Thursday, August 21, 2008


M. Bakri Musa

Before last March 2008 elections, I urged Kepala Batas voters to perform a great national service by booting out Prime Minister Abdullah. That would have triggered a seismic shift in UMNO’s leadership. With its ban on contesting top posts effectively circumvented, the party would get to preview other potential candidates.

If Kepala Batas voters were to shy away from exercising that historic opportunity, I suggested that Malaysians could still teach Abdullah a lesson by substantially reducing his coalition’s victory. That would also trigger a challenge to his leadership, and we would have the same effect as with the first scenario.

Alas, Malaysians did teach Abdullah a hard lesson, but not hard enough. Besides, being a slow learner, Abdullah did not get the message. Now voters in Permatang Pauh, practically next door, will get a chance to deal Abdullah a third and final knock-out blow, one he would surely get.

This upcoming by-election will be more than just electing the area’s representative to Parliament. Permatang Pauh voters will get the unique opportunity to decide on behalf of entire Malaysia on who will lead our nation. It is as much an opportunity to vote for Anwar Ibrahim as it is against Abdullah Badawi, and to vote for Malaysia’s future – on whether she would progress to join the developed world or continue its present path to join the likes of Zimbabwe .


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