Perak Lost but Lessons Learnt

The political coup of Perak by BN is complete. Yes, there are still protests being put down by the FRU and law suits being filed or at least considered but for all intents and purposes, Perak now belongs to BN. The nation stares in disbelief perhaps because we underestimated BN and more so, UMNO.

There were so many predictions that UMNO was its on its last legs after the March 08 General Elections but the lompat party candidates have pledged support for BN, for whatever reason.

So what can we do as the rakyat? Well, all is not lost. For a start, we still have four states at least two of which are in unassailable positions, that is Penang and Kelantan. However, I feel that one thing we must never forget to take away from this are the lessons from this tragedy in Malaysian politics.

The first lesson we need to consider is the reality of Pakatan Rakyat. Was this coalition ever a viable option? Lets consider BN as a comparison. BN is a coalition dominated by UMNO. Under UMNO – yes, under UMNO not alongside UMNO , never make that mistake – are parties also fighting for the self-interest of their respective races. This is why BN operates smoothly. And what about Pakatan Rakyat? We have PAS, a party struggling for Islamic Supremacy although claiming to struggle for all Malaysians; DAP aiming to create a Malaysian Malaysia but accused of Chinese Chauvinism and of course PKR who fight for whatever issue which will win the vote of the day.

All in all, Pakatan Rakyat are above BN in terms of ideology, that is PAS and DAP do actually have some permanent values but are these values reconcilable? PAS, whatever it tells you to keep you sweet, will never escape the hudud law rhetoric. The trip up by KJ of Husam Musa, Nik and Hadi late last year gave ample evidence of this. The hudud law, however sacred PAS sees it, inevitably divides Malaysians, something the DAP should never brook. Then you get PKR thrown in. We get Anwar telling us he will end bumiputra-ism but if his 16th September promise is anything to go by, lets not hold our breaths, folks.

The rakyat must be represented by a single political party. This party must promise equality for all Malaysians and end racial and religious bigotry going on in the country. This goal sounds almost impossible right about now, I admit, but compromise of this and adopting stop-gap tactics like getting together simply to bring down BN will not work. Not with the coalition of chalk and cheese which we have now.

Another lesson we need to consider is who we choose as candidates. Unless the lompat party tactic is outlawed, we will never escape having these lowlife party-hoppers so what we must do is this: We must find candidates who are actually social activists. People who do not ‘do politics’ for a living but are actually hard-working professionals. These professionals must show their commitment by giving their time and effort to the community before being inducted to the party and allowed to be a candidate.

I can hear the laughter of the readers who think how impossible it is to come up with such ideas like the above but to me, there is no greater politic than a purely moral impulse. Moral individuals who are out to serve the community selflessly. That is what Malaysia and the world needs.

–  Farouk A. Peru