Is the Opposition wasting a historic opportunity?

By Tunku Aziz

A mere footnote at the bottom of a page of Malaysia’s political history or a tome on political change that recreated and revitalised a sick and openly corrupt society into a vibrant and prosperous democracy for all? Pakatan Rakyat must decide quickly where it wants to be. On present showing, it has not a ghost of a chance to ever breach and occupy the still impregnable Putrajaya citadel, in spite of the credible 8 March 2008 electoral onslaught. It does not have to look far to find out why it is in such a sorry state. Lim Kit Siang’s warning of a “one term miracle” could well become self-fulfilling and Putra Jaya would be just a gleam in the eye if his words are not taken to heart.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders must come to terms with the reality that is Barisan Nasional. We may despise its politics of immorality, of corruption and injustice, but even the most rabid alternative political practitioners must readily concede that it is still a formidable organisation with an armoury of unsavoury tricks they have to contend with. Remember Perak, and the bad after taste that lingers on and on. Pakatan must wake up from its euphoric pie in the sky self-induced dream that the one off massive voter handouts would be there for the asking at the next general elections. There will be no repeat performance until and unless it gets its act together. The electorate owes PR nothing. The truth is that Pakatan Rakyat owes their supporters everything.

PR leaders must lead by putting the larger interests of the nation above individual parochial party issues with their tendency to be unnecessarily divisive, emotive and controversial. Are these issues really so fundamental that they are incapable being discussed rationally without adding to the fragility of a coalition that is apparently about to be torn asunder? I wrote some time ago about the difficulty of reconciling the conflicting claims of the many different ideological and doctrinal sacred cows represented by the PR partners, but they must direct their intellectual energies to finding a solution to what the people of multi-racial Malaysia will and will not put up with.

They must open their minds to the larger, and therefore, more relevant social, economic, political, religious and cultural concerns of our people than to insist on playing the same old race and religious cards with their declining appeal to right thinking people. These are barriers to overcome. If PR is, as it seems, incapable of even getting to the most important item on the new national agenda, then it is offering nothing better to the people of this nation than what BN has been doing for half a century and more. More of the same is an unworthy option for a long suffering people who deserve better. PR leaders must, in all good conscience, ask themselves whether they can lead this complex and difficult nation if they themselves are apparently incapable of agreeing on basic fundamental principles of cooperative engagement to deepen their commitment to values of justice in its widest sense for every Malaysian.

If PK leaders feel that they have neither the will nor the stomach for the sacrifices they are expected to make in order to take the new national non-race based agenda forward on the long march to Putrajaya, they should come out with a straight answer that should leave the people of this country in no doubt where they stand. There is no place for personal agendas in the national scheme of things; certainly not where it is a matter of saving the people from a particularly rotten and unjust system of governance.

Pakatan Rakyat has a great deal to offer by way of a commitment to a clean corruption-intolerant administration and it deserves to be given a chance to govern Malaysia. It cannot be worse than the Umno dominated administration. But then the political game is not about sentimental nonsense. It is determined solely by the dictum “Perform or Perish”, and the PR state governments must prove to the satisfaction of the people in those states, and by extension the nation, that they can be trusted to govern good, and to govern well.

This coalition, even if it were made in heaven, could still come a cropper. PR leaders have themselves to blame in the event.

  1. #1 by Saint on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 2:55 pm

    Remove trouble makers
    Stop making public complains
    Release statements through designated officials
    Give us a manifesto
    A shadow cabinet, plus prospective MB’s for all states
    Leave Sabah & Sarawak to their community
    Have s single logo for the elections
    Achieve this and Putrajaya is not too far away.

  2. #2 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 3:19 pm

    Tuanku Aziz is right on spot! Every so often PAS or PKR leaders would raise issues pertaining to race or Islamic ideologies to cause uneasiness among the rakyat; then the Party leaders would come out to say those are not the views of the patry. The people are confused and uncertain as to which road Pakatan Rakyat is taking them. Looking at the way things are going, the 13th GE may well another tsunami, only this time it will sweep away PR.

    PR leaders should heed Tuanku Aziz’s advice. Rakyat want to know on your stand on ‘uncomfortable’ issues and be like Najib who admitted there are one or two racists in UMNO but that does not make UMNO a racist party.

    PR leaders must be brave to mete out appropriate punishment on leaders who flout party discipline even to the point of dismissing such ones from the party. This will win the hearts and minds of the people who are the ones PR must rely on to take them to Putrajaya, and not those few members who create troubles for the Party.

