I love a good fight

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I have said this before and I will say it again: I will always be in the opposition. And why is that? Because I just love going against those in power. In short, I am anti-establishment. And I have said often enough if one day Umno gets ousted and keADILan forms the government I would probably go join Umno just to able to claim I am still in the opposition.

As my wife always says,

“You just love fighting, that is all. If you can’t fight anymore you will probably just curl up and die.”

Hmm…maybe she has something there. I am after all the ninth descendant of Raja Lumu, the first Sultan of Selangor. And Raja Lumu’s grandfather was Upu Tenribong Daing Rilaka, the ruler of the Bugis Nation, a most feared race in the 1700s and still feared till this day. Till today the Bugis still walk around with daggers tucked into their waist and God help anyone who tries to take it away from them. That is why the Bugis in Sabah are the only ethnic group allowed to walk around town with their daggers protruding and the police just turn a blind eye.

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail once told a mutual friend that I am quite eccentric (gila babi) and she is a bit scared of me. I told our mutual friend to tell Dr Wan Azizah that only a gila babi guy like me would want to run a Free Anwar Campaign. All the other siuman (sane) people would surely be scared shit.

Anyway, back to my penchant for a good fight.

When Anwar Ibrahim first started out against impossible odds in the early 1980s I rallied beside him. Once he made it to the top — or at least to the second-most slot — I went against him. When he fell from grace and languished in the Sungai Buloh Prison I rushed to his side again. Now that he is a free man I no longer have any interest in his cause. I am not saying I am against him. I just do not see any purpose in continuing as an Anwarista like the six years before this.

Basically, there is no more ‘struggle’ or fight, which means the excitement is gone and the adrenalin no longer flows. I need a good fight to keep my heart pumping and hanging around Anwar does not pump my heart anymore. If Anwar were to lead the opposition I would feel some excitement. Or if he rejoins Umno and challenges Pak Lah for the Presidency or Najib for the number two post I would jump for joy. But he is currently doing neither and because of that I am falling asleep.

I have challenged Kirdatun to stay and fight. Okay, she wants to fight Anwar, never mind, I will go along with that as long as she stays and fights. It does not matter whether I agree with everything she says. Many do not agree with everything I say either. Anwar, in fact, told an assembly that he does not agree with most of what I write. And most of the other keADILan leaders feel the same way too. They call me a ‘loose cannon’. But the more they disagree with what I write the more I will write.

Malaysia Today must push the limits of press freedom. We must teach both the ruling party and the opposition that it is now time to let go. You cannot stifle free speech anymore. No subject should be classified as taboo whether it is Islam, the Monarchy, Malay rights and privileges, mother-tongue education, and much more. And neither is criticising our leaders, both ruling party and opposition, taboo either.

While on the subject of a good fight, we are about to see a keen contest for keADILan’s number two post.

Abdul Rahman Othman has thrown down the gauntlet and is going to challenge Dr Syed Husin Ali for the post of Deputy President. Some feel even Dr Wan Azizah should be challenged as well but probably out of respect for Anwar no one can bring themselves to do that.

Now that Rahman has started the trend the many other posts in the party are going to see keen contests as well. The Wanita Chief post is also going to see a three-corner fight and there is talk Fuziah Salleh, the current Wanita Chief, may not be defending her post but may go for a Vice President’s post. Now that is certainly most interesting and I urge her to do so. Rahman Yusoff too is going for a Vice President’s post. It would be nice if the Youth Leader, Ezam Mohd Nor, is challenged as well — and I say this not because I am against him or something like that but just because I love to see a fight. Maybe Saifuddin Nasution Ismail could consider taking the challenge.

One thing that keADILan is not going to suffer is ‘money politics’ or vote buying but only because the candidates are not rolling in money like their Umno counterparts.

Rahman and Dr Syed share the same ideology of Reforms or Reformasi but differ in approach. Rahman feels that a planned approach to change, to be affected when Barisan Alternatif forms the next government, should be adopted while Dr Syed adopts the ‘pressure group’ approach — pressure the government to adopt reforms.

Rahman disagrees with this approach. This, according to Rahman, would mean keADILan continues to play the role of the opposition while leaving the task of reforming the country to Barisan Nasional — which they would do reluctantly and only because of the pressure from the opposition. Rahman wants keADILan and Barisan Alternatif to plan towards forming the government and therefore present itself to the voters as a viable alternative government to the present one. Now, argued Rahman, there is no effort made in presenting Barisan Alternatif as a viable alternative to the present government so the voters just cannot see that a change of government is not only possible but good for the country.

Well, whatever it may be, the next week is going to be very interesting indeed. It is about time keADILan saw some excitement and a contest for party positions is always exciting.