SEMARAK REFORMASI

LAGU SELOKA KEDAH

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Unity Government : PAS will be the ultimate loser

The best for democracy would be for Malaysia to have a strong two-party system. The people should applaud what seems to be the leaning now in the country. No one coalition should be allowed to monopolise power for too long. Let the choice of who governs the country be decided by the people.

Thus, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat should be allowed to flourish as the national political plinths for the people. Both coalitions have their manifestos to win support from the electorate. The best coalition wins and it’s the people who will make this decision.

Upon being elected, let them plan what to do for the people. If they cannot perform up to the people’s expectation, the people then have the right to vote them out. In politics, the people’s court will pass the ultimate judgment.

Thus, the issue of a unity government between PAS and Umno is quite an impulsive reaction from some political quarters. In a democracy, a unity government dilutes the check-and-balance processes important in the governance of a state.

It defeats the purpose of having an effective government or opposition. A check-and-balance is a fundamental pillar of democracy and for this to take place, there must be a conscientious government and equally a responsible opposition in the political system of a country.

The recent furore on the unity government supposedly mooted by some quarters in PAS is worth contemplating. Apparently, the current sentiment on the ground is that the people want a strong Pakatan coalition to replace BN as the government of the country.

The people, irrespective of race or religion, did not mind voting for opposition candidates in the last general election and in the few by-elections held after that. The sentiment has become crystal clear that the people, somehow or rather, are not happy with the BN government for reasons best known to the BN leaders themselves.

PAS, however, should be aware that a substantial number of non-supporters of the party voted for their candidates in the past elections. This does not mean that PAS can flex its muscles and say with arrogance to the people that ‘the electorate has now accepted PAS’.

Many who voted for PAS candidates just because they did not want BN, at least for now. This trend may change if the political and economical situation favours BN. Thus, for PAS to talk about a unity government at this time will only invite the wrath of those who voted for their candidates. And for this hasty stand by only one or two of its leaders, PAS will have to pay heavily in future elections.

The people may abandon PAS out of revulsion. Alas, it is the lack of wisdom on the part of these PAS leaders that could bring about to the party’s rejection by the electorate. As

pointed out by PAS’ spiritual leader, ‘...it is not Pas that wants a unity government but a few leaders within PAS who are harping on this matter’. This means a lot to the people who had so much hope for the party to bring about a wind of change in the country together with PKR and DAP.

When a few leaders decide to go for the unity government thinking that they will be ‘given some posts in the cabinet or government of the day’, they are actually not bringing with them the majority of PAS supporters. This move could be prejudged as ‘politics for self-interests’. This will without doubt dent the image of these leaders, but not of PAS supporters in general.

Many PAS supporters would stay loyal to the party and many others would find an alternative and most likely they will choose PKR as their new platform to pursue their political cause. With the charismatic Zaid Ibrahim, the one-time Umno minister joining PKR, it will bring more clout to the party and he would undeniably bring in more supporters into PKR.

Kelantan and Kedah are in the stable hands of PAS with the strong support from PKR and DAP; Selangor is helmed by an able chief minister, Khalid Ibrahim, with corporate experience. He is unwaveringly supported by PAS and DAP and despite the odds against him running the richest state in the country, he has waded through the many obstacles with ingenuity.

It’s quite amazing to see how Pakatan has worked inclusively with PAS, PKR and DAP. It’s unity through diversity but the cause they are together fighting for is justice for all Malaysians. This is where they meet politically despite having some differences in ideologies.

Political tremors could now be felt in some other states - Terengganu, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang , Johor and Perlis. Come the next general election - and if the present sentiment prevails with the economy not being favourable to BN - Pakatan will be able to win big and eventually form the next federal government.

PAS leaders should not waste this opportunity if their political agenda is to serve the people and not for their own self-interests. Even if a few leaders in PAS decide to go ahead with the idea of forming a unity government with Umno, it will not dent the people’s support for Pakatan.

It would be wiser, as many critics say, for a few of these leaders to join Umno instead, and see what BN could offer them in return or how popular they could become with their new-found platform. These people, according to critics, will only bring further disaster to BN if they are accepted into their fold. BN should be wise enough not to entertain them.

The spiritual leader of PAS, being a judicious politician, is adamant that there should not be a unity government. He knows the ultimate consequence that Pas will be doomed if they go for it and this will be the end of PAS as a formidable political entity. Pas will be neutralised then and it may even been wiped out from the political landscape of the country.

Even only with PKR and DAP, Pakatan Rakyat will march to victory in the next general election. The loser will of course be PAS and not Umno, BN, PKR or DAP. To PAS leaders, the advice is - you need a lot of wisdom to survive in politics.

Dr. Maria ( Malaysia kini)

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