Anwar as Port Dickson MP

September 20, 2018

 Anwar  as Port Dickson MP

Opinion  |

COMMENT | If Anwar Ibrahim does make the cut, invariably, as the Member of Parliament of Port Dickson, perhaps something akin to a healthy rivalry with Langkawi island MP Dr Mahathir Mohammad will be immediately triggered.

Key government events should be held in Langkawi, either to brainstorm on the revival of Malaysia, or, the various ministries. Such events are bound to catch on in Port Dickson, too, which is just a short distance away from Putrajaya.

Image result for Langkawi

Indeed, high-end hotels, over the last 15 years, have also sprung up on Langkawi island (pic above), including the globally renowned Four Seasons. From time to time, it is not rare to see Indian families touring in huge numbers in Langkawi, too, often booking all their suites and rooms at one go.

Although Langkawi has also catered to the tourists of Scandinavia and Germany, who can often be seen basking in the sun, no discernible (foreign) presence has been seen at Port Dickson’s beaches as yet.

Image result for Port Dickson

Port Dickson Chalets

This is where Port Dickson has to stand out. Making its seas and shorelines pristine would make Port Dickson an ideal destination for families and international group tours beyond what has generally been provided to Malaysians.

If Anwar Ibrahim does somehow attract more Chinese to the beach town, the facilities in Port Dickson would have to be significantly scaled up – without which, the residents of Port Dickson would be looking at immense traffic bottlenecks and congestion.

Such negative externalities of tourism cannot be ruled completely. Polluted air, crowded bazaars, shortage of proper food and medical facilities, too, can all be a turn off to well-heeled Malaysian tourists.

In fact, without an iconic landmark, Port Dickson would be at a disadvantage, compared to Langkawi island. Langkawi, for example, hosts one of the longest cable cars in Southeast Asia that allows thousands of tourists to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the whole island.

Port Dickson, being flatter, is only known for its small-town feel and delicious local food. Perhaps a high tower should be built that would permit Port Dickson visitors to peer into the Straits of Malacca, and the thousands of ships that pass through it. It would seem that such a service should be introduced, in order to allow Malaysians to take a peek into what goes on in one of the busiest straits in the world.

The depths of the quays in Port Dickson should be constantly dredged and deepened, to allow bigger ships and vessels to berth, ideally ships that can ferry passengers across to Sumatera, Indonesia, which is just across the shores of Malaysia.

Image result for mahathir vs anwar ibrahim

To be sure, friendly ecological themes have to be worked into the grand schemes for all arrangements. Otherwise, a tourism scheme that is merely heavy on sheer human traffic alone is bound to create many side effects, beyond overcrowding, noise pollution, and inadequate waste disposal.

Either way, it is first time in the history of Malaysia that a reigning Prime Minister is an MP of a touristy constituency, indeed a tax-free zone to boot, which is Langkawi island. Should Anwar win the Port Dickson seat, the eighth prime minister of Malaysia would have to transform Port Dickson into a major township.

Port Klang was previously known as Port Swettenham, in recognition of the tenure of Resident Frank Swettenham in the 19th century. Over the years, Port Klang has morphed into a seafood attraction and high-density port.

No one knows if Port Dickson can become the hub of “bunkering,” a business that caters to refueling the ships and vessels that traverse through the Straits of Malacca.

If it does, this is an economic sector that is worth no less than US$1 billion a year. At least that is the current size of the bunkering business in Singapore, an idea that was ironically coined by Dr Mahathir previously.

It would help if Anwar Ibrahim could come up with such an industry-relevant solution, beyond merely looking to boost tourist numbers in Port Dickson.

PHAR KIM BENG was a multiple award-winning Head Teaching Fellow on China and Cultural Revolution in Harvard University.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

4 thoughts on “Anwar as Port Dickson MP

  1. This is from Dr Hsu Dar Ren’s blog. As usual, Dr Hsu writes sensibly :

    “We don’t need to have a PM inside the government and another guy acting as one outside the government

    In the past few general elections, I have been advocating change and have been very supportive of the then opposition alliance , held together by the De facto leader. In my blog posts then, I had said many times that without him, there would not be a Pakatan to oppose BN.

    I am also very impressed that he can forget about the past and join hand with his former nemesis DrM to fight the previous kleptocratic government. In fact, this must be one of his wisest decisions ever made, since without the charismatic and indefatigable DrM, PH would not be able to win, let alone winning so convincingly. Without DrM’s adroit maneuvering on the night of the election, I don’t think the change of government could have proceeded so smoothly. I also believe that had PH be helmed by any other person, UMNO would not have given up so easily and those in charge would not have given up without resorting to other ‘tricks’, so to speak.

    But after Dr M was sworn in, many happenings have led me wonder whether the old wayang kulit master of the 90s is back. There are many instances to let me think so, and to list some here:

    1. On the second day of forming the new government, Rafizi was quoted to question why DrM bulldozed the cabinet appointments. The word ‘bulldozing’ makes the new PM look like a dictator. Is Rafizi just a proxy or is he voicing out in his own personal capacity?

    If his intention is to make Dr M look bad, it has the opposite effect. The general consensus is that it made Rafizi look bad.

    Even if we need the freedom of criticizing government, why do it at such an early stage when The whole nation was still in an euphoric mood. There is also the so called internal channel which he could have utilized, given his position as a senior leader of PKR.

    Then again towards the end of May, the same Rafizi was reported to say that Dr M was not the main factor for PH to win GE 14, citing a survey. Why he needed to say this when the general consensus was that without Dr M, PH would not have won nor formed the government? It really gives an impression that someone is trying to belittle Dr M, and if so, why? Is it because if they can show that Dr M is not the deciding factor, then PKR with its largest number of elected MPs in PH would have the biggest say in deciding cabinet appointments as well as those in the PH administered state governments.

    2. Dr M’s appointment of Azmin as the minister in charge of economic affairs, despite the fact that Azmin was already sworn in as Selangor MB on presumably PKR’s recommendation to the Sultan. I wonder whether there was any discussion on this? Or is there some truth to the suggestions on social media that Dr M is using Azmin to balance the influence of the de facto leader? I am curious too whether azmin’s appointment as MB was discussed by the top echelon of PH?

    3. Then the appointment of the new MB of Selangor. It was earlier reported that Dr Idris was one of the names nominated as MB , but it was Amirudin who was sworn in as the new MB. It should be a non matter but for the fact that Dr Idris claimed in a PC that Amirudin was not the one endorsed by PH. Dr Idris was also the name announced by Dr Wan Azizah a few days ago. What happened during the last few days? Note that now both DSAI and wife said they supported Amirudin; what else can they say if they want to portray to the public that ‘ all is well and under control’ . As a person who was in politics before, I believe that this incident shows that there are really strong undercurrents beneath the surface calm in PKR.

    4. DSAI has been acting as if he is a senior member of the administration (at least that is the impression I get) by holding meetings and saying so many things to the press since his pardon. Just yesterday, it was reported that he urged the Finance minister not to publicly expose the scandals of the previous administration because he claimed that it can affect investor sentiments.

    Its strange that he needed to publicly say this. He has been advocating a new Malaysia with transparency. This type of exposure is transparency and will also act as a deterrent. Furthermore, why can’t he call the Finance minister and give the advice over phone? Both have been cooperating since the days of Pakatan Rakyat. Why the need to do this publicly? It gives a perception that the PM in waiting is reprimanding a senior minister publicly. At the very least, it gives an impression of him trying to belittle the FM. The finance minister has now publicly replied that he was asked to do so by Dr M, the present PM. One wonders why are there no channels of communication among the PM and PM in waiting, especially when the wife of the latter sits in the cabinet as the second in command.

    In my humble opinion, I think the De facto leader should try to adopt a lower profile, because that was the impression many of us had when he indicated upon his release that he is going to take a rest, go overseas for awhile before considering a return to parliament.

    I hope he truly learns his lessons and be more patient. Let Dr M and his chosen team have a free rein to tackle the difficult tasks they are facing, without interruption or so called advice from PM in waiting. If he really wants to give advice, do it via PH leadership council, or better still, through his wife who is the DPM.. he could also meet up with Dr M to give his input, since he has allegedly forgiven DrM.

    We don’t need to have a PM inside the government and another guy acting as one outside the government.

    Remember the Chinese proverb: there cannot be two tigers sharing the same mountain”.

  2. This man exceeded the craze for power and I believe he would be mad man running the country ‘if’ and ‘when’ Tun handed over the power. Hopefully this doesn’t happen because Anwar thinks too much of himself which can lead to many problems and we pray for Tun to live longer to have his objectives achieved when he gets two third majority in parliament. Without Tun, would we have seen the New Era after the tyranny rule of UMNO for almost 5 decades? So Anwar is becoming impatient to grab the power from the man who penetrated the Malay heartland seeking for votes. In GE12 and GE13, none of the opposition guys could reach the interior parts of Malay peninsular asking for votes.

    If Anwar, he would have had his the other EYE turned black by UMNO thugs. It is the respect that had won the hearts of people from Tun. I would like to reiterate that without Tun Mahathir, there was no NEW DAWN after the May 9 polls. Anwar could be building castles in the prison.

    Well said because animals have better sense than human beings when they are given food and shelter. They can be so faithful to the master.

  3. A PRIME Minister of a multiracial nation should have pan national following. It is up to the person concerned to work towards that objective.

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