What to do NOW

By Hakim Joe

The fat fugitive cigar-chomping hippie has always accused us of perpetually whinging of how things presently are and not contributing enough suggestions on how to correct all these transgressions. He tells us not to live in the past but to move ahead into the present and to start acting now lest we are stopped from such actions in the future.

Well, here is a list of what I think Pakatan Rakyat should do NOW:

Foremost, they need to resolve the leadership issue once and for all. DSAI is the de facto leader by consensus but he might be back in jail very soon and all the PR component party leaders need to settle on an individual leading the Opposition during GE13 as DSAI cannot viably be capable of doing so from within his prison cell. Additionally, in the event that PR actually garners sufficient parliamentary seats to topple the existing government, DSAI is not legally qualified to become the PM of Malaysia.

Wan Azizah however could be a good choice as she is widely accepted by everybody. Political experience will never become an issue here. Look at the Philippines: Corazon Aquino – zero political experience but possibly the best President the Philippines ever had and definitely loads better than how her son is performing now (even with his political upbringing).

The DPM should go to the respectable Nik Aziz as he is the only person the voters can accept to hold that position. Lim and Karpal both do not qualify as the Constitution forbids it on racial grounds. (God forbids if that position is offered to Azmin Ali.) And then there are all the important ministerial positions but that can wait until GE13 is won.

Number Two on the agenda is the many proposed policies, in which PR needs to state, which will act as their political platform. Reforms, Rights, Privileges, Amendments to existing laws, Separation of Powers, etc are but a few of the important issues that require clarification now (not later).

Pakatan desperately needs to have a common policy that is acceptable to all Malaysians and to show a united front. Campaign posters and banners need to show all three party emblems and no more conflicting resolutions from the three leaders or their associates. It has to be “One for All and All for One” but most importantly, it has to be declared out for all to know.

Number Three is the setting up of an elections committee with all three parties combined and the organization of the many divisional level working parties that will be capable of reacting immediately once Parliament is dissolved. These entire election machinery needs to be ready now and not next month or next year. Additionally, the work parties must be structured to perform different duties and leaders be selected to lead them. Why set up after eections are called when they can be prepared now?

Number Four is the budget as elections are a costly affair. Brochures, flags, banners, pins, caps and T-shirts need to be printed. Food and drinks need to be provided for the working party members. Travel expenses are required for the pre-election campaigning all over Malaysia. Transportation needs to be prepared and organized for the traveling parties and accommodations provided for if it is an interstate overnight trip. Umbrellas need to be ready, tents, tables and chairs need to be rented and all these translate into large numbers that needs to be paid. As they say, No Money No Talk.

Number Five is that the proposed candidates must go on the campaigning trail now and not after elections are called for. The more exposure to the targeted voters, the higher the chances of being elected. Who would want to vote for a candidate that one has never seen or heard before or a candidate that makes his or her appearance once every four years. Additionally, no free seats for BN. Every seat must be contested even if one risks losing the deposit.

Number Six is information. The more information that is provided to the voters of Pakatan’s intentions, the better informed the voters will be and Pakatan’s hierarchy will need to be targeting a certain category of voters, as it will be a waste of time, effort and resources to try convincing hardcore BN voters on such a short period of time. Subsequently, the use of alternate news media must be amplified to a larger audience for this and also to expose the government’s shortfalls and alleged corrupt practices.

Number Seven would be the preparation of an expert committee to inspect the electoral roll once it is ready. This might actually translate into work parties physically confirming addresses on the ground through legwork but essentially it will only mean the scrutinization of the electoral roll looking for identical entries or suspect voter information. It would be rather impossible to squeeze 100 residents into an apartment building if 100 different voters on the roll exhibit identical residential addresses or if a voter whose birthday is on 1900 or before that.

The best manner to handle such a big task would be to get a large group of people to input all these information into a computer or to get a scanner with OCR capabilities to do it. A scan would then be easily achieved to sort out the identical entries. A mammoth undertaking but seats are lost with just one vote.

Number Eight would be to follow up on the BN promises. Najib has indicated that electoral reforms are underway. He has also said that he will abolish the ISA. Additionally, he has allowed students to be involved in politics but so far nothing has been accomplished and the Opposition urgently needs to harass them on the implementation date both in Parliament and in the media. Get BERSIH 3.0 going. Sue the GOM for its broken promises. Do anything to exaggerate the situation; just do not do nothing as BN will explore any opportunity to do the same to PR. Show the people what PR is capable of and scare the bejesus out of BN.

Number Nine. Sort out the Selangor State Government chaos now as it is riddled with BN goons (literally). Clean up that crappy clutter and the people will actually believe that PR is actually capable of helming the country in Putrajaya. In addition, sort out the East Malaysian opposition party mess because both Sabah and Sarawak possesses 56 parliamentary seats of the total of 222 seats (25%) even when they only have 19.5% of the population of Malaysia. Pakatan was only able to secure 2 pitiful parliamentary seats there in 2008.

Lastly, get the people involved right now. Secure every possible advantage. Get the 2008 Elections and the BERSIH 2.0 momentum going. Get Reformasi back. Exhibit DSAI’s black eye. Screen the Perak State Assembly fiasco. Remember Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani. Wear yellow T-shirts. Remind the people how a mere dentist can afford a RM30 million bungalow and get away with it or how a pornstar became the people’s alleged leader. Distribute copies of that sex tape. Get those Birkin bags out. Present to the public the billion Ringgit subs that is capable of erasing immigration records and killing a girl but yet incapable of submerging underwater. Ask the GOM why tear gas was fired into a hospital during BERSIH 2.0. Burn more incense to the Jelapang bitch.

Do ANYTHING. Just do not do NOTHING.