So what’s next for Pakatan?

by Faisal S Hazis
Co-editor, Aliran e-Newsletter
27 September 2014

Pas needs an overhaul; Hadi needs to be replaced; and the hegemony of the ulamas needs to be stopped, asserts Faisal S Hazis.

The ‘Kajang Move’ was a big flop. PKR failed to push its choice of Menteri Besar to lead the richest state in the country so as to propel Pakatan to Putrajaya in the next general election.

Although Pakatan Minus (with the exception of Pas) stood firm on their choice of candidate to the very last hours, the palace defied democratic convention by appointing someone else, Azmin Ali. Despite its resentment against the palace’s decision, the PKR and later the DAP endorsed Azmin’s appointment, thus sacrificing its principles and surrendering its power to choose the Menteri Besar. This spells trouble for the PKR’s already tainted and battered image.

The ‘Palace Move’ is not only going against democratic convention but it also calls into question the role of the constitutional monarch in our increasingly shrinking democracy. This should be a matter of concern not only to the opposition but also the BN since the ruling party’s prerogative in naming the prime minister and chief minister, as noted by former premier Mahathir Mohamad, would also be compromised. This spells trouble for democracy.

The Selangor crisis not only deepened factional fights in the PKR and Pas but it also amplified inter-party schism within Pakatan. Worse, the crisis exposed Pas’ true colors (i.e. its long obsession with the Islamic state agenda, its non-democratic culture via ulama control and a feudal state of mind) and its lack of commitment in upholding the spirit of Pakatan. Whatever happened to the notion of Negara Kebajikan Islam ,which was being touted by Pas in the last four general elections? This spells trouble for Pakatan.

So, what’s next for Pakatan? Is this the beginning of the end for the young coalition? Can Pakatan consolidate and regain the people’s trust in being a viable alternative to BN?

The future certainly looks gloomy for Pakatan Rakyat. Under the leadership of out of favour PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, the PKR, together with DAP and Pas, has a daunting task of putting Selangor back on the ‘right’ track.

The newly installed government needs to address all the issues associated with the Khalid leadership and fulfil Pakatan’s promises to the people of Selangor. If it can do this, Pakatan has a fighting chance in the next general election. However, inter- and intra-party factional fights are expected to continue plaguing Pakatan, thus distracting it from its goal of ‘fixing’ Selangor.

An even bigger challenge for Pakatan is to consolidate the coalition. The Selangor crisis shows that Pas is a liability to Pakatan. Its commitment to the coalition is in serious question. Its renewed call for the introduction of hudud and Islamic state is a betrayal of its electoral promise to moderate Malays and non-Muslims.

Hadi Awang’s actions in the Selangor crisis expose his lack of respect towards new politics and the spirit of the opposition coalition. Pas needs an overhaul. Hadi needs to be replaced. The hegemony of the ulamas needs to be stopped. The struggle for a welfare state, democracy and inclusivism should precede other agendas. If not, Pakatan has to cut its ties with Pas. Failing which, Pakatan would not even stand a chance to put up a credible challenge in the next general election.

Pakatan, however, has some breathing space because BN is equally hopeless. It fails to understand the impulse of the majority of voters in 2013 who wanted an inclusive, democratic and transparent Malaysia. But to form a government, Pakatan cannot rely on BN’s weaknesses only. Without a united coalition with a strong commitment towards change, Pakatan would only be a noisy opposition. Nothing more, nothing less.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Saturday, 27 September 2014 - 8:29 am

    ///The future certainly looks gloomy for Pakatan Rakyat. Under the leadership of out of favour PKR deputy president Azmin Ali….///

    I disagree. Azmin Ali is a “political wizard” who will be able to play the Menteri Besar game well.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 27 September 2014 - 8:40 am

    If Azmin Ali could turn Selangor into a wealthier state and a better place to live in than his predecessor, then Selangorians will have no regret of going through the MB crisis and will thank PKR for the “Kajang Move”.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 27 September 2014 - 9:04 am

    Actually its not PAS that is the priority. While PKR and Anwar did not do anything they did not have the privillege to do, the fact of the matter they did not do what the many parties they lead and partner expect them to do.

    Frankly, Anwar has to go and successor annointed, that successor must have the political skill to again bring PAS back to the mainstream future that most wants, not the ideological and political fox-hole they insist is OK with them and should be for everyone else. That successor looks like Azmin Ali who has the back room political skills but not certaintly fall short on the front-page one which is also insufficient.

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 27 September 2014 - 9:48 am

    Case in point – Taib Mohd said the smartest thing so far – PAS will lose Kelantan if they break away from PR.. PAS is not the problem as they don’t really have a choice they think they do..

  5. #5 by worldpress on Saturday, 27 September 2014 - 12:04 pm

    Get rid of the party which don’t serve interest of Malaysians and are not interest to uphold our constitution

  6. #6 by sotong on Saturday, 27 September 2014 - 1:48 pm

    Don’t worry about Pakatan.

    The rise of Islam State or ‘ death cult ‘ in the Middle East is a great concern.

    Over the decades, the Muslim community in the country is strongly influenced by what is happening in the Middle East.

  7. #7 by Noble House on Sunday, 28 September 2014 - 4:33 am

    I wouldn’t be too quick to write-off PAS just as yet. PAS is not about Hadi; Hadi is not about PAS. He alone does not make the Party.

    I want to believe you have enough of good men still in PAS, and these are the progressive democrats in whose hands the fate of PAS depends on in its future direction. These are the ones capable of bringing hope and aspirations to the Party in line with modern-day politics in a democratic society today.

    Hadi is a primitive dinosaur from a bygone era whose beliefs and thinking were long extinct and no longer relevant in a civilized society today. His unilateral action not only put his Party to ridicule, but dragged it into hell (in his own words) with no hopes of returning. PAS is better off without him and the likes of his species.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Sunday, 28 September 2014 - 12:01 pm

    What kind of Q is dis: “What’s next 4 PR”?
    Don’t they know dat d DEATH KNELL has rung 4 PR n d coffin is abt 2 b closed n nailed?
    All BS cooperation – now, suing each other as well, very entertaining n syiok 2 UmnoB/BN kaki

    PKR now openly admitted cronies might hv been rewarded, ala UmnoB/BN style, under former MB of S’gor
    At d end, rakyat kena skrued by both UmnoB/BN n PR

    S’gor residents still not enjoying good basic structure n amenities – e.g., simple problems like pot holes everywhere on roads in n around PJ, what a shame

    Just look at some of d NOUVEAU RICHE among PR politicians
    If honest $ made since 2008, OK, enjoy it, b transparent n show rakyat d source of sudden huge income
    If not, same same as UmnoB/BN kaki

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Sunday, 28 September 2014 - 12:08 pm

    PR, esp PAS, oredi gone case lar
    Skru themselves up big time in recent months
    Totally incompetent n no principles
    No wonder n no big surprise, PR LOST recent buy erections
    Going 2 continue 2 lose more lar

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