Another by-election, another ‘bombshell’ (well, not quite as we already saw it coming). This time in the form of another PKR MP ‘seeing the light’ on the eve of polling for the Tenang by-election.
N Gobalakrishnan, a former MIC Youth secretary general (1993-1999) who joined Keadilan in April 1999, is the sixth PKR MP to quit the party since the 2008 general election. How times have changed. He was detained under the ISA for his role in the reformasi movement. See Aliran – ‘Why has Appa been arrested?’ And in this interview with Aliran after his release, Gobala insisted “Reformasi will never die”:
Reformasi can never die. A person can die, but reformasi will never die because reformation will be talked and talked about every day. Every individual will want to bring about reformation. If there’s a person who says that he doesn’t want to bring about reformation, that means the man is brain-dead… They can put down the organisation, they can put down the gathering of the reformists, but reformation (itself) can never die, and the government can never kill reformation.
When you think about it, how many of the ‘Reformasi 10’ detained under the ISA in 2001 are still interested in reformasi? Apart from Gobala, the others were Tian Chua, Dr Badrul Amin Baharom, Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor, Lokman Noor Adam, Abdul Ghani Haroon, Saari Sungib, Hishamuddin Rais, Raja Petra and Badaruddin Ismail. For those who have now ‘seen the light’, what happened to their reformasi idealism?
And then this clip was from two years ago.
What is the effect on the balance of power in Parliament now?
Umno – 78
MCA – 15
PBB – 14
Others – 30
BN total – 137
Ex-PKR – 5
Ex-Pas – 1
Total BN and BN-friendly independents – 143
PKR – 23*
DAP – 29*
Pas – 23
Total Pakatan – 75*
Other opposition parties
PSM – 1
Sapp – 2
Total opposition – 78*
Independent – ex PKR (Gobala) – 1
Total seats – 222
A total of 148 votes is needed for a two-thirds vote.
* Including suspended MPs
That leaves the BN (plus friendly independents) four or five short of its coveted two-thirds majority.
Do you think this defection will have an impact on Tenang tomorrow and the Merlimau by-election on 6 March?