Pakatan’s online spat over Deepavali bazzar causes uneasiness

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Oct 21, 2015: Judging from the recent online spat between leaders of Pakatan Harapan (PH), it was evident that their intra-coalition unity was not all hunky-dory.

The online squabble on Twitter was triggered when DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament Tony Pua was allegedly “harassed and heckled” by individuals claimed to be thugs from PKR.

It started when Pua, along with another DAP personality, Kampung Tunku  assemblyman Lau Weng San insisted for a group of Deepavali bazaar traders to relocate their stalls from Sungei Way to a new location next to the nearby Easwari Temple.

Pua and Lau were of the opinion that the relocation of the stalls was necessary to stop  “gangsters and disgraceful thugs” from extorting traders at the original site.

However, the traders were not happy with Pua and Lau and had strongly opposed them.

The traders claimed that the proposed relocation of their stalls would jeopardise their earnings.

In fact, the alleged gangsters mentioned by Pua turned out to be several PKR division leaders and they had lodged a police report after Pua failed to back his accusations with concrete evidence.

Following this, PKR’s  Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah took a swipe at Pua’s “unsubstantiated serious allegations.”

In his official statement, Sivarasa urged Pua to focus on “critical national issues instead of dealing with mundane issues” such as the relocation of a Deepavali bazaar

In response to Sivarasa’s statement, Pua hit back by insisting that no one, regardless of which political parties should be given any preferential treatment.

“We can forget about ever replacing Barisan Nasional if we practise cronyism and thuggish politics just like them,” said Pua in his statement.

Several DAP and PKR leaders then joined the fray.

DAP’s Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng tweeted: “Yes, @SivarasaRasiah is childish. @tonypua and I choose to forgive him and all his cronies.”

In response to Lip Eng’s tweet, PKR senior central working committee member Latheefa Koya replied: “@limlipeng don’t behave like a thug! Why do you bully small-time Deepavali traders but tolerate long term illegals in SS2, Seapark etc?”

The tirade only subsided on Sunday when Sivarasa via his twitter account conceded that the entire episode was “quite unnecessary.”

“We should fix the problem. Umno/BN is our enemy, not one another,” he tweeted.

However, many Malaysians expressed their displeasure over the “childish” conducts of the DAP and PKR leaders over the matter.

The general sentiment shared amongst netizen is that it was unnecessary for the opposition leaders to publicly bicker against another as it would only make them “look stupid.”

Ahmad Zaki Yamani tweeted to Lip Eng, Latheefa, Pua and Sivarasa: “Why can’t you all meet up and discuss properly. Not via Twitter.”

Facebook user Abdul Jabbar Ismail: “They can fight and argue. But why can’t they fight over phone call or in closed door?

“I think any coalition must have fights but please use common sense not to fight in public domain,” he wrote

Hanif Kamaruddin: “Now big mouth Tony’s list of insults expands from Singapore’s ambassador to his own coalition partner. This guy just doesn’t know when to shut up.”

Lynda Wms: “DAP acting the taiko (boss), telling other party leaders what to do. It is obvious that Pakatan remain in name only minus the spirit of camaraderie.

“I don’t see how the rakyat can trust these group of power crazy people so blindly,” she wrote.

Harun Mohd: “They are arguing over a Deepavali bazaar? How on earth will they be able to manage the country?”

Dai Suk: “Tony Pua have to be in the limelight for his political survival. He cannot be forgotten. Doesn’t matter whether it is BN or Pakatan, as long as the media has his name on it he is happy.”

The quarrel was also highlighted by several social political bloggers, including prominent journalist blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan.

Via his latest blog posting in Rocky’s Bru, Ahirudin blogged that not only has Sivarasa has been charged for sedition, he now faces accusations of “cronyism and thuggery” from so-called comrade in DAP.

“YB Sivarasa shouldn’t let these name-calling get him down, though. Dr Mahathir Mohamad was accused of cronyism by Anwar Ibrahim. Look where they are today!” he wrote.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.