Pakatan’s political desanguination

Azmi Anshar

DEFERRING TACT: By deciding not to hold the Selangor state elections concurrently with the 13th general election, Pakatan Rakyat reveals an irredeemable loss of electoral support

Azmi Anshar, NST

IT IS the finality of mammalian anatomical trauma: if your skin or hide is pierced, you will haemorrhage blood, go into shock and pain before the consciousness implodes. Death by desanguination.

If you want to observe political desanguination, look to Pakatan Rakyat’s hasty decision to not synchronise the Selangor elections with the 13th general election, which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak should call within eight months.

Why the need to get ahead of yourself when nobody, except the prime minister, knows intimately the date of Parliament’s dissolution, yet everybody is perceiving a November date.

The PKR supreme council must have been so mesmerised by the prime minister’s tantalising hint that they ignored circumspection and immediately made that hasty decision.

Call it cold anxious sweat because PKR’s axis buddies’ reaction is cooler: the Kedah Pas and Penang DAP governments are prepared to wait at least until Parliament is dissolved, but the Kelantan Pas government is confidence personified, willing to bed on the same page as Najib.

Reading deep into the prime minister’s penchant for favourite numbers, the media did some frenzied deciphering guesswork to cough out dates in November after considering the usual tell-tale signs of school holidays, haj season and season’s greetings.

But what if the prime minister was messing around with people’s obsession with general election appointments, knowing it would create a stir, especially among oppositionists whose quarterly predictions on election dates have been proven wrong for the past two years.

To be sure, Najib is not the one fixing nomination and polling dates, the Election Commission, with its unique sensibilities on charting polling dates, is.

PR’s continued desanguination by unveiling a dubious trump card: dodgy electoral roll, ironically opposed to Kelantan Pas which seems satisfied with every roll rolled out, going on a red-hot winning streak since 1990.

The Election Commission, too, must feel like a broken record, valiantly defending its record and that of the veracity of the electoral polls against Pakatan’s dogmatic stance that the electoral rolls are still dodgy.

Sure, niggling issues continue to dog the EC’s pursuit to clean up the roll of dead or unaccounted voters, but the roll is clean, enough to precipitate the huge Opposition gains in 2008, which, by the way, were courtesy of a huge number of Umno voters resentful of the Abdullah administration that they voted for their dreaded rivals.

Try egging Pakatan leaders to acknowledge this fact and the response will be the cliched “people’s power” and “political tsunami”.

The electoral roll has been cursed to be a convenient opposition scapegoat that underwrote the Bersih protests to maskwhat would be Pakatan’s inevitable losses, which accounts for all that troubling anxiety to defer state elections, especially in Selangor. By the same hastiness, Pakatan Rakyat has privately conceded the Dewan Rakyat to the BN, probably even saying adios to the two-thirds majority that was denied to the ruling coalition.

Whether it is November or the full term, whether Selangor will do it separately or simultaneously, the pressure and stretched resources will be the same for both sides.

But Pakatan Rakyat’s final trump card, following killer problems called farcical free water, Talam, land disputes, will be “dying for a victory by sympathy”, the final shape of its political desanguination.