PR – Form a Shadow Cabinet Please.

By batsman

There comes a time when old excuses cannot be accepted anymore. The situation has changed. We are now faced with an impending almighty battle for the hearts and minds and ultimately the votes of Malaysians. The PR shadow cabinet must be formed yesterday.

When the barbarian tribes faced the legions of Rome, they often outnumbered Roman soldiers 2 to 1. Unfortunately, these tribes were alliances of small tribes headed by their own chieftains. The outcome of the battles were never much in doubt. The Roman army was disciplined and led by a professional general. 

It is only when the tribes are headed by someone as charismatic and tough as Hannibal that the Romans meet their match. Worse still, at the time of the worst crisis, the Romans made the mistake of dividing their army into 2 and headed by 2 pro-Consuls. They never made the same mistake again. 

If the PR is serious about forming the next government of Malaysia, they must give their troops united strength. The troops must not waver and look towards their own chieftains in times of confusion and indecision. The objective of forming the next government of Malaysia must overcome all sectarian loyalties. 

The rakyat is always ahead of the political parties. The rakyat took the political parties by surprise in the tsunami of 2008. They took the political parties by surprise in the Bersih 2.0 rally. But in all of this, the rakyat are essentially unorganized. The political parties step into the breech to fill this gap, but they also brought along their own heavy baggage. 

This heavy baggage is usually in the form of sectarian self-interest hiding a whole mass of individual self-interest. The leaders may either be selfless or selfish. Only selfless leaders can win the trust and respect of the rakyat. 

Along the line, the supporters, party members and activists also have their own heavy baggage to carry. This is also usually in the form of self-interest. In the coming decisive battle of the 13th GE, all these heavy baggage must be left behind. There is no room for self-interest. 

When we say that RCIs must be independent, it means that the judges must not have any interest in the outcome of the RCI. This means self-interest must not get in the way of a fair and honest result. Similarly when we say that the civil must be politically independent, it means the civil service must not have any interest in the outcomes of elections. 

This means that the people with the least self-interest should be listened to the most. Party leaders, party members and party supporters all have their own interests to weigh them down. The people with the least self interest should actually form the prime drivers in the impending electoral battles. The people with the least self-interest must be able to point the way ahead. Political parties as the organizers of the unorganized people must listen closely to the people with the least self-interest. 

With this in mind, when self-interest is cast aside, it makes huge sense to form the shadow cabinet as a matter of urgent priority. Sectarian loyalties and self-interests have to be cast aside for the impending battle. Saying that the PR cannot afford it is no longer an acceptable excuse. With self-interest cast aside, forming a shadow cabinet will not cost a single sen. 

It does not have to be a full cabinet even. The shadow cabinet must be in a position to take over the reins of government immediately the election results are known. It must be in a position to neutralize any dirty tricks the moment they surface. It must be able to throw off its virtual shadow existence, materialise and hit the ground running. 

For those politicians who like to make predictions about the outcome of the 13th GE, this is the what they must organize to back up their predictions, not just leave their predictions as a balloon of stinky foul hot air. If they really believe their own predictions, they must back it up by forming the shadow cabinet NOW!