  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 3:24 pm

    correction: 2nd para…2nd line – ….and NOT be like Najib who admitted “there are one or two racist in the party but that does not make UMNO a racist party”

  4. #4 by -ec- on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 3:36 pm

    is pr moving towards the style of bn? will pr become another bn? is pr really an alternative to bn?

  5. #5 by OrangRojak on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 4:13 pm

    The truth is that Pakatan Rakyat owes their supporters everything.
    I don’t think this is true. I think Pakatan Rakyat owe BN everything. PR are not going to try very hard, because the need to change the government is so great.

    It is very difficult to call. At the last election, people whined about their vote making no difference, yet they still voted Pakatan Rakyat. Now the voters know their vote can make a difference – and so does Pakatan Rakyat. PR are going to try exactly as hard as any political party would to beat a party of blatant thieves and [what Gobind said]. They’re not going to try very hard at all.

    There are no world records to win at an election – you only have to beat your competitor. With competition like PR has, they don’t need friends!

  6. #6 by katdog on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 4:59 pm

    Yes PR has to come down hard on those in their parties that promote their own personal agendas that run contrary to PR principles. If they don’t agree to the PR principles then they should resign.

    Better that the kataks be forced to jump now then to wait until the next GE. Even if it means losing PR states like Selangor, i think in the long run, PR will be a much stronger party.

    The problem here is: What are the common PR principles?

  7. #7 by monsterball on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 5:03 pm

    The desire to change the government and make UMNO an opposition is very strong and why not…it is sensible and logical.
    The decision was made by thousands of Malaysians when they saw Anwar should be given a chance to lead as PM…and why not.
    Only idiots keep believing Anwar loves sodomizing one. .if at all Anwar loves tom sodomize.
    That itself…show how much UMNO is scared of Anwar.
    The 12th GE…success was mainly due to Anwar.
    Unfortunately…not good enough.
    Right now…PAS is the stumbling block of the 3.
    DAP is used to slug it out alone…so long….I think it does not bother DAP if the greatest opportunity to throw UMNO out is wasted…due to bad management of a political party…especially PAS..with religious and race fanatics working along side…open minded politicians. That simply cannot work.
    MCA is suffering disunity within the party ….due to selfish and greedy for power crazy politicians.
    PR is still very much in demand…with more and more Malaysians hungry for throw UMNO out.
    But if Malaysians are seeing PR is weak and disunited …that may frustrate voters to get fed up…and vote for no change. After all…we have lived with the corrupted devils for so long…where a large portion of voters…like me..never depended on government help….why should we care who is the PM.
    We care for the sake of young Malaysians…but if it is an impossible dream to change he government….due to PR’s differences in opinions..the change may lead Malaysia to be worst than now….even without corruptions.
    Tunku Aziz has said it all.

  8. #8 by somaris on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 6:22 pm

    Please listern to Tunku Aziz. What he is right.All Malaysian are fed up with so many problem with PKR,PAS,DAP. Wake up man. Work as a team . Go to the people.We need a change and Kick all the BN-UMNO out next GE.MCA, MIC,GERAKAN is out they are not strong with so many problem in their party to gready for the power and forget the people. THROW those who cant work with the people.
    Im just a nomal person not in politic i say this what i think.
    God Bless You YB LKS

  9. #9 by Educator on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 6:50 pm

    Tunku Aziz, you are right on the point. PR is still wobbling on her feet. Unless and until PR stops being PAS, PKR and DAP “seperately”, the government-controlled media will continue relentlessly to sabotaged her acceptable performance (so far) by highlighting and enlarging her little flaws. How could PR tell the people of her good work with her limited resources? So far, the people’s perception of PR is not flattering nor encouraging. By highlighting BN’s faults is not exactlywhat the people want to hear; it’s what great performance PR has done that the people will be convinced to vote PR into Putrajaya.

  10. #10 by tenaciousB on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 6:56 pm

    UMNO has come a long way with its despicable, atrocious and revolting governance.

    Though the years we have noticed to what extent will they stoop to achieve permanent governance of this country. The saying ‘by hook or by crook’ should be their motto.

    They have sodomised the judiciary system, legalised money politics, terminated individuals who pose threats to their thriving, belittled the other races, and continue their racket with deception and coercion.

    If this country is to achieve a significant level of development, we need a unified government of all races, based on meritocracy, ridden of money, racial and religious politics.

  11. #11 by Dap man on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 8:11 pm

    Actually Pakatan is doing fine except for some ‘cancerous cells’.
    Just remove them and we’re OK.
    Get rid of Zulkifli Nordin, Hasan Ali, Wee Choo Kiong and probably Nasarudn Mat Isa and Mustapha Ali.

