The ultimate sacrifice!


I was not surprised by Dr Koh Tsu Koon’s announcement that he will not contest the next election. Contrary to his view, I do not see this as a sacrifice – not to mention ‘ultimate sacrifice’ – but rather as a political reality that confronts him.

In fact, at this stage, he has only the following three options:

1. Do not stand in the next GE and thus slowly pace himself out of active politics

2. Go to contest a parliamentary seat as head of a component party . But looking at the 12 Gerakan parliamentary seats, his chances of winning is slim except perhaps standing in Simpang Rengam in Johore . But if he goes down to Simpang Renggam, a ‘safe’ seat compared to the 11 others, he would have dealt the party image and morale , already low after 308, a killer punch. It would be viewed as placing his own personal interest above party to run away from hard battles and go to a safe seat.

As Gerakan State chairman of Wilayah, he may be able to stand in one of the three Gerakan seats in KL ( Batu, Segambut or Kepong), but looking at the sentiments of urban voters here, his chances of winning is slim.

3. He can of course go back and stand against his nemesis, Lim Guan Eng. This move would actually lift the morale of the Gerakan members and would in a sense help Gerakan candidates standing in other areas. This would in a way erase the ‘backdoor’ minister image as well as prove that he is not the brand of seedless durian that some people have labeled him. His chances of winning in Penang, where his reputation has taken a beating, is almost nil but in taking on Lim Guan Eng, he may help lift the sagging image of the party. This I would actually term it as the ‘ultimate sacrifice’.

But knowing the type of ‘gentleman’ personality that he is, I have long predicted to friends and analysts that he would probably choose the number one option. After all, it is just not in his character to fight such a battle, and furthermore he has already been chief minister for 18 years and a minister for 2. There is no more heights for him to scale, so to speak.

This announcement will be the first step for him to go out of the political scene, for the party election which was supposed to be held this year would have to be held in the next 15 months. So in the mean time , he would be the transitional president till the next party election.

He is supposed to name the Gerakan candidate for Penang BN chair today. In reality, whoever takes over as BN chairman has a mammoth task of taking on Lim Guan Eng and Co.

In the next General election, the chances of BN winning back Penang is very slim given the prevailing sentiments. This is not helped by the fact that a few international media houses have published articles praising the present Penang administration.

To change horse at this 11th hour may be a little too late. However, to those people vying to be BN Penang Chairman, which would enhance the person’s claim to Penang Chief ministership in the very unlikely event that BN wins, this is a chance that none of them want to let pass.

Thus there is intense lobbying to be the next BN chairman. Even comrades can become foes. It actually gives a feeling of déjà vu; in the run-up to the last General Election, a few of the eligible candidates were openly fighting -and in the process destroying whatever chance there was for Gerakan– for the Chief Ministership even before Gerakan had gone into battle.

In my opinion, whoever is now chosen to be Penang BN chairman would have too little time to manuever, and Penangites have more or less make up their minds to give LGE & Co another term.

It would indeed take a miracle to change this.

(This article is also posted in Malaysian Insider side view coloumn here).


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 14:12:14

    I was waiting for Koh Tsu Koon to cut his stomach. Obviously. he do not have the guts. What kind of sacrifice is he offering by not standing for election. His chance of being elected is nil. This is just saying the obvious. Gerakan members must be disgusted with him.


  2. Phua Kai Lit
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 14:27:01

    As the English saying goes “making a virtue of necessity” !


  3. CYC
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 16:29:57

    Once again, he is killing Gelakan softly and portraits himself as a naive politician by uttering those foolish word. Obviously he is he doing a 2nd time of being indecisive or “bohood” to stand up against the big brother’s oppression just like pre 308. The one feeling most disgusted now will be the saliva king.


  4. klm
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 17:32:26

    You know. This is really “Boh Hood”.


  5. Hua K.T
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 15:50:29

    This KTK has no balls at all. I can’t find a single word for him. Shame shame.
    And he still wants to hang around Big Brother’s door steps hoping to get some
    left over.


  6. CYC
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 16:46:06

    If the Chinese community still regard him as the epitome of a exemplary Chinese scholar, something must be very wrong. 知耻近乎勇, doesn’t he understand this?


  7. Jong
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 23:57:47

    Most of us would have been kinder had he kept to his words not to accept any federal posting soon after being rejected by Penangites and take full responsibility for losing the island state to Pakatan but, he turned around accepted the Backdoor Minister post to work under the UMNO chieftian instead!

    He should have then quietly disappear from politics soon after that disgraceful defeat – that would have lessen people’s resentment and more face-saving for him.

    And OMG, this putz is using the wrong head to think, still hanging on for what?
    He’s finished.


  8. cilipadi
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 08:06:16

    As if he can win if contest
    This is how Umno and BN politicians see ‘sacrifice’ as
    He knows he can’t win, that’s why he sacrifices
    To give others chance to contest
    Looks like we need to redefined what ‘sacrifice’ means in Oxford dictionary

    KTK makan cili, Bohood rasa pedas


  9. Dr Hsu
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 09:12:54

    i think in this contest, sacrifice means to give up the minister position and all ther perks and trappings attached to it. He should consider himself lucky to have been given a ministership via back door, and in the process, can get extra pesion from both the minister post as well as senatorship.


  10. Jong
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 11:39:21

    Yes, you are spot on Dr Hsu! it’s all about self-interest and deep pocket consideration for him huh! It was so obvious and we all knew it too well he has always been umno’s proxy during his 18-year tenure as Gerakan’s top man in Penang. Even now we see how pathetic he has become, nodding his head non-stop each time the umno chieftian speaks.

    This shameless guy has lost all credibility and respect. He’s finished politically!


  11. Nancy YSL
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 13:31:07

    Irrespective whether that thick face, opportunist so called Gerakan leader stay or go. It doesnt make a diff. Anyone who succeed him will be no better, guarantee to be worst. I have said upmteen times that GERAKAN/MCA/MIC/PPP etc….have all became irrelevant to their respective communities since 0308. Yet these present bunch leaders including those up and coming future leader are still behave like “dead chicken frantically kicking the rice bowl cover” scenario. Just take a look at this up and coming Gerakan exemplary specimen who is a “dogtor Thor” will tell you. Come GE13, rakyat must do our poor country a great favor to kick all these politicians once and for all.


  12. sonny
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 16:15:45

    It’s high time for you to call it a day. Have a good rest since you have plenty of monies to spend and no more worries to carry in future.
    After almost 2 decades as CM, what else more do you want, Relax lah


  13. Jong
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 11:03:56

    So the latest is defiant Koh vows not to bow out?
    By clinging on to dear life he obviously does not around him. It’s written all over his forehead – he is not giving way to any one of them!

    This, much to the disgust of Gerakan VP and Member of Parliament Tan Lian Hoe who chided this political bankrupt in full view of the media at the recent Gerakan National Delegate Conference in October 2011.
    Tan Lian Hoe known for her patience, called on him to buck up or step down, short of saying, …just get lost lah! Wow she sure created sparks, this was truly ‘Boh Been’ for this “Boh-Hud”!

    But in true ‘BN hypocritic diplomacy’ in the name of “unity”, she was pressured to U-turn in effort to mend ties, came out with a statement a day later – “No matter whatever decision is taken by our president, I will support it” ! Sigh.


  14. Jong
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 11:06:28

    ooops, sorry should read..

    “By clinging on to dear life he obviously does not trust anyone around him.”


  15. klm
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 20:02:38

    What sacrifice? He is staying on as President and with that the belakang mari minister. His motive is so clear. No need to degrade himself in the election and still be minister.


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