor and the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election – were “daylight robberies” by Harapan?
If so, why such a wild allegation had not been made after these four by-elections, but is only being made now by the Umno secretary-general?
Secondly, Annuar was as good as admitting that Umno and BN had been committing “daylight robberies” to overstay in power in Putrajaya, enabling them to continue to be ensconced in power in Putrajaya in total disregard of the democratic principle of “one man, one vote, one value”!
In responding to my statement that it would be a “miracle” if DAP and Harapan win the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 26, Annuar tweeted:
"A miracle? With opposition hands tied, accounts frozen, incumbent disqualified, (Election Commission) chief a political appointee, government machinery at Harapan's disposal, and 'political donations' by the millions… no way (will it be) a miracle, Lim, but it is going to be a daylight robbery!"
Discerning Malaysians can see through the hollowness of Annuar’s arguments, but this was as good as a confession that Umno and BN had been committing “daylight robberies” in the last few decades to overstay in power – as evident by the fact that in the 2013 general election, Umno/BN won only 47.3 percent of the popular vote but secured 60 percent of the parliamentary seats.
Perhaps Annuar should be reminded as to why we are having a by-election in Cameron Highlands – that the BN’s victory for this parliamentary constituency in GE14 was declared null and void by the Election Court, which found that corrupt practices had been committed to induce voters to vote for the BN!
Sivarraajh’s failure to appeal is most incriminating
Election judge Azizah Nawawi ruled that corrupt practices had been proven to have been committed with the knowledge and consent of the Cameron Highlands MP C Sivarraajh (photo), namely giving of money to voters to induce them to vote for BN.
Justice Azizah said: “I am of the considered opinion that the petitioner has established beyond reasonable doubt that bribery was proven, in that money was given to voters either directly by the respondent or indirectly through Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail (Jelai assemblyperson) or Achom (an Orang Asli who acted as an agent for Wan Rosdy) and that the money was given to the voters to induce them to vote (for BN).”
What is most incriminating is Sivarraajh’s failure to appeal against the Election Court’s decision, despite his announcement that he would be appealing against the decision.
Under the circumstances, would Annuar agree that both Sivarraajh and Wan Rosdy, who is the Pahang menteri besar, should be asked to stay away from the Cameron Highlands by-election as both of them have been named as involved in corrupt practice and money politics in GE14?
Finally, I want to warn all DAP/Harapan by-election workers not to be bamboozled by Annuar’s outburst, and never to take things for granted as Cameron Highlands is one of the most invincible Umno/BN parliamentary constituencies in the country.
The GE14 result on May 9, 2018, toppling the Najib government was as good as a political “miracle” that I had not expected. Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said he had not anticipated it either. But Najib was very sure of winning, even recapturing a two-thirds parliamentary majority in GE14.
Let the voters of Cameron Highlands produce an election “miracle” on Jan 26 by ensuring a victory for the DAP/Harapan candidate!
LIM KIT SIANG is the DAP Member of Parliament for Iskandar Puteri.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.