USM lecturer says PR losing direction

(Bernama) – The bickering among Pakatan Rakyat leaders and elected representatives of late are signs that the opposition pact is losing direction, a Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer said.

Dr P. Sivamurugan, a political science lecturer with USM, said opposition leaders are also increasingly becoming personal in airing their views and at time, even turning against their allies if they were not satisfied with certain issues.

For instance, he said, Kedah DAP assemblyman Lee Guan Aik had once declared that he did not support the leadership of Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak following dissatisfaction with the policies implemented by the state government.

Several leaders are also at loggerheads including Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) attacking Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad of PAS; Selangor executive councillor Datuk Dr Hassan Ali of PAS who once had a quarrel with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim of PKR; and the latest, Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamad Hashim accusing Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of being a dictator.

“This shows that the opposition pact is in disarray as it does not have a stable policy to unite the leaders and because of that, we can see fragility in their relations,” he told Bernama.

Sivamurugan, however, said that there was also a possibility that the bickering was a diversionary tactic to divert the people’s attention from issues affecting their de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said that each time Anwar’s sodomy case was up for hearing in court, various issues would crop up in the opposition pact, and then Anwar would heroically emerge to cool things down.

Two days ago, Zahrain who is also the former Penang PKR chairman was quoted as saying that Lim was “a dictator, a chauvinist and communist-minded”.

Lim refused to answer the criticism and wanted PKR leaders themselves to reply to it — through his deputy Dr Mansor Osman, who expressed regret over Zahrain’s outburst.

Penang PAS deputy commissioner Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, when contacted, admitted that there were differences in opinion among Pakatan leaders.

“I will be lying if I say there are no problems in the Pakatan government administration but they should be resolved at the Pakatan Council meeting and not through the media,” he said.

He added that it was normal for leaders to have differences in opinion but he could not agree with Zahrain’s outburst in the media.