Monday, February 15, 2010

Perak MB – What next for Pakatan?

Continue to win the hearts of the people

Toppled Perak MenteriBesar(MB)Datuk Seri NizarJamaluddin has exhausted all the avenues available to him in his legal battle to reclaim the post of MenteriBesar when the Federal Court, despite the opinion of many constitutional experts, reputable past judges and the people in general, saw it fit to rule 5-0 against his appeal. The verdict though shocking was not unexpected going by the recent trends taking shape in the higher courts in the country.Although far from being satisfied with the verdict, which Nizar described as unjust, he nevertheless accepted it out of respect for the courts.

It was a positive move by Nizar and the PakatanRakyat (PR) leadership to give up further trying to remove BarisanNasional’s (BN) Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir as the MenteriBesar and move on and work towards becoming a strong opposition in the state government.PR pledged to work with the BN to serve the people provided certain conditions are met.

After all it does not matter how the Pakatan serves the people as long as it does so effectively either as the government or the opposition. As PR has equal number of seats in the state assembly as the BN it can stop the power abuse and corruption that have become rampant in our system. The PR can provide an effective two-party system to provide the necessary check and balance for the BN government.

The courts could have decided who the MB should be but the constitutional problems in Perak are far from over as the rightful party that should decide that would be the people. Zambry would soon discover that the real people who should have chosen him should have been the people and not the PM, Sultan or the courts. Working without the people’s mandate would be an uphill task. The wisest thing for him to do would be to seek the mandate of the people through a snap election which is what the majority of Perakians want. In fact a recent Merdeka Centre survey revealed over 75% of the Perakians want fresh polls to elect their new government. Zambry says he is ready to serve the people but how can he do so if he chooses to ignore the wishes of the people?

Meanwhile Nizar can rest assured that the people will not forget the good he has done during his short tenure as MB. They will not forget the way his government was toppled. They will not forget how he and his assemblymen especially the speaker had been humiliated. They will not forget that the power grab was unconstitutional and morally wrong. He can rest assured that the people are mature enough to make the right choice the next time around when he will be assured a bigger majority. His honesty, simplicity and multi-racial platform has already won him the hearts of the people of all races in and outside the state He is proving himself as a potential top national leader for all Malaysians . All he has to do is continue to serve the people by placing the people’s interest above all regardless of race or religion.

Pakatan as the opposition can be a significant force to stop the abuses of the government. It should continue to oppose all policies based on race. It should work together with the BN to banish all forms of racial discrimination in the state. It should take a tough stand on all forms of corruption that is draining the resources of the state.

There is also a need for the members of Pakatan,DAP,PAS and PKR to relook at the relationship among them. They must consolidate further their mutual bonds in the coalition that has been under tremendous strain of late. They should strengthen their common stand and not magnify the few differences among them. It would be national tragedy if they lose all that we have gained due to the selfish and greed of a few among them.

Changes to our system must come but they should well planned, elaborately debated and implemented gradually. After over 2 decades of race-based politics, the people need time to adapt themselves to the new multiracial mindset that is being introduced to meet the needs of the competitive global world.The members of the coalition in particular the DAP, with its predominantly Chinese membership,should be patient and not rush to bring about changes as that would create suspicion on the part of more conservative members in Pas and the Malays in PKR.Of course its political opponents are only too happy waiting to capitalize on the suspicion created among them.

On the other hand the DAP must reassure the Malays that it is not in any way a threat to their political, religious and economic interests. In fact it must go out of its way to prove it has no hidden racial agenda of their own by helping the deserving Malays and Indians with the same enthusiasm with which it helps the Chinese.

It should go the extra mile to prove that it is color blind in dealing with the people of various ethnicities. This will also go a long way to prove that the MB who has to be Malay is not a puppet of the Chinese dominated DAP as Nizar was specifically accused by Umno.

The next general elections are not very far away and this time around the people are wiser and more mature to know who is right and who is not. With the cyber media playing an increasingly important role in the lives of Malaysians, they are not going to be easily duped into believing all the propaganda that they see and hear. They will have their own discerning mind and they will definitely choose the right people to form the next government.

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