Year 2008 shall be fondly remembered as the year that the nation was surprised by a political tsunami, in which the opposition coalition, then known as Pakatan Rakyat wrested a substantial amount of parliamentary seats from the ruling government.
When the by-elections for the Hulu Selangor Parliamentary seat was called in the year 2010, pundits were predicting a walkover win for the opposition coalition given the wave of popularity the opposition were enjoying at the time. It was a “David vs Goliath” battle, with the opposition fielding heavyweight ex de facto law Minister Zaid Ibrahim while Barisan Nasional opted for a relatively unknown candidate at that time : P Kamalanathan.
Against all odds, and to the surprise of many, P Kamalanathan emerged triumphant defeating Zaid Ibrahim with a 1725 majority. While the constituents in Hulu Selangor were relishing in this victory, doubters from the opposing camp were lamenting that their loss were a result of the strength of the election machinery that the government were privileged to.
Then came the general elections which many labeled as “The Mother of All Elections”. Now, it was every candidate to himself as both divide enjoyed equal strength in election machinery. Pakatan Rakyat were neck in neck in terms of strength and probably stronger in the state of Selangor as they were the ruling party of the state. Yet again in Hulu Selangor, P Kamalanathan emerged victorious, but now with a better majority of 3414 , doubling his previous majority. News is a buzz that, in the coming elections which is around the corner, P Kamalanthan is predicted to even better his previous majority, what with the popularity he is enjoying in Hulu Selangor. Now the question is, what do the people in Hulu Selangor see that we have missed out on?
Did they realize that P Kamalanathan, despite enjoying the stature of a Deputy Minister remains very humble and grounded? It is not an uncommon sight to see him driving and attending to people himself without a huge entourage of officers trailing behind him.
Did they realize that P Kamalanathan enjoys a huge following among college and university students, as well as young undergraduates due to his intellectual ideas and approach which seems very appealing to them?
Did they realize that the Prime Minister entrusted him with an important portfolio in the cabinet in recognition to his credentials and that he has been exceeding expectations with all that he is tasked with within that position?
Did they realize that he owned up to accusations thrown towards him on social media and subsequently stepped up to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commissions to lodge an official complain, only to realize that the accusers went AWOL and deleted their entire facebook page?
Did they realize that being a person who preaches and practices at the highest level of integrity, P Kamalanathan had instructed all tamil school funding to be channeled directly to the respective school management boards (LPS) without resorting to any intermediaries?
Did they realize that the opposition representatives in the parliament often singles him out for attacks because he is seen as the main pillar of delivery for school development? No one can blame Pakatan Harapan’s MP’s for targeting P Kamalanathan as it is only natural for a political faction to strike at the strongest players in the opposing faction.
Did they realize that P Kamalanathan did not enforce the Dual Language Programme (DLP) in schools but instead gave parents the choice through their Parents-Teachers Association (PIBG) to adopt or deny the programme in their respective schools?
Did they realize that he manages over 420,000 teachers and that if one disgruntled teacher throws a shoe at a student, P Kamalanathan cannot be held accountable for that incident? Necessary actions were already taken on the teacher in accordance to the standard operating procedures outlined by the Ministry of Education.
They probably saw more than what was mentioned above as affection and adoration towards P Kamalanathan continues to grow exponentially in Hulu Selangor. If all what that they have come to see in him which we have failed to see is true, then it’s only fair for us to judge P Kamalanathan only after knowing the real him.
By : Visraaje Subramaniam
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