Should Pakatan Wait? I think Not!
A lot has been said about the possibility of Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament hopping over to Pakatan Rakyat so that there is a change in government. Every argument from a righteous standpoint is indeed valid and the concern that PK needs to work towards consolidating itself before taking on the onerous task of governing the country is just as valid.
Assumptions Assumptions Assumptions
However, there carries with this position an assumption that the BN government will carry on with the task of governance of the country for the next 5 years honourably and in committed citizenry.
Is that a valid assumption, however? This has to be examined further.
So what of the next 5 years? What assumptions would the UMNO led BN have of their future and fortunes at the next GE? I suggest that it is these that will be the driving force of what we can expect of BN in the next 5 years.
I can only imagine that the BN will do everything in its power to gain what they lost. And they must if you were them. And the big question is how it is that they are going to achieve this.
That depends on what they believe to be the most expedient way and a way that is achievable.
Working on Assumptions
Now what is achievable by their reckoning must also be achieved through a track that they believe has to comply with what they believe to be the way Malaysians have been consigned to follow and abide by.
Even now they only seem to talk in terms of UMNO, MCA, MIC and what ever else. How else can a single party provide a place for 14 Presidents/Charimen who through their presidentships/chairmenship assure for themselves or herself, within the corridors of power, a place at the table (read cabinet)?
The only justification for the race based party to exist and to continue to exist is the assumption that each race has its own distinct goal which requires protection and promotion which can only be achieved by members of that same race. That goal unfortunately is dressed in the cloak of culture, language, religion, food, education, vocation, profession, habits and behaviour such that these are taboo areas that can only be visited upon without raising any concern by a member of that same race.
This presupposes that there is this inherent desire by one race to superimpose ones' own values on the other so that it better fits into their view of the other. And, therefore, the need for protection and promotion of self.
The BN has successfully sold this premise for 50 years and has found its model viable. But that model stood on the continued maintenace of the assumptions.
Without exactly telling us why, we have only heard loud and clear, "your race needs to be represented", "your race will not be represented", "no one will fight for your rights". Obviously these statements, which unfortunately never got dissected, were valid on the premise that UMNO will reign forever. They represent the majority race, the Malays. UMNO is only concerned for the interests of the Malays. The Malays have no concern for the others. Everything the Indians, Chinese, Kadazans, Ibans have got needed to be fought for, justified and obtained, rather reluctantly from an unwilling UMNO. Or maybe it was traded for.
UMNO needs this scenario. Not because it is generous. But because it has PAS to contend with. And now Parti Keadilan Rakyat as well. Just imagine. If UMNO was the only party representing the interests of the Malays!. There was no PAS. Then of course with the attitude that Ketuanan Melayu tends to nurture, what would have been required of the component parties representing their various communities would have been so much more. But then to spread the loot among the already large number of war lords will of course precipitate a new kind of problem with this "enlarged" UMNO. PAS has actually helped the existing war lords in UMNO get a bigger share of the "loot", so to say.
The present model is convenient for everyone concerned in the BN. It provides for every possible platform any individual can raise. I could never understand the political parties popping up in Sarawak and Sabah ever so often through the breakages of existing parties that are components of the BN and yet everyone remains a BN party. But this has catered for the many war lords and the leaders of various communities. Unfortunately, or should I say, thankfully, no one has arisen in Malaysia thinking that on his own he can be a dictator without the need for any one majority supporting him other than, say,the armed forces.
The present model is useful in satisfying the power hungry within each community and it also has pacified the different people into a sort of submission. Of course the usefulness of employing the threat of chaos, security, stability, development and so on cannot be underscored. However, one has to wonder in what sense the security of the nation will be threatened when only those who love this land participate in the entire electoral process. I always have thought that by threat to security of the nation that we would have political enemies who are not of the country.
Why BN as Presently Constituted Needs to Maintain its Model?
I am not going to elaborate on this. But just want to be a little cheeky about it. Just look at the quality of the leaders of UMNO and its component parties. Now compare them, individually if you must, against the several leaders in the PR. Just compare the credentials of the PR MPs against the MPs of the BN. I feel assured that there are more of them in the PR who can actually contribute towards technical discourses that will most probably leave a majority of the BN MPs lagging behind if not dumb founded. BN MPs and Ministers, several of whom got kicked off, and of course leaving some still around, are very much known for their single word curses only.
That being the case, can you now see why at all cost the BN has to fight to keep its present model? The different parties is just a clearer separation of the different parts. Even if they all decide to merge into a single BN party, you can very well bet that party will be separated into different constituencies. Unfortunately that constituency will naturally veer towards a racist track. Any philosophical kind of constituency will just be beyond the majority of the war lords and they cannot allow this as it would require a language they cannot speak let alone understand.
