Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tussle for MB post a test of Pakatan survival

--> Time for Anwar to call it a day

With PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s support for Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim, he has indicated openly his refusal to support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to replace Khalid with his wife and PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah.This stand by the PAS leader may and backed by Tok Guru Nik Aziz virtually puts a stop to Anwar’s “Kajang Move” that is aimed at strengthening the Selangor government and using the state capture Putrajaya in the 14GE.Hadi’s support for a ‘Umno MB’ over his Pakatan allies may indicate the reviwal of old interests of the Islamist party with Umno that could lead to the breakup of the opposition coalition. 

Moreover Khalid’s refusal to step down despite not getting the support of his party and his likelihood of resorting to royal support may help him hold on to power at least till the next GE.The significant result of such a scenario will be a great setback for Anwar from which he, at age of 66, may never be able to recover and that may put an end to his political ambitions. There are already many close to him abandoning him and if he loses in this bid to oust Khalid he may once again become a resident of Sg.Buloh,this time a lonely one.

The battle to replace Khalid,initially seen as a simple party process has become a crucial test for Pakatan's unity and probably even survival.The collapse of Pakatan will have serious consequences as it would not only mean the return of Umno-BN which the people rejected in two general elections but also the loss of a strong opposition.

Most fair minded Malaysians will agree that Khalid should have the integrity to step down from the post having lost the confidence of his party as it was the party that put him up there in the first place.How can a  BN-aligned administer a Pakatan-ruled state? 

Despite Pakatan having ruled five states since 2008,it is unfortunate that is no proper system of selecting the MB is in place. Selection by consensus may be ideal but it is not possible all the time. This lack of say from component parties led to the fall of Kedah in the last elections. As to the replacement of Khalid Ibrahim this time in Selangor, there must be a vote among Pakatan leaders on the choice of candidate from those nominated by their parties. PKR may have nominated Wan Azizah and she may be a good choice but that must be decided by a democratic process among Pakatan leaders and not by any individual including Anwar. 

Looking at the developments in Pakatan on a more positive view will reassure many that with PAS out of the coalition,new forces may may realign to make Pakatan Rakyat stronger as PAS,in particular the Ulama faction, has always been looked on with suspicion by other two partners.As the new forces realign the old ones led by Anwar and Kit Siang too must exit to make way for younger leaders to adapt to changes and new realities on the ground today.

As for Anwar, while we appreciate what he has done so far in creating a formidable opposition, but time has come for him to leave the centre-stage to the younger leaders. I am sure he has the wisdom to realise that he, like all leaders, is not indispensable and failing to leave at the right time may end him losing all he has gained over these years. All his sacrifices will come to naught if the bickering over the MB post leads to the breakup of Pakatan Rakyat.

Anwar must see the ongoing ‘Khalid experience’ as a clear sign that soon everyone close to him will desert him. In fact the choice of his wife for the MB’s post itself speaks volumes of the mistrust he has for anyone else in the party. This is indeed a very sorry state for a leader who managed to accomplish the unprecedented feat to garner the people’s support and almost became the PM after the13GE.

The signs are showing that Anwar must leave and he must do so gracefully. It will be for his own good that that of his wife and family. At 66, there are much more beautiful things in life for him than politics where he is increasingly seen as becoming irrelevant. Those who admired his courage, supported his ideals and stayed with him loyally during thick and thin do not like to see him leave beaten, disgraced, disappointed and a broken man. 

They will miss him but will never forget him as he will go down in history as the man who dared to stand up to an abusive, unjust and corrupt regime and one who created a formidable opposition called Pakatan Rakyat which many others before him failed.

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