COMMENT With Umno and its president in big trouble, and Pakatan Rakyat being pronounced dead, it is time for the moderates from both the east and the west to rise in order to save this nation from going to the dogs.
I had just illustrated in an article yesterday that our lawmakers no longer know what is right from wrong, but as long as they are in Umno, they are safe and secure. No one, including the attorney-general or the inspector-general of police can touch them.
This is what drives a peace-loving people (literally) ‘up the wall’, especially when there are efforts to politically target the various segments of our society (using a term understood by marketing professionals) in order to win votes.
In the process, these politicians no longer care about mutual respect or religious sensitivities between fellow Malaysians. They are destroying the social fabric of our country by the day.
Where it is convenient, things are done in the name of race, religion, royalty and patriotism; when it does not serve the good of the ruling party, even a member of the royalty can be ‘whacked’. Surprisingly, Perkasa has kept very quiet about the quarrel between Culture and Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz and the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim. Why?
In the eyes of our lawmakers, and even the law enforcers, I guess it is also ‘okay’ to issue death threats to a group of womenfolk who appeared in front of Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin’s residence, just as it was also okay for a group of buttock-wagging retirees to turn up at the residence of former Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, a well-respected community leader of our times.
Our children and their children would rise up to judge us if nothing is done to salvage this nation from being further destroyed by power-hungry and greedy politicians, who are no longer talking about millions but billions of public funds.
‘Stand up now and be counted’
The environment is conducive for the moderates to rise. There is a saying, “Either you stand up now and be counted, or forever remain silent.”
I welcome the news of former prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein’s son Nazir’s suggestion to set up a political party that will be headed by Saifuddin Abdullah.
There is no reason for Nazir to set up another NGO or political organisation, when there are already enough such groups.
In fact, Saifuddin (photo) is already the chief executive officer of the Global Movement of Moderates and if his views are being taken heed of, we do not need to do much. Most of our time could have been invested into some more productive activities.
The Group of 25 Eminent Malays would not need to put in their two sen worth, and speak up against Umno’s right wing movement or make efforts to speak to members of the royal families. Its leader Noor Farida Ariffin and I can sit down to sip a cup of coffee together, although we do not enjoy the same social standing.
Nazir and Saifuddin should take cognisance that there are already political parties that are already there (like the ‘shell companies’), such as the one set up by former Umno cabinet minister Sheikh Kadir Sheikh Fadzir that they can hop into.
Along with others such as Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and even Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who were formerly with Team B of Umno, they should form a coalition with the component parties that once made up Pakatan Rakyat.
I also support Zaid Ibrahim’s proposal that Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (Pasma) set up a new Islamist political party, but doing away with lording ulama like the syura council in PAS. I repeat ‘lording’ ulama, as not all ulama behave as if God looks look down from Heaven and favour only a minority of people who appear pious but capable of making all sorts of nonsensical comments, not befitting even of an ordinary Muslim to speak.
G25’s Noor Farida (photo) is a bit too ambitious to ask DAP and PKR todissolve, but to join forces with this camp other than the one led by Umno, may be the best option for now, if we want to see a two-party democratic system taking shape in this country.
The ‘third force’ in Malaysian politics, unfortunately, can only happen when both ruling party and opposition are equally strong, after which we as the rakyat can then be the true kingmakers. At this juncture, too much power is vested on one side of the crucible.
Even Dr Mahathir Mohamad is finding the office of the prime minister too well-fortified for him to shake. For this reason, members of Parliament and the rakyat cannot blame Najib for briefing Umno warlords about 1MDB instead of the Parliament.
In the United States and other more matured democracies, even the president can be hauled up by the Congress for some good grilling, and if the president failed to provide a ‘good enough’ answer, he could be impeached. Period.
The time has come for even any prime minister, if found guilty of wrongdoing, to be sent to prison like in other more advanced Asian countries. We can no longer allow too much power to be vested in one person.
To have a healthy democracy, where the rakyat will prevail, we can no longer afford to have too much power vested in one party. The only reason why we are in this state of affairs is because moderates and people who love this country failed to stand up for the sake of this nation.
My generation has failed, and I hope with whatever scores of years that I have, we will effect some change that will make our children proud someday.
Edmund Burke once said, “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.” We are all part of a bigger scheme of things. If there are hidden hands in the underworld that have manipulated our country, moderates have an important role to play now instead of being a rubber stamp to the acts of wickedness that we see being done by the agents of wickedness.
A reconfiguration to effect a political earthquake
Although I do not agree with DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang that Pakatan Rakyat is dead, I fully support his idea of a reconfiguration of political parties, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals to effect what I call a political earthquake that will truly shake the corridors of power.
A corn has to fall on the ground and die first, before a new lease of life is released. If this is what Lim meant, he has my full support, notwithstanding my belief that Pakatan, like any other coalition, can do away with one of its component parties without being dissolved.
Until this new coalition can be formed to take the bull by the horns, we can only sit down and complain, while others will just escape to greener pastures. Given the current situation, if my children chose to migrate after their studies overseas, I would gladly approve it, although the reason I returned to this nation after four years of study Down Under was to serve the nation.
Lim’s earlier suggestion about the rise of a prime minister from East Malaysia is also a great proposition, but before that can happen, please remember one man who has sacrificed a great deal for the nation and he is currently languishing in a prison cell of Sungai Buloh.
On Aug 10, Anwar Ibrahim will be celebrating his 68th birthday and it is my prayer that the PKR de facto leader will be granted clemency by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, another man I have always admired as a young boy in primary school.
This I am saying with one humble statement that, although I do not believe Anwar is an angel (in fact, who is?), episode 2 of the sodomy case appears more like a political ploy than anything else.
What do you expect when the prosecution pushes the sodomy case (even if it happened, involved only two persons) all the way to the Federal Court, taking so much of the courts’ time, when a case involving billions of ringgit of public funds such as the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) did not even go further than the lower courts?
After Anwar was sent to prison, even his prosecutor went around the country revealing what is not right even in the eyes of a layperson like me, yet was not reprimanded by the president of his own party. What Shylocks do we have in this nation!
Both PKR and the DAP are already becoming multi-racial and should continue working together with the progressives of PAS to form a more inclusive coalition that will give Barisan Nasional a run for their money.
The new coalition should have the people at heart; therefore, the word ‘rakyat’ should be retained. It should also include a number of non-governmental organisation and individuals such as the G25 as well as other lobby groups which have been pro-Pakatan in the past.
People’s movements such as Bersih and Negara-Ku have no choice but to declare that they are, for the moment, with this new coalition, until such a time that the new coalition has become strong enough to take over Putrajaya in the coming general election.
The moment politicians from this new coalition misbehave in a big way, then Bersih and Negara-Ku as well as other NGOs can pull out. This will be the day that most Malaysians are waiting to see.
We are a nation in birth pangs. Are we prepared to stand up and be counted?