Malaysian leaders not looking at long-term future, says PSM’s Arul


(The Star) – Malaysian leaders are too short-sighted, claims S. Arutchelvan of Parti Sosialis Malaysia.

Speaking at Socialism 2015: Reform or Revolution, the 11th annual forum organised by PSM held at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Arul expressed the party’s disappointment with the opposition coalition.

“Pakatan Harapan doesn’t look very different from the old coalition. Yes there is no Hadi Awang and we have Parti Amanah Negara, but what is the change?”

“There doesn’t seem to be any long-term plan or ideological system that addresses the day to day issue of Malaysians,” said the PSM secretary-general.

“Mahathir just wants Najib out, Bersih is looking similar, Pakatan rally around Anwar taking over Putrajaya.

“Many Malaysians don’t care enough about human rights. If you have a dictator who provides a good economy then most will accept it. That’s why they like Mahathir.

“Pakatan Rakyat always skipped around the issues of local elections, hudud laws. This ‘agree to disagree’ coalition also did not look at improving the lives of the poor. No land reforms. It lost Perak because three Pakatan aduns jumped ship. It lost Kedah because of internal problems in PAS. How can the new Pakatan sell itself as the Pakatan of hope?,” said Arul

The issue of the Malaysian public being confused by the different attitudes towards PAS by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali was also raised.

“If you can’t have a coherent coalition maybe the best way is to have just electoral pacts to ensure no three-way fights,” said Arul.

Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah believes that democratic movements like Bersih 2.0 can play a role in ushering in a new political system.

“Our system is shaped by the NEP and Malay supremacy concepts which are used both as a vote bank and a threat, and actually undermines democratic progress.

“The political climate moved from a one party to two party system since 2008. But Pakatan Rakyat was a mirror image of Barisan Nasional, maybe better in some ways, but didn’t have cooperation on a deep level and in the end, it was allowed to break down,” said Maria.

“Political parties need to rise above what they are today. Get their act together to reflect the aspirations of the people.”

Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong of DAP admitted that there is room for improvement.

“It is true that Pakatan Rakyat had no clear ideology. We have to build a new coalition now with some ideological coherence and preparation to govern nationally.

“Some form of centre-left coalition must be formed. Centred on economic plans to address the needs of the Malaysian people. We need to find a winning formula,” he said.