Obviously this is an assumption on my part. But over and above this, what can be evidenced is the model as we see it now provides for the few who with a touch of audacity reap in the harvest of the loot before them. If they had to play in a pool that is made up of all the members of the component parties, they all might just get lost in the crowd and they may have to contend with the likes of Samy Velu and his boys. Some how, I cannot see half the UMNO and MCA leaders having tea with this lot.
As it is they all have their own separate pools to swim in and there is more than enough in their respective pools to keep them happy. There is a perceived coalition of sorts but this is just so that they can defend their own pools very comfortably.
Bangsa Malaysia just does not fit!
The PR is anathema to say the least. The PR parties come together not so much on race as much as BN would like them to be categorised as. There is a distinct subscription to philosophies or ideals, I would like to think, that transcend race. Even PAS' Islamic leaning credentials cuts through race when seen for what it really has to mean. Clarity of these philosophies and respecting each of these philosophies should be more easily achieved than one that requires you to "abandon" your race to embrace another, or work with another. The only qualification is PKR which can trace its origins to the ouster of its leaders out of UMNO . That and reformasi characterised Keadilan. If I am not mistaken when reformasi was the clarion call of Anwar and his supporters, it had more to do with the reformation of UMNO rather than the BN model. Please do correct me if I am wrong.
However, if over the next 5 years Pakatan Rakyat survives, unlike Barisan Alternative of 1999, this time the PR has the opportunity to show that it too can rule. Its survival alone, let alone success could mean the end of BN as we see it today. We all recognise that it had to be a collective effort on the part of all Malaysians that saw the outcome of the GE 2008. We should all, hopefully be drunk with this model that sees us all as Malaysians. Not Malay, Chinese, Indians and others.
Options for BN
Become honest politicians for the betterment of the country. They do not see politics in the BN model as an avenue for wealth and riches and the acquisition of power and arrogance.
But that will mean great sacrifices. No more Zakaria Deros. No more APs. No more cronies and psycophants. That will be like taking off a limb. What will you do to keep that limb of yours? If PR lives up to its promise for just 5 years, this is what will be expected of BN to deliver for them to be considered even.
If we all agree, that this is one position that the UMNO led BN will never allow to take, then they got only one option. To destroy PR at all cost. To destroy anything that might add to their credentials or to show that they too can lead and rule and govern. That, for those who find their comforts in "Just wait and see" in the expectation that PR will tumble, anything less than PR making total fools of themselves will just be not acceptable.
Country's Immediate Future
When it is more important that PR will fail than even a rescue and reformation of UMNO or the BN, the country's interest will have to take a back seat. Badawi, with his proven weak, if not no leadership, will only result in Intifida like assaults of the kind delivered by Azalina, the new Tourism Minister. Opportunities will surely be lost.
If Mahathir's wishes are realised and Badawi is dumped, and UMNO is lucky enough to get a resourceful and vibrant leader, the leadership will have to ensure the propagation of the model that has delivered so much for the UMNOPutras. That will be his agenda.
However, if for whatever reason, fate intervenes, and they realise that it is a lost cause, and that the loss of the governance of the country to PR is seen to be inevitable, and they got 5 years to still continue, rape and plunder is what I expect to see.
What ever option that is open for consideration on the BN table, the result as I see it is just the same. The country and its people will lose.
Pakatan's Responsibility Now!
The PR supporters, writers and opinionated do gooders who want to only see the righteous ways of doing things see no option but for PR to wait till the next GE. They are to play the effective and good opposition party in parliament and to rule justly and equitably in the states they now rule. According to them accpeting frogggies, jumpers, or party hoppers to effect a take over of the government is just not on. Haris Ibrahim of People's Parliament would only allow for party hoppers if they first go back to their voters. Yes call them all in a town hall session and seek their permission. Others say, they ought to resign and go for a re-election.
Let me make it clear. The country needs to be rescued from the BN right now. Its just like when someone holds a loved one for ransom, I will not wait for protocols to make the rescue if I was given the one opportunity to do it right now.
Looking For Reason. Looking For Opportunity
What we need to do now,is to look for the reasons and to look for why it might become necessary for all of us to support party hopping to effect a change over of the government even if it means going against our own principles. What is enough and when would it be right before you would be convinced that it is time for BN to go? Are we going to wait for things to begin to fall apart before we act?
Or are we waiting to comfort ourselves that we can trust Anwar Ibrahim enough to see him taking over the Premiership of the country?
Maybe some of us are not looking at all these points that might lead us to be convinced that it is time for BN to go. But surely Anwar is. But then again Anwar may not even be bothered to look for these things to justify a move,he is just looking for the opportunity to move for just the sake of taking over the government. I just hope that he too will be looking for a justifiable reason that we can all bank on the BN and UMNO to deliver. Just hope that it is soon.