Can't UMNO/BN find a 'cleaner candidate' than Rohaizat Othman for the Permatang Pasir by-election? Or is Rohaizat the best among the worse? In consideration of his past tarnished record as a lawyer, Rohaizat's nomination as UMNO/BN's candidate is indeed troubling. He is reported to have misappropriated money belonging to Koperasi Pekebun Getah amounting to RM140,000, and for this he was struck of the rolls of the Malaysian Bar. But UMNO/BN thinks differently; that such an offence is trivial and mind you, the offence is one of criminal breach of trust. I wonder why was he not charged in court, or was it because he had returned the money and hence pardoned for the offence?
It is troubling indeed because UMNO/BN seems to think that the offence that Rohaizat had committed can just be ignored. But one has to remember that we are looking at a leader in the making, and if despite his tarnished past, fits in the bill of a leader, than I say that Rohaizat's nomination is wrong. I seriously do not know what are the criterion or traits used by UMNO to elect a leader, but certainly Rohaizat's offence smacks off dishonesty and a lack of personal integrity. And little wonder UMNO has found it difficult to eradicate money politics cum corruption in the previous party elections, where we even saw those leaders who were found guilty of money politics were still appointed leaders; tarnished leaders to be more appropriate.
I am quite sure Rohaizat will be a target of ridicule by the opposition during the campaigning and there is nothing that UMNO/BN can do to deflect such ridiculing. And why allow the opposition the opportunity to mock and ridicule Rohaizat in the first instant? And going by UMNO Youth leader Khairy's criterion that Rohaizat being a local boy, young, educated and experience can draw the young electorates to UMNO/BN and to ensure a win in the by-election is far from the truth and a fallacy. To me, UMNO/BN has not learnt the lessons of the Kuala Trengganu by-elections where they claimed that their candidate was the best choice given his supposedly popularity, youth, educated and experience in government, but yet he lost miserably. Whereas for the opposition, fielding a fish trader during the Manek Urai by-elections can still ensure them a win, though marginally.
The upcoming Permatang Pasir by-election has given UMNO/BN the opportunity to cleanse itself of the perception that the party is filled with corrupt leaders. Fielding Rohaizat will only strengthened the belief that UMNO/BN is indeed corrupt and is unable to eradicate the scourge of corruption.
I do not wish to predict who wins and who losses in the Permatang Pasir by-elections, but suffice for me to say that given its poor choice of a candidate, UMNO/BN will find it difficult to clinch a clear win in this by-election.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION