Malaysiakini : COMMENT | So PKR leader Latheefa Koya is now the villain because of a
couple of her statements. The first when she publicly disagreed with
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and reminded everyone that the court of public
opinion is not enough to convict former premier Najib Abdul Razak and that no politician should be encouraging such a perception.
The second was when she called a child donating money to Tabung Harapan a gimmick. Well, folks, she is right on both counts. Tabung Harapan - a fund
which so far has no oversight except that it is controlled by a
political coalition - is a politically-charged fund no matter its
A child who donates to the fund has been contextualised as someone
who has reduced the national debt as opposed to the former prime
minister, which says a lot about the narrative developed by Pakatan
Harapan. In other words, his act has become politicised and because
everyone hates Najib, it is easy to make such statements. People either applaud or can’t be bothered to face the online opprobrium expected for dissenting against these types of tactics.
This kid is lucky. Partisan politics in Malaysia is not like it is in
some Western democracies. If this were to happen in the US for
instance, this kid’s life would have been torn apart with his detractors
combing through his life hoping to spin his action as part of a larger
partisan political narrative.
There would be articles which view his act as partisan posturing and
he and his family would be vilified. This is why it is never a good
thing for politicians to use kids in their narratives. Latheefa is right when she said the whole thing is exploitative but,
of course, you wouldn’t get that from the expected online abuse she
Besides the usual allegations of having Umno DNA, a political
operative from DAP sent me a sampling (which disgusted her) of abuse
including comments that questioned if Lathheefa was menopausal, a bitter
hag or part of an elaborate PKR plot to destabilise Harapan. All this
from people who are supposed to be defending the noble actions of a kid.
Hannah Yeoh said at first she refused
to accept the piggy bank but then relented. Her first instinct was the
correct one. She should have just told this young man that the money
would better serve the community he interacts with, his school,
charitable organisations around his neighbourhood and that sort of thing
instead of using this occasion to spread the Kool-Aid.