Tony Pua headed a listed company in Singapore before he was head-hunted to join DAP. I am sure he knew what he was getting into, the expected trials and tribulations expected of an opposition politician. He was one among many rookies who were elected the first time they stood in the last general election. He made his mark as one of a select number in DAP's think tank contributing to the unexpected success in that election. Since then, he is best known as the spokesman spearheading Selangor government's attempt at undoing the excesses of the previous BN state administration, especially the lop-sided agreements involving water concessions; and nationally, in working out why the federal government should buy out Plus, the concessionaire for North-South Expressway which has been causing untold hardships: either to motorists in the form of increasing toll rates or to taxpayers in the form of compensations to Plus in lieu. What a mess our government got us into by way of their 'win-win' formula! Well, win-win to certain connected organizations and individuals but lose-lose to the people.
On the other hand, Khairy parachuted into Umno, well before he became a paratrooper, and was best known as the famous Son-in-law of the PM then, Pak Lah. He wasted no time in enriching himself, being in the thick of things in the well known Fourth Floor, the pulse of the sleepy PM. With influence, he managed the almost impossible – that of a small bank taking over a bigger bank. He was able to run up traffic summons running into thousands of ringgit before someone spilled the beans. Most people wondered whether he paid them himself or someone paid for him, or possibly even written off, such was the public's perception of his influence.
On the other hand, Tony Pua slogged through voluminous reports to work out schemes to benefit the people, to try and undo lop-sided contracts signed by BN politicians with vested interests. To my mind, Khairy did not have to work so hard in Umno, he just has to be a rabblerouser to get Umno youths to demonstrate with or without permits in their so-called defence of Ketuanan Melayu, without having to fear water canons or arrest.
On the other hand, Tony had been arrested a number of times in the company of demonstrators. He has to be extra careful in his criticisms and has to be sure of his facts because he is liable to be sued by those affected by his efforts. Being a DAP MP, he is not supposed to benefit himself in anything, unlike those in the ruling parties, yet he is constantly under threat of legal suits, and even death threats with live bullets.
The choice each made was a world apart. Who deserves more of our respect?