Monday, March 8, 2010
PKR AND PAKATAN IN A MIDSUMMER NIGHTMARE
Tossed into Alice’s Wonderland on 8 March 2008 by a fluke of fate, Anwar’s vehicle for his ride to power has now come loose, becoming a serious liability to its partners two years after the great surprise at the polls that brought in the absurdity.
It’s been departure time for scores of party members the past one month, with former party secretary-general, Salehuddin Hashim, leading the way and in his train three MPs have quit the party, another sacked and several more adrift.
While many from some parts of the world placed much faith in Anwar Ibrahim and the promises he made for reform, the facts say his outfit had been overwhelmed by his secretaries who struggled for influence among themselves, the losers leaving the party to publicly scorn Anwar and his favorites.
There was never a chance for the party to build a base for coherence and cohesion so it can survive the violence of a Punch and Judy puppet show.
The PKR was doomed from birth, riding piggyback on the Pas into the 1990 general elections and coming to an abrupt halt in 2004. It was wiped out at the polls, leaving Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah, as the sole survivor in Parliament, winning as caretaker of Anwar’s parliamentary base, Permatang Pauh in Penang.
The pendulum swung to an extreme in the 8 March 2008 general elections. Seeing Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) were unable to remove Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from the helm, the people moved to vote against Badawi, denying the BN the two-third majority.
With the Opposition only 30 less than the BN in Parliament, Anwar became inspired to apply haste in politics and declared he had enough BN lawmakers willing to cross court and join the Pakatan to form the new government on September 16, 2008 .
It failed and it backfired, Anwar self-bashed to a pulp.
It was impossible for the PKR to recover since. Anwar and the Opposition could only hope for Najib Tun Razak to slump before he could succeed Badawi.
Najib made it. Then he moved swiftly to turn the tables on Anwar and the Pakatan. He recovered the state of Perak and in a series of offensives he left the Pakatan in distress in Selangor and Penang.
In Kedah the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) is often sick and has not delivered anything worth a mention in the two years he has been chief executive.
In Kelantan the stoic old survivor, Nik Aziz Nik Mat, has finally gotten himself linked to a possible set of graft charges involving his son-in-law whom he appointed as the CEO of a state company he chaired himself.
In Penang Lim Guan Eng as Chief Minister has been alleged to have made a regulation giving him the power to withdraw contracts given out by the state or state agency, without having to give any reason for his actions.
In other words, he was said to have taken to himself extraordinary powers for someone demanding accountability and transparency in government.
The opposition has also been showing gross incompetence, lack of experience and silly arrogance. Some could not handle the simple taste of minimal power.
In many places it has been a lark the likes of which we have never seen or heard before – a powershoku that had come in with the 8 March 2008 electoral tsunami bringing to Malaysia a real life staging of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, featuring some who had done nothing more than ferrying mineral water from the shops to the election hot-tents and were amply rewarded for that.
When some councilors at the district and municipal levels were dropped there was the news in several online newspapers that one of these had ingested a weed-killer. The news item was withdrawn many hours later.
The truth is bizarre. The Opposition had been as surprised as anyone else with the 8 March 2008 election results and the PKR and the DAP were not prepared to run state governments and to place selected members as councilors at district and municipal levels.
Why would the DAP and PKR now want town council elections is yet another kinky curio when the DAP’s Magister, Lim Kit Siang, had recently wrote against the proposal, possibly because the party and its strange sidekick, PKR, do not have cadre outfits to fill in the positions with people who know what to do.
Other than the socialists in the PKR, hardly any of the party members had been in touch with farmers’, smallholders’ or fishermen's associations, meaning they have no idea of the tensions faced by these sectors and to exploit the tensions.
The same is partially true for the Pas, which is probably why the party failed to hold the rural electorates in many states.
It would now become pertinent to ask who among the members of the PKR (other than the socialists) and the Pas have been keeping touch with workers’ unions in the urban?
What, therefore, is the Pakatan about other than to make Anwar Ibrahim the boss over Putrajaya? Why would we want to do that?
If it is about Reformasi, we need to ask what have they done in that direction the past two years other than talk in road-shows and in the coffee-shops?
If it is about the chance to incur a two-party system we have to know at which point had that been a viable option since 8 March 2008?
Is Anwar managerially substantial or is he the same now as he had been as a minister and Umno leader, with many of his boys forming a cackle of menacing husbanded power who misbehaved while pretending to be the champions of Islam.
It’s bottoms up! There will have to be shifts of the paradigms and of the chimes for Malaysia to progress in the processes of change, modernization, development and integration. In the meantime, it is Najib who is widely perceived as doing very well as a leader. ---a. ghani ismail, 8 March, 2010