Archive for June 17th, 2008

PAS, Don’t fall for UMNO’s Trap!

By Farish A. Noor

Civil society, and the actors who occupy that public domain, exists for a number of reasons and one of the reasons is to keep all politicians and political parties in check. It would appear that the work of civil society actors in Malaysia today has been cut out thanks to the murky goings-on within and between the political parties of Malaysia on both sides of the political fence.

Hardly three months have passed since the landmark results of the 8th March Federal elections and already we see Malaysia transformed as never before: Despite winning 79 Parliamentary seats the UMNO party that has been in power for more than half a century is showing signs of internal division and fragmenting before our very eyes; bringing with its collapse the very real possibility of change in the mindset of millions of ordinary Malaysian citizens who were told for so long that the sun of the Barisan Nasional would never set. Well, with BN MPs running helter-skelter in all directions at the moment, it would appear as if that claim is about to be tested in no uncertain terms.

What is worrying, however, is the fact that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is still in its infant stages and does not have the luxury of time on its side. Should the BN government fall, and that prospect seems more likely by the day, the PR should be ready to assume office at a moment’s notice. This can only be done if and when the PR gets its act together and all component parties of the PR agree once and for all that they will abide by the terms they had set for themselves; which includes the PR manifesto and the standards of the People’s Declaration which they had all assented to. Read the rest of this entry »