Does Wan Azizah know she is an ineffective Opposition Leader?

umar mukhtar

Umar Mukhtar

At the time when the opposition is closest to have any chance to take over Putrajaya, the Barisan Nasional dares to mock the opposition with the National Security Council Bill, the most draconian bill in peacetime that this country has ever seen in its history. And the opposition’s response is effectively muted and resigned.

We understand that with its minority it can never stop the mighty bulldozer that has the speed of a Ferrari. We do not expect magic from you. What we expect are parliamentary protestations that are becoming of a group that purportedly wants to show it is championing the people’s interests. The Opposition Leader will sound like shrill bitchings about the maid not mopping the kitchen floor this morning, anyway.

Look into the Hansard and read the hours of elucidation by PAS leader Asri Haji Muda in the Seventies when the government only just wanted to pass a bill to deny PAS the use of the crescent moon and star as its logo. That was parliamentary debate at its best. As a twenty year-old I was mesmerized that he could dig up just about anything to champion his case. He sounded forthright, resolute, defiant and indignant even though he knew it was a lost cause.

Today, the opposition is confronted with a bill that gives subjective right to the prime minister to remove constitutional protection to citizens whose involvement may only be geographical coincidence, simply on account that the PM feels so. Even the Yang Di Pertuan Agong has no personal say. And what did the opposition has to say except giving sighs of resignation to legislative inevitability and pointing fingers that the government is a bully. Na na na na na!  

Isn’t this the time to record in Hansard your commitment to the people that at your first sitting as a ruling federal government you will abolish the NSC, POTA, PPPA, Sedition Act and other draconian laws? Isn’t this the time to educate the people, through your speeches, what their MPs are making them give up? Isn’t this crunch time?

Why wait only until election ceramahs to bitch, when you would be preaching only to the converted? Why aren’t all the opposition MPs present when the budget was passed? Defiance! Defiance! Defiance! What could be more important than the opportunity for your defiant vote to be counted. You will look more attractive. But there was no effort to mobilise emotions. Blame it on the rush all you want but we know you can do better than that.

As it was, the minister in the PM’s Department, Shahidan Kassim, got away saying crap like the reason that the YDPA is not to be involved is that it is only about security areas, and not Emergency! Excuse me, fundamental rights are being affected under NSC almost similar to Emergency, and the YDPA is being excluded from playing his rightful role?

Call a crap by any other name, it is still crap. But sycophants were busy with Nurul Izzah’s silly case of youthful indiscretions. Let her be admonished by parliament for being stupid enough to listen to an apek bukit. What a waste of parliamentary time when it could be better spent defending the people’s rights.

So we have an opposition leader who thinks that she only functions as a spokeswoman. Nobody cares anyway. Her melodramatic speech not as forceful as her complaints about her convict-husband’s welfare, she couldn’t wait to rush home to catch her ‘beauty sleep’ as she is fond of saying. Any attempt by her deputy president to fill in the huge gaps may be viewed with suspicions of usurping her powers as president. So insecure. With a husband like her’s, it’s becoming a habit.

Who do we look to? Lim Guan Eng? He’s busy picking fights with other opposition parties, in fact, better than the BN can.  Furthermore, he’s not committed to going to Putrajaya. As Penang chief minister, he is rampant in serving developers’ interests whether in flattening the hills or reclaiming the ocean. Why put his purported protests against commercial exploiters on record, anyway! Penangites can do better, though.

It’s definitely the time for change. But don’t expect to win just because BN is lousy. Shape up or ship out!