In all probability the 13th General Election will be upon us within the first half of 2011. When the politicians have done talking it is the people who will decide who will govern Malaysia. We will decide who will make our laws, who will determine how our economy will be managed and how the forces of good and evil in the country are harnessed to best serve the interest of our country’s future.
There is little room for error when we make our choice. If we are to err let it be on the side of common sense and sensible judgement – not on the possibility or probability that the people we elect will keep the promises of good governance they have made to us in the heat of campaigning for their time in power/government. So who will it be? DSAI or Najib Tun Razak? Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat?
What has Najib Tun Razak done since he came into power as Prime Minister in April 2009?
With each day he has grown in stature as a national leader and as an individual. He walks the talk. He consults; he has time and time again turun padang to meet with the Rakyat. He makes an effort at reaching consensus with all races in the making of policies that his government implements. He is patient when there is dissent, conciliatory when there is conflict and yet firm when needed to do what is good for the nation. He makes the hard decision when required.
Najib inherited a Malaysia that needed change. To all intents and purposes it would seem that Najib is the change. In his time as Prime Minister he has moved consistently in the direction of change with due regard for the need of all Malaysians of different races, and religion – sometimes having to cajole, persuade to make us move forward in this direction with him leading us.
He is not always successful. Not always right but he is prepared to confront his own cabinet, his own party, his coalition partners within Barisan Nasional and all that stands in the way of good governance.
Najib’s government is carrying out a transformation with his 1Malaysia initiative of people first, performance now. The use of Key Performances Indicators (KPI's) is a fundamental measurement of the performance of Najib’s Government. That Najib is prepared to hold the performance of himself and his government to this scrutiny confirms his commitment to good governance and his own confidence on delivering on what he promised.
These are not ideas on paper. These are real policies being implemented in real situation with all the attendant difficulties of overcoming dissent from people who have gotten used to the ways of the good old days when accountability and taking responsibility for one’s action was not the done thing. Despite these difficulties Najib knows that these are policies that must be implemented because these are policies whose time has come if Malaysia is to move forward with the rest of the world. Najib has the convictions of his beliefs. If what he does is contradictory to the wishes of some from within his cabinet and party then so be it. Najib looks at the bigger picture – national interests over politics, the people’s well being over party’s interest and the goodwill of the people over racial considerations.
DSAI in contrast is embroiled in a number of issues on different fronts – all a mirror of the way he chooses to do things. On a personal level he is facing trial again for sodomy. He is confronted by a personal assistant who accuses him of committing buggery upon him. The facts that have emerged so far from the trial augers ill for DSAI ability to defend himself of the charges. This time around there are no mattresses being paraded around. There are only cold clinical facts that will be hard to disapprove when presented as evidence. But the case is ongoing. Let the court decide.
The recent PKR party election is, by all accounts, a damming endorsement of how elections should not be conducted! A 10% turn out? Voting irregularities? The withdrawal of a deputy president candidate and eventually his resignation from the party? Fights, physical intimidations by thugs and goons ala MIC in the times of Samy Velu? By any index the PKR election was an abject failure. Even the one person one vote touted loudly as the cornerstone of PKR’s free and fair election was laughable when compared to the 10 percent turnout - a damming indictment of what its members thought of the election as a whole. PKR simply could not deliver the clean and fair elections they promised. Or to be more exact they would not deliver that free and fair election promised because to do so would have compromised their existing power base within PKR.
In Selangor Khalid is the embattled MB holding on to power despite the increasingly strident calls from the leaders within PKR for his resignation. Khalid is not going to meekly submit to the demands of his own PKR members who are clamouring for their share of the spoils of wars after PKR victory in Selangor. Never mind the people of Selangor. Never mind that Khalid considers himself as MB for all the people in Selangor! The old mentality of party before anything else is now being fought out in Selangor. If Khalid will not dance to their tune then PKR wants him out. Khalid is fighting for his political survival and it would seems that he is close to throwing in the towel….but Khalid has enough financial resource within himself to do what he thinks is right for the people of Selangor even at the expense of losing support within PKR. Financial independence allows Khalid that privilege.
And what does DSAI does about this? He jumps right in and appoints himself Selangor Economic Advisor as a stop gap measure while forces within PKR tries to regroup in Selangor – i.e until the forces against Khalid are strong enough to dismiss him as MB.
DSAI way of dealing with problems within PKR and PR is to involve himself on a personal level when what is needed is to allow for these problems to work themselves out through the process that is already in place. He finds himself defending sodomy charges. He is the Economic Advisor to Selangor, head of PKR, self-appointed spokesman for Malaysia’s perceived failings whenever the world press is in front of him. He is spreading himself too thinly and if that is not enough, he is also head of the opposition…and yet he was recently suspended from parliament for six months! How does he intend to fight the opposition battle in Parliament if he is not physically there?
If this is all a conspiracy by Najib’s government to isolate DSAI from doing his job as opposition leader then should not DSAI be more guarded in what he does and make sure that he does not give Najib an opportunity suspend him from Parliament?
Like Saiful – there would be no case to answer if DSAI did not put himself in harms way. From his past experience he should know that there was a clear and present danger the moment he puts himself in any compromising position with a man or a women – do not do it then!
The electronic media is increasingly critical of what DSAI has been doing. Najib is no longer the favourite whipping boy of the bloggers – it is now DSAI. Again he has opened another front to do his battle on – a front that will hurt him in his battle for outreach to the Malaysian public. DSAI has no access to the TV, the newspaper in Malaysia. He only has the electronic media and the foreign press. On the international level Najib has already made his move and been successful in making world leaders understand what he is trying to do for Malaysia and what harm DSAI is doing to the country by his rantings to the world press. Let it be said that world leader are sympathetic to Najib’s plea for understanding as they too have been subject to the same treatment at home.
Without the support of the electronic media in Malaysia and the bloggers how does DSAI expect to reach out to the Rakyat?
All this ills of DSAI are self-inflicted. He needs to take responsibility for what his words would do to himself and more critically, to Pakatan Rakyat. The Rakyat are now too familiar with his threats to expose wrong doings within UMNO and the Barisan Nasional Government. These threats are now like water off a duck’s back in as far as Barisn Nasional is concern. For the Rakyat there are still hopeful that DSAI will come through with enough hard evidence to back what he says. The latest threat of coming out with proof linking APCO Worldwide and the 1Malaysia concept to Israel’s is a case in point. Is this another “I will take over the government on September 16th 2008” situation? It generated a lot of interest from the Rakyat if not the world but in the end it died a natural death…nothing came out of nothing!
Where we will end after the 13th general election will be a product of what DSAI and Pakatan Rakyat will do NOW! In the euphoria of the 2008 election we might be able to overlook DSAI misplaced attempt at grand standing by recklessly announcing what he could not do – take over from Barisan Nasional then. In the cold cold morning light of the dawn before the 13th general election DSAI and what he represents must go down to ground level and look at what Najib has done and is doing to make up for their unprecedented “defeat” in the aftermath of the 13th general election. I think Najib might have done just enough and holds the high ground…but that general election is still Pakatan Rakyat’s to loose. Will DSAI and Pakatan Rakyat understand this and start the process of consolidating their strength and minimizing their weaknesses and prepare themselves either for Armageddon or Victory? Methinks it is too close to call either way……..