Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Pakatan Dilemma?

The following was my response to a letter from "batsman" published on Malaysia Today entitled "Is Pakatan Capable?"

written by cruzeiro, April 04, 2009 17:40:50

This is why Pakatan must defend both the Sultans and Islam fiercely and sincerely.

They not only have to do this, but they also have to be seen to be doing this.

Karpal Singh's words of late, didn't help one bit- although he was right in every word that he uttered about the Perak Sultan. This fact appears to be lost on Karpal/ DAP in their self-righteousness. Before they qualify to make such statements, they should first learn to endear themselves to the parties that are affected, namely the Malays - so that it will not be perceived as a challenge to the Malay character of the nation (although, considering the demographics that is such a brain-dead idea).
Don't they know that for now, such words can only be uttered by a Malay (at the most, an Umno qualified ma-mak/Mahathir) or those who hold the mantle of power. With the racist mindset of most Malaysians/ Malays, it could easily be perceived as a "republican" attack against the royalty/ Malays by a "Non" - and can even be twisted into an "attack on Islam".
(Speaking of "republicanism", I believe that the Malays themselves would be having second thoughts about the monarchy in due time - probably in 20yrs time or so)

In saying that, we gotta be aware that there is a significant element in the Pakatan that wishes to backslide into the dark ages of "Arab Desert Politics" disguised as Islam and an "Islamic State" - just for political mileage. PAS with its politicians masquerading as ulama faction in power, has yet to present the open and intellectual face of Islam, despite all their skullcaps and flowing robes.

Herein lies the danger of those who claim to "defend" Islam for political mileage. In turn, DAP under the mantle of the "old guard" reacts by stating the exact opposite which gives rise to the perception of "conflict" within. To make matters worse we have PAS subscribing to the idea of a Unity Govt with Umno which has once booted it out of the alliance of BN.

The Pakatan cannot afford to do this kind of double-talk and create uncertainty among its electorate, if it is to give the impression that it has what it takes to lead the nation. Moreover, they cannot be going around claiming that they "have the numbers" and are ready to take over the federal Govt, when they have yet to prove themselves in the five states economically.

One year is no measure of achievement, although they did fairly well. they need to work at consolidating their position, instead of creating bushfires for Umno, to which Umno can respond by creating more - twice as well! They cannot only go around simply using damning rhetoric against the ruling elite, although there may be much truth in them.

They have to move their govt machinery as a cohesive force by have a line of consistent ideas that is easy for the people to understand and accept. Anwar's economic policy has all but failed to impress the people (especially the less "enlightened") with his high-flung ideas. One glaring weakness in PKR appears to be its lack of credible leadership - although they are saddled with the problem of a solid number of trojans among them. This is one matter which PKR needs to address with urgency.

PAS has yet to accept non-Muslim membership, or accept the fact that progress cannot be achieved with their hardline Islamist stance which conflicts with that of secularist PKR & DAP, and a vast majority of Malaysians. They cannot afford to go around having demos against entertainment which are apparently "unislamic" just because they don't like it. They cannot be going around being the moral police among the vulnerable. They cannot impose their standards upon those who advocate a liberal lifestyle, just because they believe they are right.

Having said all this, Pakatan has one thing working for them - their non-racist platform. If they cannot use it to their advantage and capture the imagination of the people, they definitely are made up of a bunch of flunkies. Meanwhile PKR has yet to address that intellectual amoeba, Zul's discipline problem - while they obsessively play the fireman who puts out bushfires created by all around them (within and without).
For now, they are just working on the premise that they have to address a common enemy - and that alone will not get them anywhere.

Are they capable? Sure - why not.
The only problem here is if they have their priorities right.