AS PROMISED HANTU II DELIVERED
Following the humiliating Bagan Pinang defeat/debacle suffered by Pakatan Rakyat, the short answer to the question – Is PR losing steam? – is an insufferable YES.
Why? Because PR has yet to demonstrate that as a government, at least in Selangor state, it is different to BN. The verdict from Bagan Pinang’s voters was that they see no difference. So they vastly preferred a BN candidate tainted by corruption to a PR man unsullied by past misdeeds.
True, these are simplistic answers. But don’t say they are not having any effect on PR. Already the Tok Guru in Pas has reacted with a call for a division in his party between those who want to cavort with Umno and those to want to sink or swim with PR. A simple man has no need of complexities; he goes straight to the heart of the matter.
The verdict of Bagan Pinang’s voters is forcing clarity on Pas. Good thing that. Intra-mural conflict that issues in clarity of stance and certainty of action is welcome.
What effect has had Bagan Pinang on PKR? Judging from events of the last two weeks, the answer is: little or no effect. This is startling for three reasons.
One, PKR is not as ideological a party as Pas. So it should have the flexibility to react more quickly and rationally. Second, it is the lead party in the opposition coalition by dint of more MPs in Parliament, so it should get off its rear end and get going on corrective measures to take. And thirdly, Bagan Pinang suggests that in General Election 13, the voters in Sarawak and Sabah, who roundly spurned PR in GE12, are going to be immensely critical to the any aspiration PR has of taking Putrajaya; PR may gain some, lose some on the Peninsula, making how the vote goes in the Borneo states decisive to the overall outcome.
And what presently has PKR done to help the voters in the two states to shift allegiance from BN to PR?
It has chosen Baru Bian, a credible and reputable Native Customary Rights lawyer to lead PKR Sarawak. Capital decision that. Apart from a grouse or two from lesser lights in the party in
Sarawak, Baru appears to be the popular choice that validates PR’s rallying cry of Ketuanan Rakyat (People’s Sovereignty).
However, to lead PKR Sabah, the party has behaved like BN tends to do: picked someone who will be their proxy and softened that blow by throwing in a sop -- setting up a council on integration headed by the very person who was recommended to them to lead the PKR’s
Talk about the people finding it difficult differentiating PKR from UMNO, you have here the classic example of how similar both parties are. A snake sheds its skin, that’s all. For the question of who should lead PKR Sabah, Ketuanan KL has tromboned Ketuanan Rakyat.
Mind you, 14 of the 21 properly constituted divisions of PKR Sabah (the remaining 4 divisions suffered irregularities in their constitutive process) had endorsed Jeffrey Kitingan for leadership of the state chapter. But PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim doesn’t want Jeffrey.
The reason for Anwar’s dislike of the PKR vice president: Jeffrey has supposedly done serious wrongs in
Sabah during the time Parti Bersatu Sabah were running the state between 1985 and 1994. This argument is only tenable if one could maintain that Anwar Ibrahim is not guilty of serious wrongs in when he was an Umno luminary between 1982 and 1998, when he was booted out of government. Malaysia
You could not say that. Hence if Jeffrey is what a majority of PKR Sabah want, Jeffrey it would have to be, not least because that would validate our rallying cry -- Ketuanan Rakyat.
This would not only be the common sense thing to do, it would also be the smart choice because as anyone who has been to the Borneo states knows — it is easier for PR to do well in Sabah than in Sarawak. Before Jeffrey put his shoulder to the PKR wheel in
Sabah, the party there was weak. After he came in, the party gathered pace and momentum.
It’s difficult to find an estimable leader in
Sabah who is without some skeletons in the closet. But that is the same thing you could say about any political luminary the country over.
If Anwar thinks that he has to balance a non-Muslim PKR supremo in Sarawak with a Muslim PKR No.1 in Sabah, he is showing he is captive to rather than transformative of neuroses prevalent on the peninsula, not necessarily in
Sabah. He is showing that people in the Semangung are backward compared to Sabahans. Not a progressive thing, neither a forgivable move for a herald of change to be guilty of.
If he thinks that Sabah’s 50-50 population division between Muslims and non-Muslims mandates that PKR there should be led by a Muslim, he is saying that he wants to accept as a fait accompli the law-breaking infusion of people who were given instant citizenship in Sabah between the time of Tun Mustapha till now, an act of sanctioned illegitimacy, rivaling episodes of judicial misconduct in Malaysia from 1988 onwards. If he is unconcerned about the citizenship scam in
Sabah, he is signaling that perhaps his conduct in the entire imbroglio is not above board.
Selective inquiry and prosecution of misdeeds is an untenable as selective blame-fixing. Like the adage about justice – it must not only be done but be seen to be done – the PR (in particular PKR) must not only be different to BN and but also seen to be so. Otherwise more Bagan Pinangs await the oppositin coalition.
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