Maybe it was just for kicks or maybe it was a grim reflection of the political weariness experienced by the people since the March 8 general election, which has somewhat opened a Pandora’s box.
Whatever the reasons, there are some Malaysians who feel that an orang utan… Yes, that furry primate, would be best suited for the post of prime minister.
This, argued certain quarters, should hardly come as a surprise since some of the political antics in the nation of late has been nothing short of monkey business.
On the other paw, more Malaysians wanted Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan to helm the country.
Then again, the Indian celluloid star has something which many here don’t, making him more qualified than the average Malaysian for the coveted post – a datukship.
Astonishingly, both orang utan and Shah Rukh Khan, who polled nine and 19 votes respectively, fared better than Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (7 votes), Deputy Minister Mukhriz Mahathir (5) and former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo (4).
The political imbroglio in Perak had clearly eroded the popularity of state ruler Sultan Azlan Shah, who only managed to secure five votes.
Cartoonist Lat had received 42 votes, but at press time, was edged by Singapore’s former premier Lee Kuan Yew by a single vote.
These were the findings of a tongue-in-cheek poll conducted on Loyar Burok – an online legal journal run by Liberal Banter, which was established and owned by a group of lawyers.
Anwar leads the pack
Another unsurprising outcome was that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was leading the pack with 1,178 votes at the time the story was written.
Whereas ousted Perak menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin came in a distant second with 357 votes.
The almost premier, who was within inches of the top post prior to his unceremonious sacking in 1998, defeated a string of heavyweights such as current premier Najib Abdul Razak (29) and former premiers Dr Mahathir Mohamad (52) and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (10).
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin only managed three votes.
The other big names included Umno’s Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (216), then Umno, now PKR’s Zaid Ibrahim (345), MIC president S Samy Vellu (37), MCA president Ong Tee Keat (42), DAP stalwarts Lim Kit Siang (108) and Karpal Singh (65) as well PAS top guns Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (177) and Abdul Hadi Awang (29).
More than 3,700 visitors had voted in the online poll which commenced on April 15, 2009 under the title ‘If you could choose, who would be your PM?’
The site also allowed visitors to include names of their choice, leading to a hilarious compilation consisting of people such as controversial lawyer VK Lingam (16), popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey (2), US President Barrack Obama (13), local crooner David Arumugam (11) and even Jack the Ripper (2).
Also on the list were Mohd Saiful Bukhari (6), who had accused the poll winner of sodomising him, the former first lady of Malaysia Jeanne Abdullah (4) and current first lady Rosmah Mansor, who gave her idol, Shah Rukh Khan, a run for his money with her 15 votes.
Gauge Najib’s leadership
In an email communique to Malaysiakini, Loyar Burok’s Edward Saw said the poll was conceived due to a combination of factors.
“There was concern in the civil society that our system of appointing a prime minister does not allow the rakyat to choose their own PM.
“Rather, the largest political party in the ruling coalition decides for all Malaysians who should be PM.
“Juxtaposed with that, we had the statements by Anwar prior to Sept 16, 2008, stating that he would be taking over the federal government,” he said.
“In addition, there was an unprecedented amount of calls by various parties that the Yang di Pertuan Agong should not appoint Najib as the next PM,” he added.
As such, Saw said, it was thought that Loyar Burok should gauge readers’ sentiments on Najib’s leadership.