Pakatan Rakyat should show what it can do with the five states under its control instead of harping on how it is going to take control of the Federal Government soon.
IF IT had the numbers, why hadn’t Pakatan taken over the government, and its leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim become prime minister? If it wanted to show it had the majority in Parliament, why did it not just frustrate one of the many motions of the ruling party?
The answer must be, for whatever reason and almost nine months after the March 8 elections, Pakatan does not have the numbers; and if it has, it is not at all confident that it can hold on to it.
If it can entice 30 Members of Parliament to cross the floor and topple a government which is just eight seats short of a two-thirds majority, what makes it think that the ruling Barisan Nasional can’t get some of Pakatan’s members to defect or do something to get back those who had defected?
In fact, it would be far easier for Barisan to persuade just eight members away from Pakatan to get its two-thirds majority in Parliament. If, somehow, Barisan does that, we will hear no end from Pakatan about money politics.
That kind of defection game will produce a great amount of instability and uncertainty in the country. You just don’t go out and use whatever means you have to get 30 MPs to cross over and overthrow a government that has a 58-seat majority in a 222-seat Parliament.
Anwar and Pakatan leaders surely must realise that a 140-82 victory for Barisan is very emphatic even if it lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament, and that despite Pakatan’s substantial gains they lost the elections – and by a solid amount.
For argument’s sake, even if we assume that Anwar and Pakatan have the numbers, would it be morally and ethically correct for them to do so, although there is no legal hindrance for such a move?
Money is not the only that thing that corrupts – there are other things as well. Power, for instance, and position. And that’s quite close enough to money to be considered to be morally and ethically unacceptable.
For a coalition which has stood on the high moral ground to get support from Malaysians, surely doing something like this will not endear itself to the voting public in the next election, now a mere four years and three months away at maximum, and probably less than that.
Pakatan should forget about gaining control of the Federal Government, which would be nebulous at best, through nefarious means and stay on the straight and narrow, get public confidence and attempt to unseat the current government at the next polls. That also respects voters’ wishes, for Pakatan did not win the last election.
The argument has been made that other means may be used to remove Anwar from the scene, citing the latest sodomy charge against him. The counter to that would be that Anwar does not necessarily equate to Pakatan – Pakatan after all made great gains in the election without Anwar standing, although he campaigned.
If at all Anwar is unfairly or unjustly incarcerated again in the eyes of the public, that should only gain more votes for Pakatan and ensure that in the next election it may not only win but win big.
But as long as Pakatan continues to harp on this issue of taking power – almost but not quite through extra-legal means – it is going to lose a large amount of credibility with those who thought it fit to throw in their lot with it.
It would be better for Pakatan to fight the good fight, especially when it has a good chance if it plays all its cards right, to win that fight. Why sully its hands now, when power can be in its hands just a few years down the line?
Now is the time for it to build its base – currently non-existent – in Sabah and Sarawak. Now is the time to show that it can do something – not anything, but something substantial – in the states it has taken over. There is a lot Pakatan should be doing, but it simply is not.
Take Selangor. It took a long time to announce the slate for local councils throughout the state. The final list may have been better than the previous government’s but that’s not saying much. It did not do much to allay concerns over the connected getting into power. Disappointingly, not enough is being done through local councils to improve the public’s lot.
Ditto for Perak, Penang, Kedah and Kelantan. What is it that Pakatan has offered to date which is a great and clear improvement in terms of the potential for improving the living standards of the public?
And what is it that they have done to date to improve their presence in Sabah and Sarawak and other parts of Peninsular Malaysia where they are weak?
If Pakatan continues to ignore these pressing issues, brings no tangible benefits to the people, continues to bask in its so-called victory instead of solidly consolidating its gains by responding to public demands, and prefers politicking to solid work, it is going to be a one-election wonder.
The clock is ticking – Pakatan probably has less than four years to show us all what it is really made of.