Pakatan Rakyat’s pledge to bring in a vital mix of old and new candidates is starting to favour old candidates — as in, very old candidates.
While Najib Razak steams ahead as he connects with the Twitter generation and replaces dead wood with younger winnable candidates, Pakatan seems to be going in the other direction, favouring Oldies.
As reported at The Choice, Pakatan Rakyat has been courting former Information Minister and Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, who claims to have quit Umno over corruption everywhere but in his seat and whose career had, completely coincidentally, stalled years before. Hardly a fresh face, Abdul Kadir.
Kadir recently appeared at a PAS ceramah, and the rumour is that he will join PAS shortly. For those who are not familiar with Kedah’s local politics, for years, PAS has accused Kadir of graft and corruption, pointing to his house in Baling as proof, and calling it a palace. Now that they are wooing him, they appear to have forgotten about the gazebos, ponds, and expensive stonework.
That is just as well, as Kadir apparently forgot about it as well when he claimed that there was no proof that he was living lavishly, just before he left Umno.
Umno will likely have a wonderful time with Kadir, whose eccentricities were charming before his apparent tendency to be a climber manifested itself. It is unknown whether Kadir will stand in GE13 — and he assures everyone that he isn’t joining a political party right now, just going to Pakatan ceramah, meeting with PAS leaders, and encouraging rumours of joining a political party.
But his mere appearance at PAS ceramah is problematic for the party. Kedah Umno will delight in asking Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, who enjoys a reputation for clean governance, whether Kadir’s istana — his palace — will now be repainted in green and gold.
It is a bit of a puzzle why the Opposition pact keeps promoting in the public eye these worn down, has-been and very old figures. Pakatan Rakyat has lost support since GE12, and its only hope of expanding its vote share in GE13 is to convince the rakyat that it has learned from the last five years, and is putting forth new faces.
This is the essence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s election strategy, which favours new blood over old, young over old, connected over distracted. Najib is trying to connect and offer a direct and immediate response to the rakyat’s demand for meaningful and substantive reform. It is happening.
The Opposition seems stuck in an older generation, perhaps because the average age of Lim Kit Siang and Nik Aziz and Hadi Awang and Karpal Singh and Anwar Ibrahim is much higher than Najib Razak and his new generation of winnable candidates
The time to realise that the world has changed is fast approaching for PAS and DAP and PKR. They are no longer the young reformers, but rather the more conservative older generation of leaders. And they seem to be recruiting Oldies from Umno in an erratic and inefficient manner.