In the three temple functions I attended in Lima Kedai and Taman Sri Skudai in Gelang Patah last night, members of the public showed great and keen interest and concern about political developments in the country, especially about the future of Pakatan Rakyat as a result of the prolonged Selangor Mentri Besar crisis.
Undoubtedly, like Malaysians all over the country, the people of Gelang Patah had been following closely with great concern the worst crisis faced by Pakatan Rakyat in its six-year history, and by last Saturday, uppermost in the minds of many would be the question whether there would continue to be a Pakatan Rakyat in the next 24 hours, a question nobody could answer with any confidence.
The Selangor MB crisis had been the despair of many Malaysians.
Over the weekend, I receive an email from veteran Malaysian politician, Dr. Goh Cheng Teik, who wrote:
“I am sick. I had to struggle to compose my thoughts. Forgive my bad English.
“I have been looking at the newspaper reports about Selangor. Selangor is a democracy. Its legislative assembly have been properly elected. Whoever commands a majority in the house of Selangor should lead the government as Mentri Besar. The political boardroom works on the same principle as the corporate boardroom. If a person can obtain more than 51% of the shares in a company, he rules. Khalid knows this well enough. If he is a gentleman he should gracefully withdraw.
“Wan Azizah is a capable person. If she becomes Menteri Besar, she will surprise everybody with what she can do. As the wife of a very controversial opposition leader, she has over the years learnt much more about politics from real life than those who learn politics from books. She is a trained medical doctor. Tun Dr. Ismail was a doctor and he proved to be a good political leader. So were Dr. Lim Chong Eu and Dr. Tan Chee Khoon.”
By last night, the public sentiments and feelings in the three temple dinners in Gelang Patah – which should be a fair reflection of the national mood – could be summed up as follows:
(1) Relief that Pakatan Rakyat had not broken up as a result of the prolonged Selangor Mentri Besar crisis as there is general consensus that Pakatan Rakyat drawing support from all races, religions and regions in the country is the best hope and vehicle to complete the unfinished work of the 13th General Elections to end the unbroken one-coalition government in Malaysia since Merdeka in 1957, as the change of Federal government in Putrajaya is the precondition for fundamental political changes to end the rampant corruption, abuses of power and the absence of good governance, accountability and transparency in the country.
(2) Grave and growing doubts about the viability and sustainability of Pakatan Rakyat because of the degree of commitment of component parties to set aside their differences and to give topmost priority to the PR common policy goals, platforms, principles and objectives.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders all over the country and at all levels should not delude ourselves into thinking that PR had emerged unscathed from the prolonged Selangor Mentri Besar crisis which had gravely undermined the great trust and confidence which people from different races, religions and regions have placed on PR, which resulted in the PR winning a majority of 52 per cent of the national electorate in the 13GE last May, relegating the Umno/Barisan Nasional to a minority government with 47% of the national vote.
For this reason, the Pakatan Rakyat leadership must meet urgently and frequently to map out and implement strategies to restore public confidence in the coalition badly damaged by the prolonged Selangor MB crisis.
There is however one silver lining in the worst crisis faced by the Pakatan Rakyat in it six-year history – the Selangor MB crisis has highlighted the great and even fundamental difference between the Pakatan Rakyat and the Barisan Nasional.
Pakatan Rakyat is a coalition of equals, as every component party in PR has an equal say in the future direction of the coalition – and any difference or disagreement will have to be resolved or thrashed out with a great deal of patience and stamina.
If the three component parties cannot resolve their important differences in the PR, it will mark the immediate end of the PR coalition.
UMNO/BN purveyors of falsehoods have tried their utmost in the in the past six years to defame PR leaders through their controlled mass media and recently the social media in the Internet to spread the lies that DAP, PKR and PAS leaders are not free agents and honest political leaders but political rogues and rascals, as disseminating the message to the Chinese ground that DAP leaders are puppets and stooges of PAS while the Malay ground is poisoned with the lies that PAS leaders are DAP puppets and stooges.
DAP leaders are not stooges of PAS and PAS leaders are not puppets of DAP – similarly, PKR are not stooges or puppets of DAP or PAS.
We in the DAP, PAS and PKR are not in politics for profit or self-gain but because of our political principles and convictions, for which many of us had paid a heavy personal price, unlike the Umno/Barisan Nasional leaders and politicians.
This is why PR coalition is completely different from the Barisan Nasional coalition model.
PR is a coalition of equal parties while BN is only a coalition in name to hide the façade of the one-party UMNO dominance or hegemony, as the UMNO fiat is the law in Barisan Nasional. All the other 13 BN component parties, whether MCA, Gerakan or MIC, cannot and would not dare to oppose if UMNO puts its foot down on what should be BN policy.
The people in the three temple functions in Gelang Patah last night, just like their counterparts in the nation, were also keenly interested in the latest Mahathir move – his open “war” against Datuk Seri Najib Raza declaring in his blog that he was withdrawing support for the present Prime Minister as Najib is even worse than Pak Lah.
What was most intriguing were the two children’s stories which Mahathir related in his blog to show his utter contempt for Najib – first, the Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of “The Emperor with No Clothes” of a king who was so into himself that he could not see his own failings and his courtier yes-men who only say what the king wants to hear even though it’s obviously untrue; and secondly of King Canute and the tides about a king who believed that he was so powerful that his command could hold back the tide.
It is most strange and even bizarre that we have the sitting sixth Prime Minister who is accused by his mentor and the fourth Prime Minister – and longest-serving 22-year Prime Minister – as an “Emperor with No Clothes” and “Canute” who thinks he could command the tides.
Pak Lah, the former fifth Prime Minister Malaysia, must be the happiest man in Malaysia after reading Mahathir’s latest blog – to find that he was not that bad after all!