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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Two Bugis Princes And The Tale Of Mamak Ronin...



The two Bugis princes are studying the past and future Selangor.



What is happening and shocking my state?...

Ohh...It's just a tale of mamak ronin Tuanku...

Mahu jadi MB?...

Ahh...ramai lagi anak jati Selangor yang lebih layak...


The nature of the parliamentary system is such that the electorate chooses which political parties (or coalition) that can best govern the country. They in turn choose who amongst their leaders to head up become the Prime Minister.  Thus, it is entirely puzzling at the examples proffered by supporters of Anwar Ibrahim’s latest move to contest in the soon-to-be-held Kajang state seat by-election.

It is established then that the political party is the lead actor in a parliamentary system, not the individual politician. So what is the point of having Anwar Ibrahim to take over the Chief Ministership of Selangor from Khalid Ibrahim? The electorate votes for the party, not the personality that embodies it.

Anwar Ibrahim is not the be-all and end-all of the Opposition.

If it is about showcasing achievements of an Opposition-led state government to garner the people’s vote of confidence for the ultimate prize, Putrajaya, then replacing the Chief Minister of a well-performing state such as Selangor for no good reason is just folly.

Two question remain:

1) How does showcasing the achievements of Selangor, Penang and Kelantan governments translate into possible victory of Pakatan Rakyat?

2) Since the successes of the Selangor and Penang governments have been evident since 2008 but somehow did not help Pakatan to win other states in the last general election, what else is new now?

Respecting the electorate

Why did Lee Chin Cheh abruptly resign from his state seat? So far no explanation has been offered by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). If Lee Chin Cheh had resigned with reasons that are less than dire, then it is a dereliction of his duty to serve the people who overwhelmingly voted for him in the last general election. It is a sheer betrayal of Kajang people’s trust of their representative and the political party he is a part of. It is simply impossible to claim a moral high ground when the party is engaging in the same manipulative politics as its nemesis. Is this the Machiavellian “democracy” that PKR, and by extension Pakatan, envisions for Malaysia? A victory brought on by any means necessary rings hollow if the Rakyat ends up as the collateral damage.

In regards to being an effective wakil rakyat (elected member) is it advisable or even possible to simultaneously service two constituencies that differ greatly in geography, culture, socio-economic background and ethnic makeup? Is it even democratic to begin with? Being elected into office means carrying the heavy burden of rakyat’s hopes, dreams and aspirations and trying to fulfil them to the best of one’s ability. It does not give the wakil rakyat the carte blanche to treat the constituents like some meaningless pawns on the grand political chessboard to be manipulated whenever it is politically expedient.

How will Anwar Ibrahim explain this to both the constituencies of Permatang Pauh and Kajang? Simply setting up service centres in the constituency and only visiting it right before the general election does not make for an effective and trustworthy people’s representative. Plus, the job scope and focus of a member of parliament (MP) and state assemblyperson differ in many ways – one may have to deal with the burgeoning national deficit in Dewan Rakyat and the other may deal with potholes behind Pak Mat’s house in Taman Kajang Bestari. How does Anwar Ibrahim plan to reconcile them?

What wrong has Khalid done?

The whole brouhaha obviously started with the internal party bickering between Khalid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali, which somehow necessitated Anwar Ibrahim’s foray into state politics to purportedly defuse the tension.

In what ways do including Anwar Ibrahim in the state government, either as a state assemblyperson and/or Chief Minister, help quell the infightings within Selangor PKR?

More pointedly, what have Khalid Ibrahim done wrong to the people of Selangor in the past six years for him to be replaced before his term ends?

The dark and treacherous road to Putrajaya

Rafizi Ramli, PKR’s MP for Pandan, states that with Anwar at the helm nobody will be able to mess with him politically because he is the head honcho but what about using his gravitas instead to prop up Khalid Ibrahim’s creaky position within and without the party and make it unassailable. If Anwar Ibrahim makes it perfectly clear to every PKR cadres, especially the ones in Azmin Ali’s camp, that he is solidly behind Khalid Ibrahim and all are required to put on a united front in support of Khalid Ibrahim, then none of this fiasco would have escalated and festered into what it is now.

Rafizi Ramli’s ‘sincere but rather opaque’ written statement regarding this issue also mentions the need to fortify Selangor against the impending BN onslaught, hell-bent on wresting back the richest state in the federation even if it literally ends up in ashes and embers.

But the reasoning begs the question: what is BN, or particularly Selangor UMNO, doing now or planning to do later that is different than what they had done in the past? Lest we forget, the Selangor UMNO launched the Selamatkan Selangor campaign right after the 2008 general election to spread misinformation, lies and slanders and concoct many nefarious plans to sabotage the Pakatan state government, including stoking the racial and religious flames. But instead, the Selangor voters returned Pakatan to the state government in the last general election with an even bigger majority.

Rafizi Ramli is right. The Kajang by-election will be the game-changer but not in the manner that he thinks. It is indeed another dark chapter in Malaysian democracy, and more importantly a treacherous path in the country’s transition to a genuine two-party system. 

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