  12. #12 by limkamput on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 8:16 pm

    “…. contrary to PR principles”

    What principles? Are there agreed principles?

    People are giving serious thought to this. If you fellows can’t even agree while still in opposition, how can there be cohesiveness when you form the next government? I want every party in PR to tell me unequivocally that there will be a liberal, multiracial, multicultural, progressive and modern Malaysia. Or are we still concerned with where we can sell beer and whether or not women having menstruation can go to a mosque, a church or a temple.

    Someone said in this blog that politicians should enlighten and educate our people. High hope! How can they teach us anything when they are so archaic, so unprincipled (just look at MCA), so corrupted, so lack of knowledge (other than politicking and scheming)? Most Malaysian politicians, PR included, do even know they are hopelessly outdated in managing a modern nation. When we want to hire senior professionals or managers, we usually ask them the latest books and journals or magazines they have read. For politicians, they just need to know how to talk some incoherent cok, stab someone from the back, bribe someone or be bribed, lobby for a contract, and spend money provided for by the national coffer. Seriously how many high profile politicians in this country have ever earned a single ringgit on their own (are they not paid lucratively by the national treasury)?

  13. #13 by Onlooker Politics on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 8:23 pm

    “The electorate owes PR nothing. The truth is that Pakatan Rakyat owes their supporters everything.” (Tunku Aziz)

    Exactly. The voters cast vote for PR because of their willing to bet their hope on PR. PR leaders must start to figure out now what all PR’s component parties can offer to improve the livelihood and human rights situation of the ordinary Malaysian people.

    Most political scientists like to brief the purpose of political science as an attempt to determine “who gets what, in what amount, and when this amount will be given, and how to find the ways and means to pay for it!” If PR leaders cannot even agree upon such a straight-forward and simple question of “who gets what” in Selangor, how do we expect Selangor PR to be able to provide answers for further questions of “what amount will be given, when it will be given and how to find money to pay for the thing which is to be given?” Alcohol ban and pig farm ban are just two apparent examples of what PR cannot agree upon in Selangor.

  14. #14 by tenaciousB on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 8:45 pm

    The dirty PKFZ scandal if washed well enough in public could deal a blow to BN, now the 2nd scandal revolving the double tracking project could finish them altogether. So anwar if you’re reading this blog, better deploy your ideas in full force whilst the BN has 2 injured wings and is incapable of another deceitful flight into anarchy! LOL

  15. #15 by Onlooker Politics on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 9:05 pm

    The muslim leaders of PR must spend sometimes to find out the reason why the pork-eating population of Malaysia like to invest and operate in a pig farm even though the obstacles (whether the financial risk of heavy investment or the political risk of government officers’ harrassment and administrative hassles) of entry into the pig farming are tough and many. The pig farmers did not receive a single cent of subsidy from the BN Government yet they still could manage to survive. Obviously, the constant and steady demand for pork consumption has made the pig farming a highly viable investment choice in Malaysia.

    The BN government has already subsidised heavily the ruminant farmers in Malaysia. Some farmers could even get up to 50 heads of adult goats or 10 heads of adult cows free of charge from MPOB (Malaysia Palm Oil Board), from RISDA (Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority) or from Jabatan Perkhidmatan Haiwan (Veterinary Service Department). However, the percentage of business failure in the ruminant farming sector is relatively much higher than the other business sectors of Malaysia, even though there is no widespread endemics or epidemics outbreak in ruminant farming sector for the past 10 years. As the Hari Raya Haji is near at hand and most muslim population will consume male goats or male cow for use as sacrifice or “Korban”, perhaps the reason of the business failure in ruminant farming sector is something which ponders many people’s thought!

    Why do we find that the muslim consumers are forced to pay the high price of about RM600 per head of 40 kg male goat or RM4800 per head of 800 kg male cow but many local ruminant farmers would still find that they could not lead a good survival for their ruminant farming business in Malaysia? Do the Malaysian ruminant farmers really have the comparative advantages in order to survive in a head-on competition in the international business environment? The answer is obvious. We usually find that the Malaysian ruminant farmers cannot compete efficiently with the Thai farmers, the Indonesian farmers, or the Myanmar farmers if the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Haiwan is to liberalise approval for all the import permits for importation of foreign animals.

    Here lies a common answer which will provide good explanation on why the ruminant farmers could hardly survive in Malaysia and yet the answer is to be found out by the research team of PR. Perhaps PR should form such a research team of which the members will include the representatives from each and every component parties of PR. If all three PR’s component parties are able to provide the same answer to the question raised here, then it will be a good indication that Pakatan Rakyat is moving smoothly ahead towards a much better goal congruence and a much stronger membership cohesiveness among all its members!

