Is Pakatan Capable?

People are not stupid. They read in between the lines almost as well as they read body language. UMNO’s attempts to sooth the resentment of the minorities have been rejected time and again because people can sense insincerity. Turning the tables around, Pakatan says it is not anti-royalty, but people can sense how weak this sentiment is. It is time to change this.

Pakatan must not only say they accept the constitutional monarchy, but be seen to defend it fiercely, even if some decisions taken by the monarchs in their capacity as constitutional monarchs go against the Pakatan. Is Pakatan capable of turning into a heroic and loyal Hang Tuah?

Malay Sultans and Islam

Why is this important? Malays are still the majority of voters. This is a fact of life and as voters they will use their vote to protect their interests. For Malaysia, this is also a fact of life. We cannot throw away 51 years of thinking in racial terms in a few months, especially when UMNO has been doing its damnest to cast racial thinking into stone.

The Malay Sultans and Islam represent the honour and identity of the Malays. Those who are bodoh enough not to realize this do not deserve the leadership mantle. This is why Pakatan must defend both the Sultans and Islam fiercely and sincerely. This is one of the important ways to convince the Malays to change and to allow a new Malaysia to blossom.

Doing this is both easy and difficult. UMNO makes it easy with their insincerity, with their corruption and with their cronyism. Society makes it difficult with its reluctance to abandon racial thinking (all races are involved, not just one). Is Pakatan capable of overcoming this?

Is society ready?

Society is not homogeneous. Some people will be ready, others will not be. The balance is somewhere in the middle. We thought we were ready, but we have been backsliding. Quite a few have turned fearful of letting go of the past.

This is where leadership comes in. If Pakatan wants the leadership mantle, it must be able to convince the majority of Malaysians and to lead them forward. Is Pakatan ready itself?

Turn from being political parties into social movements

In most instances, to overcome and difficult obstacle, it is necessary to overcome inertia or mass. This means applying more effort and energy than required to maintain routine operations alone. For Malaysia’s case, applying more effort and energy means to turn from being purely political parties to become social movements. Is Pakatan capable? Let us examine each component in turn.

PAS already has this built-in tendency if only it expands to a broader base. Broader base  means – leading ALL Malaysians in building a healthy 2 party system and a neutral, honest and fully professional civil service; do charity work and look after your supporters well, especially those who have been injured or jailed fighting for your cause; encouraging sympathizers to gather around you, not just fully convinced members; having a second social objective for sympathizers not just a primary objective as a political party for full members.

MB Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is the best known example I can think of, of such a new style PAS leader. There are many more – only they have not received publicity yet. PAS itself can make their work easier by having a formal policy to expand its base to be more inclusive of sympathizers who only want to work for a social cause, for social justice and decency. Can PAS turn itself from a political party into a social movement? Does it want to?

PKR certainly has this built-in tendency to work for a neutral civil service especially the police and the courts. This can serve as an objective for a social movement. It already draws people of all races into its ranks more so than the other component parties. Can PKR turn itself from a political party into a social movement?

I don’t know enough about the DAP, but that is my fault which I have to correct, for the DAP holds the key towards true multi-racialism. Minorities have been suppressed for too long and harbour deep resentments and suspicions on almost every issue that UMNO has managed to infect with marginalisation, discrimination and unfairness. It is up to DAP to bring these people to the table and to control their resentments from turning destructive. This is no good to anybody except BN. Is the DAP capable?

By batsman