Update @ 1226 hrs: Malaysiakini reports that it will be a straight fight after all. And speaking of fights, one actually broke out at the nomination station. Hmmm... what an iJok(e)...
Today is nomination day for the Ijok by-elections and Walski supposes that it's almost confirmed that the main fight will be between BN and PKR.
But wait a minute... what's this?
According to the Malaysiakini report above (subscription required), four other individuals have expressed interest in participating in the by-elections, scheduled for April 28. The same report also states that at least 14 nomination forms have been taken so far.
The official nominationa for the April 28 elections will be carried out today. And so we will find out later if these four (or maybe more) will also submit their nominations. Perhaps a valid question in the minds of many would be "why?".
One reason, as suggested by the article, is to split the vote, and has allegedly been the ploy of many political parties in past elections. Another typical reason would that the independent candidate is not entirely happy with the 'officieal' candidate nominated by the party that he/she supports. Or in the case of K. Loganathan, the party that he used to support.
Loganathan, a former MIC member from Shah Alam, was the first among the independents to announce his intention to contest.
His main reason was that BN has failed to develop Ijok and that he was unhappy with the way MIC was dealing with the problems faced by the Indians in the state constituency.
K Loganathan, a businessman, has been identified as one of the four independents who may join in the fray. The other three are law graduate K. Mutharasu, land broker Ali Mohamed, and an unnamed local businessman.
(more iJok thoughts, in the full post)
The split-vote theory, in this case, would likely apply to Ali Mohamad, who allegedly is entering to split the ethnic Indian vote, in favor of PKR. Ali is a strong DAP supporter, and his intention has not gotten support from the party.
DAP announced yesterday that they would be in full support of PKR cadidate Khalid Ibrahim, who is Selangor state PKR chief, and the party's treasurer. PAS has also indicated that they would support Khalid Ibrahim's effort.
Both PAS and PKR, as you probably recall, had earlier boycotted the Batu Talam by-elections, and there are those in the grassroots who are questioning the decision of PKR to participate, and implicitly, PAS' support for the PKR candidate. An example Walski found recently came from this Harakah reader mail (in Bahasa Malaysia).
Earlier, Baby PAS (the PAS youth wing) had announced that they would boycott the Ijok elections. However, being that the PAS Central Committee has indicated their commitment to support Khalid Ibrahim's ticket, it is likely that the youth wing will silently comply with what Daddy PAS has to say. So far, no official statement has been issued.
In the same article stating their commitment, PAS Deputy President explained that their support for PKR, and PKR's participation in the elections, are based partly on what the party viewed as "a successful message to the Election Commission" through their boycott of Batu Talam. PAS and PKR, during the boycott, had stated several demands, revolving around a more level-ground election laws, and of course, voter roll clean-ups. Although not all their demands were met, PAS felt that it was important to assist PKR in battling BN in Ijok.
Walski had earlier hinted (in not so many words) that PAS and PKR would virtually be committing political suicide if they continued to boycott polls. So, their decision to take part in the Ijok by-elections is quite understandable and predictable.
The results of nomination day will be known in a few hours time. At this point, we can only speculate whether or not it will be a straight fight between BN and PKR, or if any independents will join in the fray. Let's hope that the nomination day exercise goes on without incident. The Machap fracas may not have had a direct effect on BN's chances, being that the candidate there was from MCA. Ijok is a different matter - the BN candidate is from MIC itself.
The last thing anyone wants is for Ijok (elections) to be an iJok(e).
Walski's i-prefix footnote: We have enough products in the market with the ubiquitous i prefix... the butt of enough jokes to last us a few lifetimes. We certainly don't need another one. But then again, laughter, sometimes is the best medicine...