Saturday, February 02, 2008

Malaysian Politics: Its between a Sedan and a Racing Car

In the article Anwar explains his stance to Christian leaders published on 2 February, in Malaysiakini, Anwar is quoted as having said "PKR enjoyed a unique advantage in that it could mediate the middle ground between the secularism of the Democratic Action Party and the Islamism of PAS."

Now that seems to be a sad reflection of what the "spiritual leader" and the raison de-tre of Parti Keadilan Rakyat sees PKR to be. A mediator!

Anwar seems to see the two poles of the opposition parties as setting the "opposition agenda" and PKR sits squarely in the middle!

If the very label "opposition" is so loosely and almost always applied to these parties, then I cannot see how else they see their roles to be other than one that only sees them in opposition. It is like a racing car. It is labeled a racing car. If you drive one you must, therefore, be a racer! It is just not possible for a racer to be driving a family sedan!

A country or a nation, especially like Malaysia, can be likened to a family sedan car. We need a safe driver to not just chart the course, but to also drive us to a destination safely.

The opposition parties and their collective leaders appear to be quite comfortable having the label "opposition" applied to them, as a racer will if he drives a racing car.

The family sedan car has a purpose and an objective. So has the racing car. But surely we are all agreed that the two purposes and objectives, as widely as they defer, have their valid reasons to exist. But which of the two is one that would be needed for a nation?

Anwar seems to think that the objectives of the opposition parties are two fold. DAP is supposedly to be secular. PAS on the other hand is supposed to be Islamist. And of course, by his own admission PKR is the mediator plying the middle ground.

But what are the objectives for the nation for heaven's sake? A racing car just goes round and round a circuit with just one objective. To break the previous circuit record and speed, making a lot of noise as it goes.

A sedan car on the other hand always has as its objectives as taking its occupants forward towards their desination.

This country needs a good sedan car driver. Not a racer. At this moment in time I see only the BN contending to be the sedan car driver whereas all the opposition parties vying to be racers. They all want to be good opposition members of parliament and that is all that they see themselves to be. Of course in the Malaysian context, being the sedan car driver, as you continue to nudge the country forward, the driver and his compatriots shamefully exploit their vested position for their own profit. Meanwhile the racers keep running around their circuits making a lot of noise hoping that by doing so their will somehow move the sedan car more efficiently.

But fact of the matter is, we, the rest of the population, and the voters who decide who will drive us forward only see ourselves in the sedan car. There is no room in the racing car for heaven's sake. Only the BN seems to be vying to be the driver of our sedan car while the rest of those in opposition are vying to drive the racing car. At the end the opposition party members also join the passengers in the sedan car with whom now the driver has to contend with.

This unfortunately is the problem with politics in Malaysia and as long as the opposition see themselves as such there is really no hope of ever seeing a change in stewardship of this country.

So Anwar, you say that the DAP are secularists whereas PAS are Islamists. What ever it is, tell me how does that relate to such things as economic policies of the country, the country's foreign policies, immigration policies, labour policies, health, education, jobs, investment, free press, ISA, internal and external security, housing, NEP, moving the country forward?

What does it matter if the Islamists don't want to call it interest? As long as it is extra cash on my table, you can call it whatever you want. However, there is this assumption here that when the term Islamist is applied, that it conjures up a certain image. Unfortunately that image is not necessarily a comforting one for a lot of people, both Muslim and non-Muslim.

Similarly by secularist, it seems to be loosely connected to the image of a proclivity to debauchery, without a conscience, irreligious, recklessness, unreliability and without Godly restraints. This would seem to be the lot that when applied to DAP's secularism seems to want.

So, it is Anwar who seems to think that PKR plays the middle mediatory role between the two. Like as if we all naturally understand or know what exactly the real "political objectives" of these two parties are in wanting to represent or lead the nation.

How misplaced can this get? Unfortunately the "opposition", when in opposition, seems to have fallen to the trap that has been laid, not so much by design but by default. They have been defined by the BN as an unfortunate contemptuous lot that those driving the sedan car towards our worldly objectives have to contend with. The funny thing is that the "opposition" parties also seem to see themselves in just such a role and no more! In otherwards they also want to get into the same sedan car driven by the BN folks, except, that they want to influence the manner of the driving and maybe the destination. Why? Because they have experience driving racing cars!!

It is about time, if it is not already too late, DAP, PAS and Keadilan, took stock of themselves and look at how they are defining themselves before presenting themselves to us the voters. Unfortunatly, the people desparately need a change in the driver of their family sedan. The only contenders are racing car drivers who have so far only exhibited their familiarity with the racing circuit. And mind you, in all my 52 years, I have never been to the insides of a racing circuit myself!


At February 7, 2008 at 7:59 PM, Blogger DR.SARAVANAN R said...

Yup, i'm almost there with the sedans and racing cars. Might i opine that right now both are having very bad drivers. Maybe we need a revamp of the whole system. But with GE around the corner, time is not at our disposal. Choices are limited. Let's see what the People's Declaration brings.

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