Sime Darby’s decision to call off its takeover of the government-owned National Heart Institute (IJN) is a stunning victory for People Power.
The rakyat have spoken. Ordinary people, through their vocal opposition to the proposal, have defeated a plan put forward by the largest oil palm plantation firm in the world, which is also one of Malaysia’s most powerful conglomerates.
In a poll on this blog of over 800 respondents, 96 per cent of you were against the takeover, reflecting widespread public opposition to the move.
Sime Darby said its decision was based on the public sentiment and feedback received. In other words, it was forced to back off. If it hadn’t, the takeover plan would have been a major issue in the Kuala Trengganu parliamentary by-election.
This episode shows that the rakyat will not take kindly to any corporation out to make a quick profit by trying to undermine or take over a public institution that is providing an essential service at an affordable price.
It also shows that the rakyat can make a difference when they stand united on an issue of public interest.