17 June 2015
So, The Pakatan Rakyat is dead according to the DAP.
In practical terms they are quite right. This is a situation of PAS making. Their dissent against the coalition over the past couple of years, led by their increasingly belligerent president has made the situation of the PR very precarious indeed.
But it is their undebated decision to break ties with the DAP in their last Muktamar, that was the final straw. The DAP cannot be expected to want to continue working with a party that is so clearly opposed to them.
Ostensibly this decision by PAS is based on vocal criticisms of the DAP against the plans of PAS to implement hudud in Kelantan. The thing is PKR has also opposed it although in a less vocal manner. Yet they don’t seem to want to cut ties with PKR.
But the situation is far from settled. PKR now has the task to decide what it wants to do. The thing about the PR is that it is not an “official” organisation as (if I am not mistaken) it has not been registered as an actual entity.
Therefore it is a coalition based on mutual agreement and not by law as such. This being the case, its position is fluid and unclear.
And it is this lack of clarity which is going to be a problem for the opposition. The people need to know just who they are voting for. This means that if an opposition coalition is to exist it has to be crystal clear what their common platform is. The DAP and PAS are no longer partners, PKR must now decide who they want to move into the future with.
And they should decide this fairly quickly. The recent fiasco has made the public lose faith in the PR and worse perhaps even in the entire Malaysian democratic process. In order to restore that faith, they need to get their act together as soon as possible and work hard while there is still time before the next General Elections.
Personally I think PKR and DAP should just wish PAS all the best and wave them on their way. Not only has PAS been going on their own provincial tangent over the past two years, but it is clear that the very forces within the Islamist party that made PR what it is are no longer welcome.
By rejecting the “progressive” group within their party the PAS faithful has shown not only ingratitude but also a serious short-sightedness.
The only reason PAS has the popularity that it enjoyed over the last eight years or so has been because of the tireless work of the progressive who strived to move PAS away from its past into a future where overarching principles of justice was more important than any shallow expressions of piety.
Without this faction, the party can only hope to maintain support in its traditional heartlands. Perhaps that is what they want. The current crop of PAS leaders seem more concerned with race and religion than they are about good governance and justice. Maybe they will be happy to work with UMNO to maintain the Malay agenda whilst in return they are allowed to romp in their little rural enclaves free to implement whatever laws they want.
Whatever their motivations, it would be wise for the PR to break up now. PKR and DAP can start fresh, look for other partners and once again provide the country with a viable alternative. PAS can go their merry way and good luck to them.