Under the stereotype gaze as entities sponsored from behind the 13 independent candidates press on at the Bkt Selambau by-election-despite the passing of the 72 hours deadline to allow them to leave the race while retaining their RM3000.00 Council deposit, but not the Rm5000.00 candidate deposit.
While it is most likely that some of the candidates are out to fish for some quick returns to their `investments’ it is not necessarily the case that only major parties can win in a by-election. The victory by previous independent candidate Arumugam must have provided strong inspirations to all the indepndents in Bkt Selambau!
But in a democracy Independents are a common phenomenon and they do play a role in many countries.
In Bkt Selamabu there are some independents who projected some interesting messages eg anti-frogging, while others portrayed rather negative `demi bangsa, agama dan negara’ type of narrowmindedness. The existence of these choices perhaps make voters think better what they should choose. Mainstream candidates will be pressured to adjust their platforms to cater for constituencies which their original platforms have not considered as important enough.
So major party candidates should be careful not to dismiss all independents as `puppets’ by someone else-though there are really some puppets around. It can be libelous as much as it can be arrogant!