  16. #16 by Winston on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 9:25 pm

    There are a few problems and serious ones at that that are facing the PR coalition.
    1. There are too many mavericks in PKR and PAS
    and from time to time, they take center stage.
    And it doesn’t take much for BN to stir up these
    2. The BN has vast sums of money, albeit
    belonging to the taxpayers, to corrupt a number
    of officials in the opposition.
    3. It is obvious to everyone that, during more
    then five decades of BN rule, they have twisted
    the laws (including the constitution) to suit
    4. Their grip on the rural Malays is still immense
    because of their vast propaganda machinery
    especially by the MSM is immense and all
    It is not impossible for the PR to win in the next GE but they must neutralise the BN, especially in respect of the four points raised above.
    And they must start without any delay.

  17. #17 by tenaciousB on Saturday, 7 November 2009 - 9:27 pm

    spoonfed ketuanan melayu is the answer to the question. my 9year old niece told me that, gosh what do they learn in schools these days. LOL

  18. #18 by boh-liao on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 11:19 am

    While PR is wasting their opportunity n self-imploding
    Smart RM, M’sia’s 1st lady, impressed all at Women in Leadership Forum in Dubai
    Honest n generous RM donated her US$2 million reward to 13 organisations
    Popular NR, RM’s hubby, will attend Chong Hwa Independent High School’s 90th anniversary dinner on Dec 14

  19. #19 by tenaciousB on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 11:31 am

    does anyone buy rosmah’s story about distributing her pricey reward from an arab prince to needy malaysian organisations? sounds like fairy talelish publicity stunt for her husband and his party?!

    Someone should try and get an inside scoop whether the story is credible and perhaps get an interview with this arab prince. i sense another big stage play by a controversial couple yet again. Deception is the theme! LOL

  20. #20 by tenaciousB on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 11:40 am

    Brother LKS, time to go full out and get all the support you can or else through deception once again UMNO will retain their occupancy of malaysia. It’s time for the opposition to shine or else vacate and let some other independent parties try and salvage this nation from complete destruction(Quatrain 44:4)

  21. #21 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 11:54 am

    After all being said, frankly if I have to choose between beyond negotiation (bn) and partly ready (pr), I will go for partly ready. At least the rakyat has the opportunity to shape policies and good governance together with the ruling govt.

    Buffoons na-sial-nal(bn) has reached its expiry date and best neutered(bn).

  22. #22 by k1980 on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 1:40 pm

    The Berlin Wall was torn down 20 years ago. However, the NEP Wall still stands in bolehland after 40 years.

  23. #23 by tenaciousB on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 1:58 pm

    i got a few of my own, here goes:

    umno – undisputed mockery nearing obituary
    bn -brainless ningkapoop

  24. #24 by tenaciousB on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 2:11 pm

    mca-manhandled controversial agency

    mic-meritless ignorant congress

  25. #25 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 2:46 pm

    hweee!! Not bad tenacious. Now make a sentences or two out of it. :-)

  26. #26 by taiking on Monday, 9 November 2009 - 8:51 am

    Yes undertaker888, the choice really is between a party with a proven dismal (no downright rotten) track record and one with an uncertain track record. I would go with the latter. Anytime. That no doubt would come with a risk. But hey risk brings opportunity for a better tommorrow. The minimum we can expect is the birth of a two-party system in the country.

  27. #27 by shambles on Monday, 9 November 2009 - 2:33 pm

    Its about time PR lose the “opposition” mentality and focus on the prize. There is no use to continue picking on BN, instead; PR must prove to be the better choice in bringing Malaysia to greater heights. As Tunku Aziz put it, sacrifices has to be made internally – within each PR component party. Let DAP and PAS put aside thier political ideologies but instead agree on a common goals such as… the betterment of Malaysia and all Malaysians (with Islam as our official religion and BM as our national language – as stated in the constitution)

    Although we say that race should not matter when choosing leaders, it is the perception of many in which we have to consider in choosing leaders. We cannot have all the leaders skewed to a single race lest giving the “preception” of favoratism, nepotism and all things bad. I propose that all the PR component parties surprise the rakyat by breaking the racial mold in which has been indoctrinated by BN. DAP should propose a leaders such as Tunku Aziz to the PR central committee, PAS should propose someone from thier PAS supporter group, and PKR can propose Zaid. These individuals have shown to be of high integrity and thier actions/words carry weight. Let PR show the rakyat that they walk the talk. Let us not be dominated by racial divides. PR leaders need not be DAP,PAS,PKR leaders respectively but let us show Malaysia – PR is different!!!

    I pray for PR success. Sacrifices MUST be made..

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