Does the loss by Barsian Nasional of its two thirds majority in the 12th general election a reflection of a widespread popular mandate for Pakatan Rakyat to form government or was it merely a wake up call from the Rakyat to Barisan Nasional?
Was it an endorsement of Pakatan Rakyats policies and their promise of open and accountable government or was it the Rakyat’s way of reining in Barisan Nasional excesses by putting in place a credible opposition?
Whatever the reason one thing is certain. Neither Barisan Nasional nor Pakatan Rakyat has fully fulfilled the aspirations of the Rakyat nor were they able to achieve the full potential of political maturity expected of them. Instead what we have seen from both BN and PR is a denial of the responsibilities they had committed themselves to in the lead up to that 12th general election. Both BN and PR have failed the Rakyat in their inability to put the people’s need first before party. BN more so then Pakatan Rakyat simply because with BN lies the capabilities to f#*k up more then PR. If you insist that DSAI did screw up Saiful then you must accept that Najib is screwing up the whole country!
What has been apparent is that UMNO’s ability to mobilize unwavering support from the Malays has come under increasing stress but not to the extent that would question UMNO’s legitimacy to lead BN from the front.
What is clear now is that the general population can no longer be excluded nor marginalized from political debate. The general population could no longer be mobilized at will to do the bidding of BN or PR unless by so doing they are advancing their own interest – as was done in Bersih One and Two! Political needs now need to be reconciled with popular demands of civil liberties and economic advancement for all.
The growth of social movement politics has now redefined our political landscape simply because BN and PR cannot ignore that this social movement is a potent and will be a decisive force in shaping any government of this nation. BN or PR can ignore this reality at their peril.
For BN this involves an uncomfortable adjustments of its ways to meet the fiscal discipline demanded by the populace….something it has been slow and seemingly unable to do given its preoccupation with money politics and the acquisition of material wealth by its leaders and their cronies. What UMNO has seek to do instead is the deployment of numerous “transformation” initiatives by which they hope to get some political space to consolidate their own internal power structure in readiness of the coming 13th general elections. Coupled with this is UMNO’s use of gutter politics to take down any PR’s operatives – DSAI being the recipient of its most frenzied focus.
Pakatan Rakyat is exactly what it is. A coalition of convenience amongst political parties that really has no business to even be in the same room with each other what more in a coalition – but politics makes strange bedfellows! There is the spectacle of DAP and PAS, two political organization with obviously larger grass roots support and networking, being headed by the defacto head of PKR – a political organization at sea in the open politics now demanded of it. And to make matters worse the spectre of sexual misconduct hangs over the head of DSAI – the defacto head of PKR and the leader of PR by default.
Against this background the people are now being asked to chose who will govern them after the 13th general election!
What we need to remember is that in the face of the changing scenarios of social movement politics the politics of race that all the major political organization within our country now promote for self preservation is becoming increasingly irrelevant. There has to be a paradigm shift within PR and BN to accommodate this social movement politics simply because it is the expression of the peoples dissatisfaction of the way things are – an expression that can be frightening in its unpredictability and unruliness should the occasioned demands it to be – as the recent physicality of the Bersih Two rally demonstrated.
What is clear is the ability of the people to create unity out of multiplicity. 1Malaysia is alive and well but not as Najib envisaged it to be. A unity that demands good governance of it leaders, fair allocation of our nations resources, civil liberties for all. Good governance can no longer be a “promise” from BN or PR but rather it becomes a “premise” required before our votes are given to BN or PR.
It is now up to BN or PR to navigate these uncharted terrains of political possibility. The people awaits.