Ambiga, this is Malaysia, not the United States

FMT LETTER: From Harbhacan Singh, via e-mail

From calling for free and fair elections, Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenivasan has now gone one step further by calling PM Najib Tun Razak to debate with Anwar Ibrahim.

Free and fair elections have always been her concern but one was doubtful about her real intentions, especially when her most recent Bersih rally was organised as if to give Anwar a platform to project him as a national democracy hero. Anwar and Ambiga both proved they could only bring chaos and disruption to public safety, and not free and fair elections.

Ambiga’s act of poking her nose into the ‘extinct’ issue of a debate between Najib and Anwar seems to give a completely opposite picture of her purpose. Is she politically motivated? It wasn’t quite clear all the while but now it seems obvious that she is trying her luck.

She has not admitted that she harboured political motives or that she wishes to be a candidate in the forthcoming elections. But poking her nose into such a debate, if it ever takes place, will be highly political. And therefore she has a political agenda!

Of course as a citizen, she has every right to take part in politics and stand for elections but she must first come clean. She must make her intentions known from the beginning, not hide that face from the domestic and global public.

That is the honest way. She must avoid using the back door to politics. She must boldly come through the front door. As the saying goes, she must come with clean hands.

Having said that, what will a debate between Najib  and Anwar achieve? It simply does not make sense because Malaysia is not the United States of America where two Presidential candidates debate each other and use that opportunity to expound their theories, beliefs and philosophies.

This is done so that the people can compare the two and then make an informed decision as to whom to vote for. But in the case of Malaysia, this is not the practise or culture. Why then is Ambiga so fond to copy the Western culture?

If she thinks the Western system is much better, then will she suggest we change to an election system similar to the US Presidential election, where surely Najib will sweep to victory given his vast popularity among Malaysians as compared to Anwar.

Is Ambiga trying to tell Malaysians to pick the best debater as PM or the one who is the best in making and implementing promises and policies that will really benefit the rakyat? Anwar is no doubt a good debater, but he is a typical chameleon, one who claims to have changed! Yes, he changed from an ultra-Malay, ultra-Islam to what? A pretender? An actor?

Even if Najib agrees to a debate, why should he debate Anwar? It is certainly a fact now that Anwar is not the sole PM candidate of Pakatan Rakyat. PAS members loyal to PAS (and not the ‘Erdogans’ who prefers to be loyal to one who’s not their party leader) wanted their president Hadi Awang to be the PM should Pakatan Rakyat win GE13.

We may not be surprised if tomorrow DAP comes with its own proposal that Lim Kit Siang should be the PM if Pakatan Rakyat wins. This is likely to happen because in reality Pakatan Rakyat parties never have an agreed set of policies apart from the shady Buku Jingga which has no mention on how each and every pledge will be implemented. They are still divided over many fundamental issues. PAS wants to implement hudud, DAP is opposed to this.

So, should Najib really debate with all the PM wannabes or focus on his work and duties to the rakyat? Really, Ambiga should first ask herself what are her credentials for calling for such a debate? Who is she to choose who should debate who?

Who is she to pick Anwar as Pakatan Rakyat’s PM candidate for the debate? Is this debate part of her free and fair elections call? She obviously has succeeded only in exposing her political ambitions!